Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed are lounging on the sundeck of a reportedly £15 million yacht in The Crown’s season six episode “Two Images” when Dodi’s domineering father telephones an onboard worker with an pressing query.
“Are they sleeping collectively?” Mohamed Al Fayed calls for to know.
It’s an audacious query—however Mohamed actually was checking in on the couple hourly throughout this August 1997 cruise, in keeping with Tom Bower, who wrote an unauthorized biography of the billionaire referred to as Fayed. The late princess was conscious that these calls have been coming in—a lot in order that she joked to Dodi, “God is looking,” when she heard a hoop, in keeping with Dodi’s religious healer, Myriah Daniels, who was onboard. In 2007, throughout the inquest into the 1997 crash that killed the princess, Dodi, and their driver, Henri Paul, Daniels stated that this turned one among Diana’s inside jokes with Dodi. “They’d each have a giggle,” she stated.
Diana had vacationed with Mohamed, in addition to Prince William and Prince Harry, aboard the Jonikal earlier that summer time. As depicted in The Crown’s season six episode “Persona Non Grata,” that first Jonikal trip featured Jet Skis and a flirtation between Diana and the flotilla of press close by.
“The younger princes didn’t like [the trip] a lot,” Tina Brown writes in The Palace Papers. “The flash and extra of [Mohamed’s] hospitality—the groaning buffets and the palatial bogs—embarrassed William specifically.” Dodi, who was requested by his father to affix the journey halfway, didn’t assist issues by making the “oddly flamboyant gesture of renting a disco for William and Harry to take pleasure in privately,” in keeping with royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith in Diana in Search of Herself.
Mohamed was a controversial determine who lengthy craved social acceptance by the British elite, and hoped a relationship between his son and the recently-divorced Diana would seal the deal.
Throughout the summer time of 1997, the billionaire ordered Dodi to drop the whole lot—together with his mannequin fiancée, Kelly Fisher—and romance the late princess. Talking about Mohamed, Bedell Smith beforehand informed Self-importance Truthful, “He was actually the puppet grasp behind Dodi and Diana’s very transient, barely greater than a month, romance…. Dodi principally did no matter his father informed him to do.”
Diana’s affiliation with Mohamed prompted critical backlash within the press. “Lately, Diana, you’re not the Teflon Princess,” warned Andrew Morton, the biographer behind her bridge-burning tell-all, Diana: Her True Story, in The Solar. “You may need the run of a £20 million yacht, however your folks and followers see a lady who’s drifting on the ocean of life, significantly in peril of turning into shipwrecked.” Referring to Diana’s cat-and-mouse sport with the paparazzi throughout that preliminary journey, columnist Judith Whelan wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald, “Diana has been erratic earlier than. This time, nevertheless, she has completed it whereas hosted by one of the reviled males in Britain.”