Princess Diana had a fling with Dodi Fayed the summer she tragically died. After getting divorced from then-Prince Charles and splitting from boyfriend Hasnat Khan, Diana was single heading into the summer of 1997 — until she met Dodi, an Egyptian filmmaker, through his father, billionaire businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed. Diana and Dodi were dating for only one month when they were both killed in a car accident in Paris in August 1997.
The final season of The Crown, premiering November 16 on Netflix, will explore Diana and Dodi’s brief romance that ended with their tragic deaths. Keep reading for the pair’s complete relationship timeline.
1986: Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed Meet at a Polo Match
Diana and Dodi actually met in 1986, over ten years before they fell in love. They crossed paths at a polo match where Dodi was playing against Charles at Windsor Great Park, according to various reports. At the time, the Princess of Wales was married to Charles. Dodi, meanwhile, got married to model Susanne Gregard that year, but they divorced in 1987.
1992: Princess Diana Goes to Dodi Fayed’s Movie Premiere
On April 7, 1992, Diana brought her sons Prince William and Prince Harry to the London premiere of Hook. Dodi was an executive producer on the film starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, and Julia Roberts.
Jim Hart, a screenwriter for Hook, told Vanity Fair in 2011 that Dodi “admired and revered” Diana “from afar” at the premiere. “He talked about her, what a great lady she was,” Jim claimed.
July 1997: Princess Diana Goes on Vacation with Dodi Fayed’s Father
Diana formed a friendship with Mohamed Al-Fayed following her 1996 divorce from Prince Charles. In July 1997, Mohamed — who was the owner of Harrods department store — invited Diana and her two sons to his yacht, the Jonikal, in Saint Tropez, France. Mohamed invited Dodi to join them on the ship, which he did despite being allegedly engaged to American model Kelly Fisher. Rumors say that Dodi secretly split time between Diana and Kelly in France, before he started a secret relationship with the Princess of Wales.
August 10, 1997: Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed Kiss in Photos
Diana and Dodi’s relationship was exposed on August 10, 1997, when The Sunday Mirror published photos of the couple kissing on the Jonikal. Five days later, Kelly sued Dodi for breaking their engagement. She claimed they were supposed to get married on August 9, 1997 but Dodi left her for Diana, according to PEOPLE. Dodi’s representatives reportedly denied that he was ever engaged to Kelly. She later dropped the lawsuit.
August 23, 1997: Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed Vacation in France Again
With their romance now public, Diana and Dodi took another week-long vacation in the south of France on August 23, 1997. They were constantly followed by the paparazzi while they were aboard Mohamed’s yacht during the trip. Years later, Mohamed reportedly claimed that Diana and Dodi got engaged during their final vacation together, but that has not been proven to be true.
August 31, 1997: Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed Are Killed in Paris
Diana and Dodi went to Paris on August 30, 1997 and had dinner at the Ritz. They left the hotel in the backseat of a black Mercedes with Henri Paul, their driver, and Trevor Rees-Jones, their bodyguard who sat in the passenger seat. While attempting to escape from the paparazzi chasing them, Henri crashed the car into a pillar in Paris’ Pont de l’Alma tunnel. Dodi, who was 42, and Henri were both killed on impact, while Diana died at the hospital hours later. Trevor was the sole survivor of the crash. It was later revealed that Henri had been driving the limousine under the influence. Diana, Dodi, and Henri were all not wearing seatbelts in the crash, an investigation found.
The year after Diana and Dodi’s death, Muhamed created a memorial to them that was unveiled at Harrods. In 2005, a second memorial, a bronze statue titled “Innocent Victims,” was put on display at the department store.