When they perished in a car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997, Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, the Egyptian-born film magnate, were starting their relationship. In The Crown’s fifth season on Netflix, their relationship is now the main focus.
In “Mou Mou,” the third episode of Season 5, Dodi (played by Khalid Abdalla) is introduced to the audience. Dodi is driven to succeed in his own right as the son of billionaire Mohammed Al Fayed, who once owned The Ritz Paris and Harrods department store. Dodi has his sights set primarily on the film industry. Season 5 also depicts Princess Diana’s (Elizabeth Debicki) and Prince Charles‘ tumultuous divorce process (Dominic West). Their paths eventually cross, but we won’t see their complete story until Season 6.
Diana and Dodi began dating after she took Prince William and Harry on vacation with his family in St. Tropez. Model Kelly Fisher would later assert that she and Dodi were still engaged when the tabloids began publishing stories about his romance with Diana. (Erin Richards plays Fisher in The Crown.) Following, we detail Diana and Dodi’s relationship, including how they met and who Dodi was previously married to.
They Reportedly Meet For The First Time In 1986
According to The Independent, Diana first met Dodi at a polo match in 1986 when he took on her ex-husband, Prince Charles. It would be another 11 years before they would meet up again. In the third episode of Season 5, when Mohammed Al Fayed introduces the Princess of Wales to his son, The Crown depicts a recounting of this supposed encounter.
1986: Dodi Marries
According to his obituary in The Independent, Dodi wed model Suzanne Gregard in the same year. However, after only eight months of marriage, the two quickly divorced.
Dodi And Kelly’s Engagement Is Announced In 1997. Diana Starts Dating Him After Spending A Holiday With His Family In St. Tropez
According to reports, the movie producer was engaged to model Kelly Fisher before he got back in touch with Princess Diana. But the engagement was broken off after Dodi started dating Diana while she was on vacation in St. Tropez in the summer of 1997 with Prince William, Prince Harry, and his family.
She reportedly wrote him a tender letter after the break to thank him for the trip. According to the Associated Press, the note said, “This comes with all the love in the world and as always, a million heartfelt thanks for bringing such joy into this chick’s life.” The Sunday Mirror published a shocking paparazzi photo of Diana and Dodi kissing and cuddling in August of that same year, confirming their relationship.
In response, Fisher hired well-known attorney Gloria Allred to represent her in her lawsuit against Dodi. In the case, Fisher claimed that Dodi had asked Fisher to put her modeling career on hold so that they could focus on their relationship. Fisher’s modeling career had already landed her covers in Elle, W, and other magazines.
Allred reportedly stated that Dodi bought Fisher the sapphire and diamond ring at an emotional press appearance when Fisher sobbed “emotionally carried her to the altar and left her just before it. With no consideration for her, he callously wasted her love.”
Fisher was unaware of Dodi’s affair with Diana until “the ‘kiss shot’ that was released and spread around the world to Miss Fisher’s utter dismay, astonishment, and embarrassment,” according to Allred.
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On August 31st, 1997, They Are Both Killed In A Car Crash
The couple’s Mediterranean yachting vacation ended on August 30th when they sailed into Paris, France. They stayed at the Ritz, owned by Dodi’s dad, Mohammed. BBC stated that at 6:00 a.m. on August 31st, the two men and driver Henri Paul and bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones left the hotel in a car. Paul, reportedly drunk and high at the time, lost control of the vehicle and crashed as paparazzi chased them into the Pont de L’Alma tunnel.
The Associated Press reports that the crash killed both Dodi and Paul instantly. A French doctor who responded to the scene and tried to help said that Diana recovered consciousness for a few seconds after the attack but later succumbed to her wounds in a hospital in Paris. Only Rees-Jones made it out alive. According to Mohammed’s spokesman, Dodi and Diana were allegedly engaged at the time of their deaths.
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