In the third episode of its sixth and final season, Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ looks at the final day of Princess Diana. It begins with giving the audience a context of what was going on in Diana’s mind at the time. When the tragic crash happens on the screen, the audience knows that there were several factors in the play the night Diana died. Why did Diana go to Paris for a day? Why did she and Dodi choose to leave the Ritz? Why were they not in their own car, with their usual driver?
A lot of theories about it have emerged over the years, and ‘The Crown’ presents its own version, which is as much rooted in reality as possible, considering the exhaustive research that goes behind it. Through Diana’s perspective, we see how, at the last moment, the decision was made to take a different car and a different driver. The name of the car’s owner, Jean-Francois Musa, is mentioned a couple of times in the episode, but very little is known about him.
Jean-Francois Musa is the Owner of the Car in Which Diana Died
Jean-Francois Musa ran Etoile Limousines at the time of Diana’s death. The car company had a contract with the Paris Ritz to provide transportation to its guests, and its services were called upon to escort Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed on that fateful night.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, Etoile Limousines and the Ritz were criticized for not taking responsible action that night, especially considering that a few people knew Henri Paul, the driver, was drunk that night and shouldn’t have been allowed to drive. Musa was accused of allowing Paul to drive even though the driver didn’t meet the right requirements. It must be noted that no legal action was ever taken against Etoile Limousines, the Ritz, and Musa.
While some blame may have been pointed towards him, Musa claimed that he had expressed his dissatisfaction with the appointment of Paul as the driver at the time. He said he was unhappy with the decision because “Mr Paul was not a driver,” and it was “totally unusual to have a car of the company being driven by an external person.” It was also later revealed that the car had an unusual history of getting stolen and then being found in a state that called for fixing it.
Reportedly, the car, a Mercedes-Benz S280, originally belonged to a businessman named Eric Bousquet, from whom it was stolen and then found near Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. It was called a “wreck” and was later sold to Etoile Limousine for about $47,000. They fixed it up and then leased it to the Paris Ritz. The car was stolen again four months before Diana and Dodi got in it. It took heavy repairs of about 17,000 euros before it was sent back to work. Musa claimed that the car had a couple of problems and it was not suitable for driving at higher speeds. According to him, Etoile Limousine had raised the car’s issue with Mercedes to solve the problem.
Where is Jean-Francois Musa Now?
Now in his 60s, Jean-Francois Musa has a house in Paris but also spends a lot of time at his holiday home in Normandy. He enjoys a quiet and private life and has not appeared in the media or talked about his personal life in public. In 2022, Musa revealed his desire to have the car back in his possession because it was legally his. It was taken away by the authorities after the accident, and went through several investigations to make sure there was no foul play involved. Musa said that the vehicle should have been returned to him, but instead, he doesn’t even have an idea where it might be right now.
It is estimated that the car could fetch millions of pounds, but Musa revealed that he wants it to be displayed in a US museum in Diana’s honor. However, it doesn’t look like he’ll have it his way because the royal family has made it clear several times that they want it disposed of quietly and without a fuss, considering the pain it carries for them.