Twitter account follows last days of Diana in bid to ‘set the record straight’
Events covered include her holidays with William and Harry and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed.
A Twitter account which provides real-time tweets of Diana’s final days and hours is one of the ways the Princess is being remembered 20 years after her death.
@DianaDaybyDay charts the Princess’s movements during 1997 – the last year of her life – from her holidays with Princes William and Harry and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed to the unfolding events of the car crash which killed her.
The author, who prefers to remain anonymous, said the inspiration to set up the fact-based account came from following real-time tweets on the 50th anniversary of John F Kennedy’s assassination.
12 August 1997— Diana Day by Day (@DianaDaybyDay) August 12, 2017
Diana and Dodi are flying to Lower Pilsley to visit Diana's friend and psychic advisor Rita Rogers.#Diana20
Posting pictures of Diana on their corresponding days, charting her movements using evidence from her inquest and linking to archived newspaper reports, the Twitter bio reads: “Hopefully improving understanding of an iconic figure, 20 years on.”
The historical account also details the fatal car crash and blow-by-blow accounts of medical staff’s attempts to save Diana’s life. It challenges the conspiracy theories surrounding the Princess’s death, using facts and evidence from the police investigation and inquest into the crash.
@DianaDaybyDay told the Press Association: “I hope its role is to set the record straight in some aspects of Diana’s death where there are common misconceptions.”
The special occasion Dodi is treating Diana to is a pre-release screening of Airforce one. Diana arrives at Park Lane and Dodi hugs her.— Diana Day by Day (@DianaDaybyDay) August 13, 2017
They added: “The most common misconception is she was murdered, when she was not. She was also not pregnant, nor was she going to marry Dodi.”
Dozens of conspiracy theories surround the crash which killed Diana, Mr Fayed and driver Henri Paul in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris on August 31 1997, with Mr Fayed’s father Mohamed Al-Fayed claiming that the couple were assassinated in a plot hatched by MI6 on the orders of the Duke of Edinburgh.
But the Metropolitan Police’s three-year Operation Paget investigation concluded it was a tragic accident and the high-profile inquest found that the princess was unlawfully killed because Mr Paul was drunk and driving too fast, and the car was being chased by paparazzi.
14 August 1997— Diana Day by Day (@DianaDaybyDay) August 14, 2017
Today Diana has been at Kensington Palace preparing for a holiday with close friend Rosa Monckton. Dodi has arrived in LA.
@DianaDaybyDay said that “ludicrous conspiracy theories” continually appear “despite the overwhelming evidence it was just an accident that occurred in a relatively straightforward and simple set of circumstances”.
While @DianaDaybyDay only had a passive interest in Diana when she was alive, their fascination with the Princess was sparked by the lengthy investigations into her death.
“Her death was the most shocking news event in recent times apart from 9/11 and the public outpouring of grief was extraordinary,” they said. “What really got me interested was reading the Paget Report in 2007 and following the subsequent inquest.”
The gifts from Dodi are in addition to a handbag Mohamed Al Fayed gave on Diana's birthday on 1 July and the lavish holidays on the Jonikal.— Diana Day by Day (@DianaDaybyDay) August 19, 2017
They cited Diana’s work towards an international ban on landmines as being her most important and far-reaching legacy, as well as her “general message of love and compassion”.
“I’d say her appeal comes from her beauty and glamour and her reputation as a humanitarian,” they added.
@DianaDaybyDay said they had faced a mixed reaction on Twitter with some followers being extremely supportive. But they also faced abuse which they partly attributed to Diana being a woman.
“I’ve just followed a simple policy of blocking those who are abusive, disrespectful or just don’t seem to understand the account and make disparaging remarks about it.
“I think there is an element of misogyny about it too, as it’s a female historical figure – Diana seems to attract more derision than other members of the royal family or male historical figures.”
Whether @DianaDaybyDay, which was started in 2014, continues beyond the 20th anniversary is uncertain, as the fascination with Diana is expected to fall away.
“I might continue it next year but I don’t expect there to be the same level of interest,” they said. “I exchanged tweets with a journalist in America who continued real-time tweeting JFK in the years after the 50th anniversary but told me there was less interest and they eventually gave up.”