The final season of The Crown is expected to highlight the brief romance between Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, before the pair died in a car crash on 31 August 1997.
The beloved Netflix drama is about to make its return for a sixth season, with the first four episodes released on 16 November. The remaining six episodes of the season – part two – will be released on 14 December.
While Fayed and Diana’s relationship hasn’t been depicted in The Crown yet, season five of the series saw the British royal (played by Elizabeth Debicki) meeting his father, billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed (played by Aamir El-Masry and then Salim Daw), at a polo match in Windsor. After making conversation with Mohamed about the now-late Queen Elizabeth II, Diana then had a brief moment during the match where she smiled at Fayed (played by Khalid Abdalla).
Although viewers haven’t seen Fayed’s relationship with Diana yet, season five of The Crown did depict his relationship with model Kelly Fisher. In season six, viewers will likely see the fallout of that relationship, as Fayed was famously spotted kissing Diana shortly after he allegedly asked Fisher to marry him,
Here’s everything we know about Dodi Fayed, from how he allegedly met Diana to his role in the film industry.
Who was Dodi Fayed?
Growing up, Fayed, who was raised Muslim, lived a life of luxury, with his time spent between France and Egypt. He went to school at Le Rosay school in Switzerland before attending the British military academy Sandhurst. He then received a commission in the United Arab Emirates air force.
According to The Guardian, he had “a monthly allowance of £400,000” in his early twenties, as his billionaire father owned the Ritz hotel in Paris and the London department store Harrods.
He then entered a successful career as a filmmaker, which was showcased in season five of The Crown. He produced the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, which went on to win an Oscar. He was also known for his work on movies like Scarlet Letter, Breaking Glass, and Steven Spielberg’s Hook, which starred the late Robin Williams.
Throughout his years in the industry, there were reports that he dated numerous celebrities, including Brooke Shields, Cathy Lee Crosby, and Joanne Whalley.
How did he meet Diana and how long was their relationship?
In season five of The Crown, Fayed and Diana are depicted as meeting for the first time in 1986, during a polo match against Prince Charles at Windsor.
However, the pair didn’t start their relationship until 1997, when Fayed’s father invited the Princess of Wales and her children to be his guests aboard his yacht in St Tropez for the summer. The trip came one year after Diana’s heavily publicised divorce from the Princes of Wales, now King Charles III, and her more recent separation from surgeon Hasnat Khan.
After the polo match, Diana continued to spend time with Fayed, with pictures of their outings going on to make headlines. When a photo of them kissing was captured in August 1997, it reportedly became one of the most expensive paparazzi pictures ever sold.
On 30 August 1997, Fayed and Diana stopped for a night in Paris, where they stayed at the Ritz. The stay took place after they had spent nine days touring the Mediterranean on Mohamed’s yacht.
Before they could depart from the Paris hotel, a pack of press photographers had already assembled outside on the Place Vendome. In an attempt to escape the paparazzi, a Mercedes-Benz – in which Fayed and Diana were passengers – crashed in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in the French capital. Diana, who was 36 at the time, Fayed, and their chauffeur, Henri Paul, were killed in the crash.
According to Deadline, the story of Diana’s and Fayed’s deaths will reportedly be included in the final season of The Crown. “While we’re calmly carrying on, it’s fair to acknowledge that there’s a certain anxiety, a palpable sense of being slightly on edge. I mean, there’s bombshell sensitivity surrounding this one,” a source alleged to the publication.
Who was his ex-fiancée?
Fayed first met Fisher in Paris in July 1996, and they went on to allegedly get engaged after eight months of dating. In February 1997, the film producer reportedly proposed with a sapphire and diamond ring.
However, in August 1997, the film producer was photographed kissing Diana, with the pictures splashed on The Sunday Mirror’s front page. Fisher and her lawyer, Gloria Allred, then held a press conference in Beverly Hills, California, where it was announced that she was filing a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Fayed. The document claimed that Fayed wanted Fisher to put her “career in second place behind him and to spend more time with him and less on her modelling career”.
The lawsuit also claimed that Fisher wasn’t told about the kiss by Fayed, but learned about it when photos were “published and circulated around the world,” lead to “Miss Fisher’s utter dismay, shock and shame”. When the kiss was documented, Fisher had reportedly been staying on another yacht owned by the Fayed family. She was allegedly told not to contact Fayed again when she reached out to him about the kiss.
Shortly after Fayed and Diana died in the car crash, Fisher announced that she was dropping the lawsuit. “Kelly loved Dodi very much, and she is devastated by his loss, and that of Princess Diana,” she said through a representative. “Nothing is more important than the life of a human being. In the light of this enormous tragedy, Kelly forgives Dodi for all of his past injustices against her.”
The Crown season six part one arrives on Netflix on 16 November, with part two following on 14 December.