Princess Diana
Levine described Princess Diana as friendly and relaxed during her sitting.Gemma Levine

Sunday, 31 August marks 17 years since Princess Diana died in a Paris car crash.

She initially survived the accident but was taken to hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning where doctors tried for two hours to save her. She died at 0300 BST.

The crash happened after the princess left the Ritz Hotel in the French capital with her companion, Dodi Al Fayed – son of former Harrods owner, Mohammed Al Fayed – who died in the crash. The driver was also killed and a bodyguard was seriously injured.

French authorities investigating the crash found the driver had a high level of alcohol when the crash happened. The paparazzi closely following Princess Diana's vehicle was also scrutinised.

The princess' Mercedes was apparently being pursued at high speed by photographers on motorbikes when it hit a pillar and smashed into a wall.

In a statement Buckingham Palace said the Queen and the Prince of Wales were "deeply shocked and distressed".

Princess Diana's state funeralBBC

Prince Charles broke the news of their mother's death to Princes William and Harry at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where the royal family was holidaying for the summer.

French authorities began a criminal investigation and questioned seven photographers.

However, no charges were brought against the paparazzi who had been pursuing the princess' car.

From that time on, the behaviour of the press came under closer scrutiny and the code governing the British media was tightened in December 1997.

Around one million people lined central London's streets to see the Princess' funeral cortege as it made its way to Westminster Abbey in early September 1997.

Born Lady Diana Spencer, Diana became the Princess of Wales when she married Prince Charles in 1981. They had two children – Princes William and Harry – before they divorced in 1996.