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into me’,” Mclaren re­vealed.

“It was a cover-up for the pro­tec­tion of a French na­tional,” added Mclaren.

“The po­lice had worked it out but just didn’t want to give this in­for­ma­tion to the pub­lic.

“They didn’t want it to be seen or known for­ever that one of their own, a French per­son, had caused the death of [Princess] Diana.”

“They kept it off their of­fi­cial re­port so it never ex­isted in the pub­lic record.”

How­ever, despite the fact Van Thanh has de­nied be­ing the driver of the car that fled the scene nu­mer­ous times via his lawyers, Mclaren claims Van Thanh – who lived in hid­ing for years af­ter the hor­rific ac­ci­dent – is ter­ri­fied to re­veal much more about the event.

“He told me, ‘I don’t want to say ex­actly what hap­pened’,” said Mclaren, adding: “It would cause too many com­pli­ca­tions. The po­lice have been in­volved and so have many other pow­er­ful peo­ple.”

The new de­tails sur­round­ing 36-year-old Diana’s death will no doubt leave the royal fam­ily in shock.

How­ever, palace in­sid­ers have re­vealed ex­clu­sively to New Idea that Mclaren’s ac­count of events has come as some­thing of a re­lief to Princes Wil­liam and Harry, who have been haunted for years by the mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the death of their mother.

“For more than 20 years, Wil­liam and Harry have had so many ques­tions about their mum’s death – so it’s an enor­mous re­lief for them to fi­nally find out what hap­pened,” says a palace source.

“They feel like they fi­nally have clo­sure over how she died and what re­ally hap­pened, and can lay all the nag­ging doubts and con­spir­acy the­o­ries to rest.”

In a fur­ther twist, Mclaren claims Trevor Rees-jones – the body­guard of Diana’s lover, Dodi Fayed, and the only per­son to sur­vive the crash – was the one who helped him track down the taxi driver.

At the time of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the crash, po­lice con­cluded that there was no other ve­hi­cle in­volved, despite the fact that foren­sic ex­perts found ev­i­dence of paint sam­ples from a Fiat linked to the hor­ror.

In­stead, in­ves­ti­ga­tors con­cluded that Diana’s “in­tox­i­cated” driver, Henri Paul – who also died at the scene – was to blame.

But now, with the new find­ings, which if cor­rect only prove that Van Thanh was be­hind the wheel of the car that clipped Diana’s, there’s hope Wil­liam and Harry can fi­nally put the hor­ror of their mother’s death be­hind them.

“They’ve both taken a very hands-on role in re­cent years to find out what hap­pened and why,” says the source.

“Now they have all their an­swers and can fi­nally move on.”

Wil­liam and Harry fi­nally have an­swers to the ques­tions that have haunted them for years sur­round­ing their mother’s death.

In 1999, de­tec­tives dis­cov­ered that Van Thanh (right) had had his white Fiat re­sprayed red just hours af­ter the crash (above).

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