Trevor Rees-Jones (bodyguard)

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This article is about former bodyguard of Diana, Princess of Wales. For founder and chairman of Chief Oil and Gas, see Trevor Rees-Jones.
Trevor Rees-Jones
Born Trevor Rees-Jones
(1968-03-03) 3 March 1968 (age 46)
Rinteln, West Germany
Occupation bodyguard
Known for Death of Diana, Princess of Wales
Spouse(s) Sue Jones (1995–1997)
Ann Scott (since 2003)

Trevor Rees-Jones (also known as Trevor Rees; born 3 March 1968) is a British bodyguard who was badly injured in the car crash in Paris that killed Princess Diana on 31 August 1997. Because he suffered a serious head injury, Rees-Jones does not recall any details. Early media reports claimed he survived because he was wearing a seatbelt,[1] but a December 2006 Operation Paget technical examination said that none of the occupants of the car were wearing a seatbelt.

Early life[edit]

Rees-Jones was born on 3 March 1968 in Rinteln, Germany, the son of Colin Rees, a surgeon in the British Army, and Gill, a nurse.[2] When he was 10, he returned with his family to Oswestry, on the Welsh border near his father's childhood home. At the now-defunct Fitzalan School, he enrolled in the cadet force.[2]

Military career and first marriage[edit]

In 1987, Rees-Jones enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, served one tour of duty in Northern Ireland and was awarded the General Service Medal.[3]

Following the crash he was incorrectly reported to have served in the 1982 Falklands War and First Gulf War, escaped the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and been a close-protection officer in the Royal Military Police.[4]

On 12 August 1995, Rees-Jones married his first wife, Sue Jones, in Oswestry, where the couple had met at Fitzalan School.[3] Jones filed for divorce in June 1997.[2]

Injuries and aftermath[edit]

On 31 August 1997 Rees-Jones was seriously injured in the crash that resulted in the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. The Princess' boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the car, Henri Paul, were pronounced dead at the scene; Rees-Jones was the only survivor. His face was flattened, with numerous bones broken or crushed. His face was reconstructed from family photographs by maxillofacial surgeon Luc Chikhani, using about 150 pieces of titanium to hold the bones together and recreate the original shape. Within a year, his face was nearly back to normal.[citation needed] Hospital care costs were paid by Dodi's father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, Rees-Jones's employer at the time of the crash, and the rest by the British National Health Service (NHS). It was widely rumored that Rees-Jones had swallowed his tongue in the accident, but this was false. He underwent a 10-hour operation to restore his jaw to a normal condition.[3]

Rees-Jones returned to Britain on 3 October 1997 having spent a month in hospital. At the time, he was able to communicate only by whispering and writing down answers.[5] He resigned his job as a bodyguard on 19 May 1998: Al-Fayed offered the job if he wished to return.[6]

Recovery and later life[edit]

Following recovery from his injuries, Rees-Jones moved to north Shropshire and for some time worked in a small family-run sportswear shop in Oswestry. He re-married on 15 February 2003, to Ann Scott, a teacher at Belvidere School, Shrewsbury. The ceremony took place in Welshpool, Wales.

Rees-Jones wrote a book, The Bodyguard's Story: Diana, the Crash, and the Sole Survivor (ISBN 0-446-61004-6), about his experiences, with the help of ghost-writer Moira Johnston. The book reconstructed the events from Rees-Jones's partial memories and those of his family and friends. He decided to write the book because many bizarre stories had circulated about the crash and because his former employer, Al-Fayed, had accused him of not doing his job properly.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bodyguard put on seat belt just before Diana car crash. CNN 21 September 1997.
  2. ^ a b c Searching His Memory People.com
  3. ^ a b c Hulse, Tim (2 March 1998). "In The News: Trevor Rees-Jones remembers the night of tragedy". The Independent. 
  4. ^ Rees-Jones, Trevor and Johnston, Moira (2001). The Bodyguard's Story. Warner Books. p. 183. ISBN 0-7515-3126-X. 
  5. ^ Sadler, Brent (3 October 1997). "Diana's bodyguard returns to Britain". CNN. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Diana bodyguard quits job". BBC News. 20 April 1998. Retrieved 20 April 1998. 
  7. ^ "Diana's Bodyguard: What's the story?". BBC News. 6 March 2000. Retrieved 6 March 2000. 

External links[edit]