Princess Diana was ‘madly in love’ with Hasnat Khan and ‘wanted to marry him,’ friends
reveal in Vanity Fair profile
Ahead of a new biopic about the late Princess of Wales, a Vanity Fair profile details her tragic love story after divorcing from Britain’s Prince Charles.
Mario Testino/ Vanity Fair
Princess Diana covers the September issue of Vanity Fair.
Britain’s young new Prince George of Cambridge may never meet his paternal grandmother, but as her story prepares to go to the big screen in “Diana” this fall, the magazine presents a new account of the princess’ love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan in the last years before her death.
“Diana was madly in love with Hasnat Khan 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.
“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.
Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images
Dr. Hasnat Khan in London, 1997: Friends describe the former lover of Princess Diana as a ‘private’ man who was ‘worried about how it would work’ between them.
Even for Hasnat Khan, discussions of a secret wedding were thought to be “ridiculous.”
“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.”