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Perhaps Hasnat’s discretion, in the end, has been his greatest gift to Diana.
“Everybody sells me out,” she told a friend the summer of her death.
Diana’s closest confidants in her last years did not need an inquest to know the absurdity of Al Fayed’s claims. He was as understated as Dodi was flashy, as remote as Dodi was public, as somber as Dodi was carefree.
Not only was she not planning to marry Dodi Al Fayed, or pregnant with his child, they say, but she was in fact still “madly in love,” as one of them describes it, with another man, an unassuming Pakistani heart surgeon named Hasnat Khan. Though they were together for two years, Diana and Hasnat were largely unknown as a couple.
Al Fayed’s insistence on this plot outline—and on the allegation that Diana was pregnant when she died—has been so zealous that in 2008, more than 10 years after the fact, it engulfed what would otherwise have been a bureaucratic and largely pro forma coroner’s inquest into the deaths of Diana and Dodi.
But perhaps the best-known monument to the late Princess can be found in the basement of Harrods department store, which was, from 1985 to 2010, owned by Mohamed Al Fayed, the father of Dodi Al Fayed, with whom Diana had her last fling.
In September, the British production companies Embankment Films and Ecosse Films will release a movie called starring Naomi Watts in the title role and focusing on the last two years of Diana’s life and specifically on her relationship with Hasnat.