Princess Diana, who died in a tragic car crash in 1997 at the age of 36, was madly in love with Hasnat Khan, a Pakistani heart surgeon, and wanted to marry him, even if that meant living in Pakistan, said Jemima Khan, a friend to the princess, of no relation to the surgeon told Vanity Fair.
“And that’s one of the reasons why we became friends.”
The Princess of Wales reportedly spent a lot of time trying to get to know members of the Khan family with the intent to quietly marry into it, which was not entirely acceptable.
For a “son to marry an English girl is every conservative Pashtun mother’s worst nightmare,” said Jemima Khan.
Even for Hasnat Khan, discussions of a secret wedding were thought to be “ridiculous”, reports NY Daily News
“I thought it was a ridiculous idea,” Khan was quoted as saying in his official interview with police after Princess Diana’s death, adding that he “told her that the only way I could see us having a vaguely normal life together would be if we went to Pakistan, as the press don’t bother you there.”
She saw he was “horrified by the secret wedding plan,” Daily Mail reporter Richard Kay, who was close to Princess Diana, told Vanity Fair. “Suddenly she saw all these pitfalls looming.”
Frustrated, their relationship spiraled downwards, and that was when she met Dodi Al Fayed — the new boyfriend that was with her in the car when she died in Paris.
Many friends interviewed by Vanity Fair believed the relationship with Al Fayed may have been only to make Khan jealous. He promised her a ring one day, according to Rosa Monckton, the former managing director of Tiffany & Co.
“Hasnat was a decent, intensely private man from a traditional, conservative Pakistani family, and he was worried about how it would work,” Jemima Khan added.
“And he hated the thought of being in the glare of publicity for the rest of his life.”