I was Princess Diana ’s ‘Rambo’ bodyguard – she would still be here if I’d been on duty on night she died in Paris


HE is the bodyguard who Princess Diana nicknamed Rambo and with whom she had several heart-to-hearts revealing her biggest fears and future plans.

And 25 years on from her death, Lee Sansum says he is adamant she would be alive today if he had been with her on the night she died alongside Dodi Fayed in a Paris car crash on August 31, 1997.

In an exclusive interview, Lee has told how security guards drew straws to accompany bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones in the car, and he lost.

He also reveals the fun bets he had with a young Prince and how he treasures a letter from Princess Diana thanking him for making her final sunshine holiday in St Tropez “magical” — and her fears she may be assassinated.

Lee, now 60, said: “It could have been me in that car.

“We drew straws to see who would be accompanying Trevor that weekend. I pulled a match and it was a long one.

“When I learned they were not wearing seatbelts in the crash I understood why they didn’t survive. That shouldn’t have happened.

“It was standard practice for the family to wear seatbelts. It was an order sent down from the boss, Dodi’s dad Mohamed Fayed. Dodi, in particular, hated wearing seatbelts and I always insisted on it.”

Through his work with Mohamed Al-Fayed — the owner of Hôtel Ritz Paris and formerly Harrods department store and Fulham FC — Lee also protected Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sylvester Stallone and footballer Pele.

Burnley-born Lee, who has covered his incredible career in personal protection in a new book, was assigned to look after Dodi and Diana, then 36, when they stayed at his boss’s 30-bedroom villa in St Tropez, in the South of France, during July 1997.

Every day Diana would wake up at 7am and chat to the bodyguard. He said: “She had been happy on that holiday.

“But I had seen her in tears too, when she learned of the murder of her friend, the fashion designer Gianni Versace. She confided in me her own fears that she might one day be assassinated.

“She asked if I thought his murder outside his home was a professional killing.

“I thought it was. Then she said something that always stayed with me — ‘Do you think they’ll do that to me?’ She was shaking and it was clear from her tone that she really thought that they might, whoever ‘they’ might be.

“I spent some time reassuring her that no one was going to try to kill her and she was safe with us, but she definitely thought there was a risk that one day she might be assassinated.”

Diana also told Lee she wanted to live with Dodi in the States.

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