The Princess of Wales’ love life has been pushed back into the spotlight after the latest season of Netflix’s popular drama, The Crown, was released. Fans have been fascinated to see the fictionalised series cover Diana’s transition from a quiet teenager into the most photographed woman in the world, as well as the gradual collapse of her marriage to Prince Charles. The next season is expected to cover her official separation from the Prince of Wales, their subsequent divorce and her devastating death on August 31, 1997.
Public interest in Diana was still high after her split from Charles, and claims that she might marry again regularly circled.
Some believed she and her last boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, fell deeply in love during the course of their two-month relationship and could have tied the knot — however, a royal biographer has since dismantled this claim.
Howard Hodgson wrote in his book, ‘Charles — The Man Who Will Be King’, that the royal had been clear to rule out walking down the aisle again when talking to a friend.
He wrote: “On August 30 she was more explicit in a conversation with Lady Annabel Goldsmith when she claimed that she needed a new marriage like a ‘bad rash on her face’.”
While this shows Diana’s state of mind towards Dodi just before her death, this was by no means the first time she had been dismissive of her new fling.
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Dodi Fayed was dating Diana when they both died after a car crash in 1997
Just two weeks before, she is believed to have suggested to her friend Rosa Monckton that although she was fond of Dodi, she did not expect to end up in a long-term relationship with him.
Another close companion, Lana Marks, was told by Diana that she intended to make Dodi a “past chapter” in her life during a conversation on August 23.
This claim was repeated once more when she told another pal, Roberto Devorik, that Dodi was just a “summer romance”.
Yet, Dodi’s father Mohamed Al-Fayed and Diana’s stepmother Raine Spencer were adamant that the couple would eventually wed.
Raine claimed during the 2007 inquest into the Paris car crash that it was “highly likely” the couple would have become engaged, as her stepdaughter thought it was “suddenly the most marvellous thing to happen to her”.
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Diana pictured on holiday with the Fayed family during her last summer
She added: “It is very disrespectful to Diana and to Dodi and all concerned to call their relationship just a summer romance.”
Diana and Dodi died in the same car crash, in Paris.
Another popular theory within royal circles is that the Princess of Wales was trying to make a former boyfriend jealous by dating Dodi.
She dated a Pakistani surgeon called Hasnat Khan for two years prior to meeting Dodi, and although their romance was far less high-profile, he is thought to have captured the royal’s heart.
Her friend Rosa even said at Diana’s inquest: “It was clear to me that she was really missing Hasnat and I think Dodi was just a distraction from the hurt she felt from the break-up.
“She was very much in love with [Hasnat]. She hoped they would have a future together. She wanted to marry him.”
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Hasnat Khan may have been the man who captured Diana’s heart, according to some sources
Diana with Jemima Khan in Pakistan — Khan later said Diana was considering marrying Hasnat
However, it is thought Mr Khan could not cope with the public scrutiny that came with dating one of the world’s most famous women.
They split months before she died — but Diana was allegedly still trying to get in contact with him in her final week.
Mr Hodgson explained she tried to call her ex-boyfriend, only to reach his uncle instead, and so passed on the message that she was looking forward to seeing Hasnat again soon.
Some sources believe Diana was so besotted with Hasnat, she was willing to move to Pakistan to be with him.
Her friend Jemima Khan told Vanity Fair: “She came to visit me twice in Pakistan to help fundraise for Imran’s hospital but both times she also went to meet his family secretly to discuss the possibility of marriage to Hasnat.”
Diana was married to Charles for 16 years and she is thought to have been deeply in love with him
Yet, Mr Hodgson’s biography implies that marriage was truly off the cards for Diana after her divorce.
He speculated: “If she couldn’t make her fairytale work with her true prince charming, her first love and only husband, she was unlikely to make it with anyone.”
‘Charles — The Man Who Will Be King’ by Howard Hodgson was published in 2007 by John Blake Publishing and is available here.