There is no shortage of pictures and stories, however, to fill the void, including the latest in the September issue of Vanity Fair, “The Grandmother Prince George Never Knew.” The story details how Diana was “madly in love” with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, with whom she was in a two-year relationship before her death in 1997.
Their secret romance is also the focus of the film “Diana,” starring Naomi Watts, which hits theaters in September.
“Diana was madly in love with Hasnat Khan and wanted to marry him, even if that meant living in Pakistan,” her close friend Jemima Khan, the former wife of Hasnat’s distant cousin Imran Khan, told Vanity Fair for the article.
Khan said Diana came to visit her twice in Pakistan to fundraise for Imran’s hospital but also to secretly discuss marriage to Hasnat.
“She wanted to know how hard it had been for me to adapt to life in Pakistan and she wanted advice on how to deal with Pakistani men and their cultural baggage,” Khan said.
According to the article, the former Princess of Wales even spent time with Hasnat’s family while seeking the approval of his mother, Naheed. As Khan pointed out, “to marry an English girl is every conservative Pashtun mother’s worst nightmare.”
Ultimately, Diana’s global fame proved too much for the relationship.
“Hasnat was a decent, intensely private man from a traditional, conservative Pakistani family, and he was worried about how it would work,” Jemima Khan told Vanity Fair. “And he hated the thought of being in the glare of publicity for the rest of his life.”
When their relationship fell apart, Diana began seeing Dodi Al Fayed, friends told Vanity Fair, in order to make Hasnat jealous.
Hasnat has never spoken publicly about their relationship and did not cooperate with filmmakers of the new biopic.
Diana and Al Fayed died in a fiery car crash in Paris while trying to escape the paparazzi.