Princess Diana and Dodi al-Fayed died in a car crash in Paris in the early hours of August 31 1997 after being pursued by paparazzi photographers.
When, the following day, getwestlondon photographer Grahame Larter found himself face to face with Mohamed al-Fayed, he wondered how a grieving father would react to a press photographer at the cemetery.
The only photographer on hand as Mr al-Fayed’s motorcade pulled up, Grahame captured pictures of the billionaire as he greeted a group of mourners at the cemetery gates.
He recalled: “I was working as a freelance newspaper photographer and was asked to photograph local angles of the tragic death of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed.
“One of these jobs took me to the gates of Brookwood Cemetery, where Dodi had been interred the day before.
"A group of around 15 people had gathered outside with flowers and candles, and my plan was simply to get some pictures of this.
“But within a few minutes of my arrival, a procession of vehicles filed into the cemetery, all with blackened windows. Everyone agreed it must be Mohamed al-Fayed arriving to visit the grave of his son.”
Grahame decided to wait until Mr al-Fayed left and take some pictures of his convoy leaving the cemetery but the businessman himself soon appeared at the gates.
“He looked very dishevelled,” said Grahame, “and was flanked by his daughter and several bodyguards."
“He crossed the road to where the mourners and myself were standing, and silently started shaking hands with them.
“I was caught off guard, as with all the negative news stories surrounding the press and photographers’ involvement in Diana’s death, I struggled to decide whether it was wise to take photos or not.”
As Grahame was the only photographer present, and despite the size of Mr al-Fayed’s bodyguards, he started taking a few pictures.
Mr al-Fayed spotted him and approached.
Grahame said: “I thought to myself 'now I’m in trouble', but instead he held out his hand and I shook it, offering my condolences.
“He nodded and carried on shaking peoples’ hands in silence.
“I took a few more pictures and then, as quickly as he had appeared, he turned and walked back through the cemetery gates and into the night.”
A television crew arrived just as Mr al-Fayed left, missing him by minutes, meaning Grahame’s were the only pictures of the event.
He said: “They captured just another angle of the strange atmosphere that descended over the country that week.
“It was an experience I’ll certainly never forget.”
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