'Reward' of $1M behind Princess Diana's car crash? Ex-police chief reveals 'engagement ring' theory

Paparazzi in Paris on that fateful weekend might have been told about the possibility of a '$1 million first photo' of Diana wearing an engagement ring from Dodi Al-Fayed by an unknown tipster

                            'Reward' of $1M behind Princess Diana's car crash? Ex-police chief reveals 'engagement ring' theory
Princess Diana's paparazzi pictures were sold for astronomical prices (Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images)

There are several conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Princess Diana, once hailed as "the most famous woman in the world." Now, the police chief who investigated them all has reportedly raised the bombshell question: Was a mysterious $1 million 'tip-off' the real trigger behind the tragedy?

In January 2004, Sir John Stevens was still the boss at Scotland Yard when he was asked by then Royal Coroner Michael Burgess to lead a probe into the claims. It would come to be known as 'Operation Paget'.

Egyptian tycoon Mohamed Al-Fayed had alleged that Diana was in a serious relationship with his son Dodi and that they intended to tie the knot. He said that the Establishment was not in a position to accept a Muslim as Diana's husband, nor as an acceptable stepfather to a future king, and so they "had to be killed," the Daily Mail reported.


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That said, one of the most intriguing aspects of the Paget inquiry was the existence or otherwise of a certain "engagement" ring. Investigators reportedly spoke to celebrity jeweler Alberto Repossi at least three times about the same, especially after claims that the couple visited his stores in Paris. However, there was no convincing "narrative thread" regarding such a ring, per the Daily Mail.

According to Al Fayed, the couple had seen a ring at the Repossi store in Monaco, but their bodyguards claimed they did not visit the shop. The deputy manager of the Ritz hotel they were staying at is said to have paid a visit to the Place Vendome store and returned with two rings. One of the rings was reportedly from the Dis-Moi Oui (French for Say Yes to Me) range. The ring was later found in Dodi's apartment, according to the Daily Mail.

A statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Al Fayed is unveiled at Harrods department store on 1 September 2005 in London. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

But none of Diana's close friends who spoke to Paget had any knowledge of a potential engagement. In fact, they said Diana was opposed to remarriage. Stevens, who until the previous month had been the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, also submitted written questions to Prince William.

"One of the most important [questions] was whether his mother had expressed to him whether or not she was going to get married. And he categorically said she had not," he told the Daily Mail. According to the Daily Mail, Paget investigators still believe that the paparazzi in Paris on that fateful weekend might have been tipped off about the possibility of a "$1 million first photo" of Diana wearing such an engagement ring.

However, they did not reveal any information on the tipster. "A picture of the ring would have been worth a fortune," said Stevens. "Just why were the paparazzi in such a frenzy that night after a whole summer of Diana and Dodi pictures?"

Meghan Markle is wearing an emerald-cut aquamarine ring that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales, as she and Prince Harry leave Windsor Castle after their wedding to attend an evening reception at Frogmore House, hosted by the Prince of Wales on May 19, 2018, in Windsor, England. (Photo by Scott Williams/Getty Images)

Paget was reportedly not allowed to interrogate members of the paparazzi as French authorities had already questioned them. According to Stevens, the first time that Dodi saw the Dis-Moi Oui ring was when the Ritz manager brought it to the hotel hours before the fatal crash.

"We believe that Dodi was probably going to ask Diana to marry him and she would have said 'no,’" Stevens told the Daily Mail. "We suspect his butler was waiting at his Rue Arsene Houssaye apartment with the ring to be presented after the aborted meal at Chez Benoit. The restaurant was too public a place to propose," he added.