As of the sixth and final season of Netflix Crown In the debut, revisiting Princess Diana’s final years, attention is once again drawn to her relationship with Dodi Fayed, who tragically died in a car accident with the royal family in 1997.
The hit show first introduced Dodi in an episode of season five, where he was identified as the son of billionaire Mohammed Al Fayed, owner of Harrods department store and The Ritz Paris. Dodie was portrayed as a young man eager to make his own path and setting his sights on the Hollywood film industry. Within the royal family, the fifth season featured a slow unraveling of the marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. Their story is carried forward in the latest season as Dodi and Diana finally meet (again).
Dodi was born on April 15, 1955 in Egypt, while Diana was born on July 1, 1961 in Britain. However, their paths eventually crossed and the two had a deep love affair before the accident that shocked the world. While the couple tried to keep things private, the tabloids followed them constantly. And although they are mainly remembered for the public scrutiny they endured, the couple have a sweet history and apparently kissed each other before their untimely demises.
Below, we explore the beginning and tragic end of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed’s relationship.
1986: A brief encounter at polo
According to IndependentDiana and Dodi first met in 1986 at a polo match in Windsor, where the princess watched her then-husband Prince Charles play.
In The Crown, Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki, is portrayed enjoying a warm meeting with Dodi’s father, Mohammed, who briefly introduces her to his son, Dodi, played by Khalid Abdullah.
1986: Dodi gets married
Despite his playboy lifestyle, which linked him to starlets like Winona Ryder and Brooke Shields, Dodi was briefly married to Suzanne Greengard. However, according to his obituary, the marriage lasted only eight months.
1997: From St. Tropez with Love
In 1997, Princess Diana, who had been separated from Prince Charles for three years, was invited to enjoy a holiday in St. Tropez with Mohammed al-Fayed, his family and their children, Prince William and Prince Harry Was.
During this holiday Dodi and Diana got to know each other and formed a relationship.
After returning home, Diana reportedly wrote to “Darling Dodi” to express her gratitude for the visit. “This comes with all the love in the world and, as always, a heartfelt thank you for bringing so much joy into this girl’s life,” the letter read. associated Press, What happened next is a bit of a mystery, but rumors of grand gestures for Diana on Dodi’s part include filling the room with roses and sending her baskets of exotic fruits.
Eventually, a romance began between the two that immediately caught the world’s attention The Sunday Mirror Photos of kisses and affectionate behavior were published by paparazzi during the vacation. Not only did this confirm their relationship, but the photos were reportedly sold for $2 million USD, prompting photographers to make every possible effort to capture a royal photo.
1997: The Kelly of It All
Elsewhere, drama erupted as it was alleged that Dodi was still engaged to model Kelly Fisher when he began pursuing Diana. Then, in a twist, Fisher hired celebrity attorney Gloria Allred to take legal action against the heir for breach of contract. In the lawsuit, she claimed that Dodi pressured her to put her burgeoning modeling career on hold to prioritize their relationship before leaving her alone.
At a famous press conference, Allred held Fischer’s hand, which still had on it the sapphire and diamond engagement ring that Dodi had given her. Allred reportedly said that Dodi “led (Fischer) emotionally to the altar and then abandoned her when they were almost there. “He threw her love away mercilessly without caring about her.”
The lawsuit also claimed that Fischer learned of Dodi’s romance with Diana after the famous paparazzi photos “were published and broadcast around the world, causing Ms. Fischer great dismay, shock and embarrassment.”
August 31, 1997: tragedy in Paris
After a vacation along the Mediterranean Sea, the couple arrived in Paris, where they spent the night at the Hotel Ritz, owned by Dodi’s father. In the early hours of 31 August, the two left the hotel in a Mercedes-Benz car with their bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, and driver, Henry Paul.
Constantly pursued by the paparazzi, Paul, who was drunk and under the influence of drugs at the time, lost control after turning into the Pont de l’Alma tunnel and crashed. Dodi and Paul died instantly from the effects, while Diana briefly regained consciousness before succumbing to her injuries in a Paris hospital. Rees-Jones miraculously survived.
Although it was never confirmed, a spokesperson for Mohammed claimed that Dodi had bought her an engagement ring just hours before her death.
The death of the ‘People’s Princess’ was mourned worldwide and following mass outrage, an 18-month French judicial investigation was filed. No paparazzi were held responsible for the accident, but Paul was found solely responsible.
In September 2005, eight years after their deaths, Mohammed al-Fayed unveiled a bronze bust of the late lovers at Harrods department store. It depicts the two holding hands and standing together as a free eagle. Mohammed, who died in August 2023 at the age of 94, strongly urged for further investigation into their deaths, as he believed the accident was a planned murder by the royal family. This conspiracy theory has been gaining traction among the public and has reportedly almost sparked an anti-royalist revolution.