Thursday, September 28, 2023
HomeEntertainmentMohamed al-Fayed, ex-Harrods proprietor whose son died with Princess Diana, lifeless at...

Mohamed al-Fayed, ex-Harrods proprietor whose son died with Princess Diana, lifeless at 94

  • Died day prior to anniversary of son and Diana’s demise
  • Promoted discredited conspiracy idea over crash
  • Billionaire tolerated however now not embraced in Britain
  • Owned status quo symbols – Fulham FC, Ritz in Paris

LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Mohamed al-Fayed, the self-made Egyptian billionaire who purchased the Harrods division retailer and promoted the discredited conspiracy idea that the British royal circle of relatives used to be at the back of the demise of his son and Princess Diana, has died, his circle of relatives stated.

Born within the Egyptian town of Alexandria, al-Fayed started his profession promoting fizzy beverages after which labored as a sewing-machine salesman. He constructed his circle of relatives’s fortune in actual property, transport and building, first within the Heart East after which in Europe.

Even though al-Fayed owned status quo symbols similar to Harrods, Fulham and the Ritz resort in Paris, he used to be at all times an interloper in Britain, tolerated however now not embraced.

He fell out with the British govt over its refusal to grant him citizenship of the rustic that used to be his house for many years, and incessantly threatened to transport to France, which gave him the Legion of Honour, its absolute best civilian award.

Al-Fayed – who might be captivating, autocratic, vindictive, and from time to time wildly outspoken – spent 10 years looking to end up Diana and his son Dodi have been murdered when their automotive crashed in a highway tunnel in Paris in 1997 as they attempted to outrun paparazzi photographers on motorbikes.

Unsupported through any proof, consistent with the inquest into Diana’s demise, he claimed that she used to be bearing Dodi’s kid and accused Prince Philip, the queen’s husband, of ordering Britain’s safety services and products to kill her to prevent her marrying a Muslim and having his child.

Al-Fayed died on Wednesday, his circle of relatives stated, an afternoon prior to the twenty sixth anniversary of Dodi and Diana’s demise.

“Mrs Mohamed Al Fayed, her youngsters and grandchildren need to verify that her cherished husband, their father and their grandfather, Mohamed, has gave up the ghost peacefully of outdated age,” the circle of relatives commentary learn.

Whilst al-Fayed used to be recognized for self-invention, exaggeration, and boasting, he used to be additionally a central determine in key moments in Britain’s contemporary historical past.

His rancorous takeover of Harrods in 1985 sparked one in every of Britain’s maximum sour industry feuds, whilst in 1994 he brought about a scandal with the disclosure that he had paid politicians to invite questions about his behalf in parliament.

Like many billionaires, al-Fayed spurned conference. He as soon as stated he sought after to be mummified in a golden sarcophagus in a pitcher pyramid at the roof of Harrods.

On the retailer, the place he instituted a get dressed code – even for patrons – which he enforced in individual, he put in a kitsch bronze memorial statue of Diana and Dodi dancing underneath the wings of an albatross.

As the landlord of Fulham, he erected a larger-than-life, sequined statue of Michael Jackson outdoor the bottom although the singer best attended one fit. When other people complained, he stated: “If some silly fanatics do not perceive or recognize the sort of reward, they may be able to cross to hell.”


A lot of al-Fayed’s previous remained murky – even his date of delivery. He stated he used to be born in then British-ruled Egypt in 1933. On the other hand, a British govt inquiry into the Harrods takeover stated 1929.

Al-Fayed turned into resident in Britain in 1974 and added the al to his identify. Casting this as self-aggrandisement, the satirical mag Non-public Eye nicknamed him the “Phoney Pharaoh”.

In 1985 he and his brothers beat businessman Roland “Tiny” Rowland to Harrods, one of the crucial well-known stores on the earth.

Al-Fayed was hoping that purchasing the shop would win him acceptance in British society. As a substitute, it ended in a sequence of sour confrontations.

Rowland took al-Fayed and his brothers to a Division of Business inquiry, claiming that that they had misrepresented their wealth.

The inquiry forged doubt on their origins as a part of a rich industry circle of relatives, previous industry connections, and their impartial monetary assets.

After 1 / 4 of century of possession, al-Fayed bought Harrods to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund in 2010.

Al-Fayed’s utility for British citizenship used to be denied through the federal government in 1995. He stated racism saved him at the edge of acceptability.

A yr previous, al-Fayed had embarrassed the federal government through disclosing that he had made items and bills to politicians in go back for them asking parliamentary questions for him. The so-called “cash-for-questions” scandal ended the careers of 4 politicians, together with one minister.

The allegations of sleaze undermined the Conservatives, who misplaced a landslide election to Labour chief Tony Blair in 1997.


That summer time, al-Fayed’s son Dodi started a dating with Princess Diana, who had divorced Prince Charles, the inheritor to the British throne. Dodi and Diana have been pictured through British tabloids on vacation on a yacht within the south of France.

After travelling to Paris, the couple have been killed when their Mercedes, pushed at prime pace through a chauffeur who have been ingesting whisky and used to be looking to evade the paparazzi, crashed right into a concrete pillar within the Pont de l’Alma tunnel.

Beset through grief and an amazing sense of injustice, al-Fayed spent tens of millions on criminal battles to make sure there used to be an inquest.

When it began in London a decade after the crash, al-Fayed would accuse everybody from the royal circle of relatives, top minister Blair, Diana’s sister Sarah, the French embalmers of Diana’s frame, and the Paris ambulance drivers of being implicated.

However the jury stated the couple have been unlawfully killed through their chauffeur’s using. Al-Fayed stated he authorized the decision and gave up criminal makes an attempt to turn they have been murdered.

“I am leaving the remaining for God to get my revenge,” he stated.

Reporting through Andrew MacAskill; further reporting through Nilutpal Timsina in Bengaluru Modifying through Giles Elgood, Rosalba O’Brien and Andrew Heavens

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Consider Rules.

Gain Licensing Rights, opens new tab

Most Popular

%d bloggers like this: