A Complete Timeline of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed’s Relationship
The first part of the final season of The crown focuses heavily on Princess Diana and her relationship with Dodi Al Fayed, the son of Mohammed Al Fayed. The first episodes of season six, played by Elizabeth Debicki and Khalid Abdalla respectively, show their brief romance.
“The funny thing is that everyone is focusing on the crash,” Abdalla said City & Country. “And strangely enough, they miss this fantastic summer that Dodi and Diana had together. From an acting perspective, that’s the real challenge – and that’s been the real fun to discover. They fall in love”, but you know what happened next. Look at the footage of Diana at the time, and she was very happy. It was a real pleasure for Dodi, as a character who makes Diana happy, to have those scenes with a happy Diana.”
Here’s the full timeline of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed’s brief relationship:
Sometime in the late 1980s: Princess Diana meets Mohammed Al Fayed
After Mohammed, an Egyptian businessman, bought the iconic Harrods department store in 1985, he came into the orbit of the British royal family, including Princess Diana. They met numerous times over the years and even attended a charity dinner together at Harrods in 1996.
During this time, Diana reportedly first met Dodi at a polo match in Windsor in 1986.
The then Prince Charles and Princess Diana separated in 1992, but would not formally divorce until August 1996. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip supported a divorce in late 1995, which was finalized less than a year later.
“Having considered the current situation, the Queen wrote to both the Prince and Princess earlier this week and, supported by the Duke of Edinburgh, gave them her view that an early divorce is desirable. The Prince of Wales also shares this view and has been known to the Princess of Wales since the letter,” Buckingham Palace said in a December 1995 statement. “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will continue to do all they can to to help and support the Prince and Princess of Wales, and most especially their children, during this difficult time.”
Charles and Diana split custody of their children.
July 1997: The romance between Diana and Dodi begins
In the summer of 1997, Mohammed invited Princess Diana and her sons, Princes William and Harry, to a family holiday in the south of France. She accepts the invitation and ends season five The crown shows Diana packing for this trip.
At that time, Diana was no longer in a relationship with Hasnat Khan, a British-Pakistani surgeon. (Here’s a guide to all of Diana’s boyfriend rumors.) Khan said of Dodi, “She wanted to be with someone who was happy to be seen in public with her and she could do that with Dodi.” He added, “I think Diana finally realized that Al Fayed could give her everything I couldn’t. He had money and could provide her with the necessary security..”
Diana and her sons will join the Fayed family on their yacht and at their villa, Castle St. Therese, for a trip from July 11 to 20. Prince Harry would write later his memoirs, Reserve, “Everything about that trip to St. Tropez was heavenly.” He explains, “We were at Mom’s house weeks earlier she met him for the first time in St. Tropez’ – he refers to Dodi – ‘We had a wonderful time, just the three of us, staying in an old gentleman’s villa.’ At the time, Dodi was dating (and possibly engaged to) American model Kelly Fisher, but a romance soon blossoms between Dodi and Diana.
August 1997: Diana continues to see Dodi
After Princes William and Harry went to Balmoral in Scotland with Prince Charles for the summer holidays, Diana continues to make commitments. She flies back to the south of France, where she and Dodi spend time together aboard the Jonikal in early August, where they are captured by paparazzi photographer Mario Brenna, who sells the photos to the Sunday mirror for record prices. The photos first appeared on August 10, 1997 with the headline “THE KISS” as Diana traveled to Bosnia to publicize her work on landmines.
Despite the press around them, after going to Greece with Rosa Monckton, Diana returns to Saint Tropez on August 21, 1997 to go on holiday with Dodi again. On August 24, 1997, Diana is famously photographed sitting at the end of the yacht’s diving board.
Also during this trip, Diana and Dodi visit Monaco, where they visit the Repossi boutique. The WashingtonPost later reported: “Alberto Repossi said in a telephone interview today that the couple unexpectedly entered the branch of his store in Monaco about 10 days before the August 30 car accident that killed them. The couple was on holiday on the Riviera at the time. They were only in the store for four to five minutes, Repossi said, because they already knew which ring they wanted. They had seen it in a Repossi advertisement in the September edition of a fashion magazine, L’Officiel de la Couture et de la Mode de Paris.”
August 30 and 31, 1997
On August 30, 1997, Diana and Dodi fly to Paris, where they are going the Ritz Paris, owned by Mohammed Al Fayed. That same day, Dodi also goes to the Repossi store in Paris to pick up the ring they reportedly picked out in Monaco.
Like the Associated press reports“the day has been tense. The couple have had problems with paparazzi since their mid-afternoon arrival in Paris. First they followed Diana and Dodi from Le Bourget Airport outside Paris, en route to Villa Windsor – a country house that once housed the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and which Dodi’s father bought and renovated. Their driver managed to shake the photographers.” They try to have dinner at Chez Benoit, but paparazzi follow them, so they eat at the Ritz Paris, in the Imperial Suite.
After dinner they decide to go to an apartment Dodi owns, near the Champs-Elysées, and 20 minutes after midnight they leave the hotel. As paparazzi give chase, their car crashes into the Pont d’Alma tunnel in Paris. Dodi died instantly, and early that morning, August 31, Diana was pronounced dead at La Pitié Salpêtrière hospital.
Dodi was buried that evening, in accordance with Islamic tradition, after a funeral at the mosque in central London. Princess Diana’s funeral took place on September