She was the most photographed woman in the world — and now haunting images of Princess Diana‘s last moments have been released for the first time as part of an official new inquest into her death.

In one of the never-before-seen photos, 36-year-old Diana smiles blissfully at a security camera while sharing an elevator with beau Dodi Fayed in Paris’ Ritz hotel a few hours before her death.

Police say the hotel’s security cameras were set at different times, but it was shortly after midnight on Aug. 31, 1997, when Diana and Dodi walked out of the Ritz and climbed into the back seat of their death car — an armored Mercedes sedan.

Dodi’s security guard Henri Paul took the wheel, rocketing through the darkened streets of Paris into a tunnel where he lost control and slammed the Mercedes into a pillar. The impact crushed the 4,500-pound vehicle like a tin can, sending shards of broken glass and twisted metal flying.

Tests showed Paul’s blood alcohol level was 0.175 percent — three times the legal limit in France. Traces of the antidepressant Prozac and the tranquilizer Tiapride were also found in his blood.

Photos taken seconds before the crash show the driver with a wild, wide-eyed expression.

As smoke billowed from the crumpled car, emergency rescue crews raced to the scene. But it was too late. Dodi and Henri Paul were dead — killed on impact.

The lovely Diana — her looks virtually untouched — died four hours later at a nearby hospital.

The only survivor, bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, has no memory of the crash.

Pick up this week’s ENQUIRER to see the never-before-seen photos of Diana’s last hours alive!