It was 1995 and Princess Diana was swept up in a media frenzy after her historical interview with Martin Bashir aired (now declared deceitful). This was the first time that the Princess confessed on British TV that she had been unfaithful to Prince Charles. She also addressed her struggle with postpartum depression, bulimia, self-harm and the tensions in her marriage.
Amidst rising speculation into her life, her chance encounter with Dr Hasnat Khan was “refreshing”. He was unlike any other man she had met. With his “dark-brown velvet eyes that you could just sink into” and Diana’s yearning for normalcy, he was all that she needed.
However, we all know how Princess Diana’s story ends. Tragic and mysterious. Nonetheless, with tell-all books, TV shows and Movie adaptations her story has been told and re-told numerous times. However, there is still very little known about the man Diana dubbed “Mr Wondeful”.
Therefore, FUCHSIA magazine scoured online archives and brings to you 7 lesser-known facts about Dr Hasnat Khan – the man Diana called her “one true love”.
1. Princess Diana Spent Three Weeks Pursuing Dr Hasnat Khan
In September 1995 Diana visited a friend’s husband who was recovering from heart surgery at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital. Dr Hasnat Khan happened to be one of the doctors who had assisted in the triple bypass surgery and upon meeting him Diana was instantly attracted to him. She later told her energy healer, Simone Simmons, that she had met her “Mr Wonderful”. Soon after, Diana visited the hospital almost every day for three weeks to pursue him. (Source: The Guardian)
2. They Had Their First Date Just Two Weeks After They Met
It took two weeks for them to go on their first date – which was in the form of a visit to Dr Hasnat’s Uncle Omar and Aunt Jane’s house to pick up some books. They drove together to Stratford-upon-Avon, met Hasnat’s extended family, had dinner and came back to London. This was the point where their friendship finally turned into a relationship. According to transcription of an interview Dr Hasnat Khan gave to the police, he said that he ‘hadn’t thought Diana would agree to accompany him and he was very surprised when she did’. (Source: Vanity Fair)
3. They Often Enjoyed Their KFC Dinners In Secrecy, Away From The Public Eye
In an effort to keep their relationship private from the public eye, and more importantly the paparazzi, Princess Diana and Dr Hasnat Khan would meet in secrecy. Diana would often disguise herself with a black wig and dark sunglasses, while Dr Hasnat would arrive with KFC for dinner – hidden under a blanket in her butler’s car to avoid detection. They would often split their time between Kensington Palace and Hasnat’s Chelsea neighbourhood. This is how they spent time together for two years without any detection. (Source: Tina Brown in The Diana Chronicles).
4. The Princess Called Him “Dr Armani”
Moreover, in the initial stages of their relationship, Princess Diana would leave messages for Dr Hasnat Khan at the Royal Brompton Hospital using the alias, “Dr Armani” and they would meet in unusual places to avoid the media. (Source: The Guardian)
5. Princess Diana Had Asked Imran Khan To Intervene & Save Their Relationship
Having failed to keep their relationship a secret, Dr Hasnat Khan was under extensive public scrutiny and even received numerous death threats in the mail. This made him wonder if any semblance of a “normal” life was possible with the Princess and he decided he couldn’t marry her.
Not dissuaded by his decision, Diana tried her best to win over his family and even visited them during her many philanthropic visits to Pakistan. On one such visit in 1997, the Princess met up with Imran and Jemima Khan. She asked Jemima how hard it had been for her to adapt to life in Pakistan and how she could deal with “Pakistani men and their cultural baggage”.
Diana also discussed her relationship with Imran Khan (a distant relative of Dr Hasnat Khan), who promised to speak to him on her behalf. However, before Imran Khan could make his way back to London, but unfortunately, Diana had passed away already by then. (Source: Kate Snell, author of the book Diana: Her Last Love).
6. Failed Marriage & Subsequent Secretive Engagement
After Diana’s untimely and tragic demise, Hasnat Khan married Hadia Sher Ali (who came from Afghan nobility) in 2006. It was an unhappy marriage and lasted only two years (Source: UberAlles).
However, in 2017, news hit the UK tabloids that Hasnat Khan had gotten engaged to Somi Sohail. They were last publically seen together at the Chain of Hope charity ball and Somi has declared herself as Somi Khan- alluding to their possible marriage, which still remains to be confirmed (Source: Scottish Daily Mail).
7. Dr Hasnat Established A Cardiac Unit In Pakistan & Was Briefly Associated With The RIC in 2012
In 2012, Dr Hasnat had agreed to head the surgery department of the then newly established Rawalpindi Institue of Cardiology (RIC). He had also previously trained cardiac surgeons at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology. (Source: Dawn)
Moreover, in a 2012 civil claim against News Corporation, he had pledged that any money he received from the lawsuit would go to the hospital cardiac unit he had opened in Pakistan to serve destitute children. (Source: Vanity Fair)