Princess Diana’s former lover, heart specialist Hasnat Khan, has broken his silence a decade after they broke up and confessed that her death still haunts him.
“Sometimes I feel like screaming. There have been very bad times. I have moved on but it keeps coming back,” he said. Diana described Khan as “Mr Wonderful” and friends giving evidence into her death at a London inquest said she was still pining for him during a summer romance with Dodi al-Fayed.
Dodi and Diana were killed in a high-speed crash in a Paris road tunnel in August 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi photographers. Close confidante Rosa Monckton said during the inquest that Diana was “very much in love” with Khan.
“She hoped that they would be able to have a future together. She wanted to marry him.” Khan, interviewed at his home in Jhelum by The Sunday Telegraph and The Mail on Sunday, said he was unlikely to attend the London inquest, which has cast an intimate spotlight on Diana’s chequered love life.
“My lawyers advised me I do not have to attend. If that’s their advice, I won’t go. But if I find I have to go according to the law, I will go,” Khan said. Khan recently separated from his 29-year-old wife but declined to say why the arranged marriage broke down.
He is equally discreet about his relationship with Diana, said to have ended because he could not face the relentless media attention that pursued Diana around the globe. “Since she is not here, it would be very unfair to make a comment about her,” he said of Diana.
“I’m loyal to her not because she was a celebrity but because I’m loyal to all my friends. I’m like that.” Khan hoped the inquest would provide closure after a decade of remorseless speculation. “I hope the inquest clarifies everything. I hope people will move on,” he said.
The couple went to great pains to conceal their relationship with reports that Khan had even been smuggled into Diana’s Kensington Palace residence in London in the boot of her butler Paul Burrell’s car. Burrell is flying in from Florida to testify on Monday at the inquest.
Lord Justice Scott Baker, overseeing an inquest that could take up to six months and cost up to 10 million pounds ($20 million), hopes Burrell can cast new light on Diana’s last days as he had unrivalled access to her.