Princess Diana won the hearts of millions across the world — including Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan. Her friends Jemima Khan and Rosa Monckton shed some light on Diana’s relationship with Hasnat in a Vanity Fair article titled ‘The Grandmother Prince George Never Knew’, in the magazine’s upcoming September issue.
In the article, Jemima says that Diana, who dated the heart surgeon from 1995 and 1997, sought her advice during fundraising visits to Lahore. The relationship was broken off as sources say Hasnat refused to marry her.
Jemima has revealed that her late friend Princess Diana was so “madly in love” with Hasnat that she considered moving to Pakistan to be with him. “She wanted to know how hard it had been for me to adapt to a life in Pakistan,” Jemima told the magazine’s contributing editor Sarah Ellison, according to dailymail.co.uk. “She also went to meet [Hasnat’s] family secretly to discuss the possibility of marriage.”
Diana tried hard to impress Hasnat’s immediate family, specifically his mother, but despite her best efforts, it would appear that this second love would see Diana yet again falling on the wrong side of an influential family. Even though Diana had an aristocratic lineage — had married (and divorced) Prince Charles and was mother of the heir to the British throne — Hasnat’s mother wasn’t ready to approve of her son contemplating marriage with an English woman.
“For a son to marry an English girl is every conservative Pashtun mother’s worst nightmare,” Jemima added. “You send your son to be educated in England and he comes back with an English bride. It’s something they dread.”
Diana’s friend Rosa Monckton tells Vanity Fair that Hasnat was the one who initiated the break-up but her other friends believe that Diana ended it herself as Hasnat was not interested in getting married to her. Although the couple had discussed marriage — friends of Diana told the magazine that she wanted a daughter with Hasnat — the relationship fell apart when she met Dodi Al-Fayed (film producer and son of Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed). Rosa further insisted that Diana’s relationship with Dodi was just to make Hasnat jealous.
In Hasnat’s interview, as part of the Lord Stevens inquiry into Diana’s death, he called marriage “a ridiculous idea” and said, “I 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 doesn’t bother you there.”
Diana and Hasnat’s relationship will form the plot of the upcoming film titled Diana. Naomi Watts will play the title role. Vanity Fair revealed that when Hasnat was contacted by film-makers to share how his life with Diana was, he refused to cooperate, remaining very much the man Diana once described him to be, to a friend — “the one person who will never sell me out.”
The September issue of Vanity Fair will be available on news-stands in New York and Los Angeles on August 1.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2013.
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