"To be honest, I thought she would live."
It’s been 20 years since Princess Diana tragically died in a car accident in Paris. Over the last few months, family and friends have come out in droves to share their memories of the beloved royal, including her personal chef, who shared her favorite foods, her youngest son, Prince Harry, laughing over her “wicked” sense of humor and her eldest child, Prince William, sharing just what type of grandmother he believes Diana would have been.
And now, French firefighter Xavier Gourmelon, the man who was on the scene of the crash, is sharing with the world exactly what her last moments on Earth were like.
"Nobody knew it was her, nobody had recognized her," Gourmelon told ITV. "As I approached, there was a blonde person who was sitting on the floor. She regained consciousness she looked at me and said, 'Oh my God, what's happened?' A bit agitated. I tried to calm her down and tell her we would look after her, but she fell into a coma again."
The princess died shortly after, at 4 a.m. on Sunday, August 31, 1997. Gourmelon told ITV that he was “shocked” to hear of her passing as he thought she would survive.
“To be honest, I thought she would live. As far as I knew when she was in the ambulance she was alive and I expected her to live,” he told The Sun. “But I found out later she had died in hospital.”
Over the last few days, the Independent reported, Kensington Palace has been inundated with mourners and royal well-wishers dropping off flowers and cards outside the gates.
On Twitter, the palace wrote, “The Duke and Prince Harry are grateful for the many flowers, letters and messages they have received about their mother. They wanted to say thank you to those who had made the journey to Kensington Palace.”