Princess Diana
Pictured: Princess Diana wearing a Jasper Conran suit during a visit to a community centre in Brixton, October 1983. Getty Images/Princess Diana Archive

Princess Diana’s fatal injury was actually very tiny, but it resulted in her death because it was in the wrong place.

UK’s top forensic pathologist Dr. Richard Shepherd investigated the death of the Princess of Wales and shared his insights on what might have really happened on the night of Aug. 31, 1997.

According to Shepherd, Princess Diana actually suffered from just a few broken bones and a small chest injury but one that included a tiny tear in a vein in one of her lungs.

Following the car crash, the mom of two was transported to an ambulance where she lost consciousness and suffered from cardiac arrest. Upon arriving at the hospital, Princess Diana underwent surgery in an attempt to repair her fractured vein. But sadly, it was already too late.

“Her initial period of consciousness and initial survival after the accident is characteristic of a tear to a vital vein. Anatomically, it’s hidden away, deep in the center of the chest,” Shepherd told Daily Mail.

According to the forensic pathologist, veins are not subject to the same high-pressure pumping as arteries and veins also bleed much more slowly. As such, identifying it as a problem is hard and repairing it is even harder.

“Diana’s was a very small injury – but in the wrong place. Diana’s death is a classic example of the way we say, after almost every death: if only… If only she had hit the seat in front at a slightly different angle, if only she had been thrown forward 10mph more slowly…” Shepherd said.

But the what ifs are not as important as the one that was actually within Princess Diana’s control. According to Shepherd, if only Princess Diana wore a seatbelt and had been restrained by it, she would have appeared in public two days later with only a black eye, fractured ribs, and a broken arm in a sling.

Unfortunately, Princess Diana passed away from the incident.