London, April 8 : Princes William and Harry, the sons of Princess Diana, have welcomed the final verdict of a jury at the London High Court - that their mother and her boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed were unlawfully killed in 1997.
In the verdict returned by the inquest in London into the couple's death, the jury said there had been gross negligence on the part of the couple's driver, Henri Paul, and the paparazzi pursuing them.
In a statement issued by Clarence House, the princes thanked the jury for accepting the disturbance to their lives over the past six months, reports the Telegraph.
They also thanked the only survivor of the Paris car crash, bodyguard Trevor Rees, and others who came forward to give evidence.
The statement also expressed the princes' deep gratitude to all who fought to save their mother's life on the night of the crash.
After hearing evidence for six months, the jury retired on Apr 2, and spent a total of nearly 24 hours deliberating five possible verdicts: unlawful killing by Mr Paul, the paparazzi or a combination of both; accidental death; or an open verdict. Lord Justice Scott Baker, the coroner, directed them to ignore Al Fayed's theories of a murder conspiracy.
On Apr 7, the jury concluded that Diana and her lover Dodi died because of gross negligence by both driver Henri Paul and the pursuing photographers.
The paparazzi, 10 of whom were arrested after the crash, will not face fresh legal proceedings in France, as a police inquiry there cleared them of any criminal responsibility.
The couple were killed alongside Paul when the Mercedes he was driving crashed in the Alma Tunnel in Paris on August 31, 1997.
Mohamed al-Fayed, Dodi's father and the owner of London's Harrod's department store, had charged that his son and Diana were killed by British security services on the orders of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband and Diana's former father-in-law.
Fayed said her killing was ordered because the royal family did not want the mother of the future king having a child with his son who was a Muslim.
He also alleged that Diana's body was embalmed to cover up evidence that she was expecting a baby.
But Scott Baker said Fayed's conspiracy theory was "without substance".
After the verdicts Al Fayed and his legal team went into a deep huddle, but said afterwards they had not decided whether to seek a judicial review in an attempt to overturn the jury's verdict.