Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed’s relationship was portrayed in the final two seasons of Netflix’s The Crown, taking viewers inside their private romance after her divorce from King Charles III. Many viewers have wondered which parts of their onscreen love story were fact and fiction more than 25 years after their deaths.

Who Was Dodi Fayed?

Dodi was born Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1955. He was the eldest son of businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed and his first wife, Samira Khashoggi.

Mohamed formerly owned Harrods department store and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Paris. His connection to the royal family stemmed from his decision to lease Villa Windsor, formerly inhabited by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. He also hired Sydney Johnson to come work for him at the property, with Johnson having previously served as the personal valet to Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle Edward VIII after his abdication.

What Was Dodi Fayed’s Job?

Dodi attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as well as Collège Saint Marc in Egypt and the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland, per People. After finishing school, he served as an attaché at the United Arab Emirates Embassy in London.

He began working as an executive producer of films through his family’s production company, Allied Stars, in the ‘80s. Dodi earned production credits from Breaking Glass, Hook, The Scarlet Letter and more.

Who Was Dodi Fayed Married To?

In 1986, Dodi married Suzanne Gregard. Their marriage ended after less than a year together. A decade later, the film producer began dating Kelly Fisher but their relationship ended in 1997. Over the years, the model made claims that she was engaged to Dodi prior to him becoming romantically involved with Diana.

Dodi Fayed sits on the ground with his dog
© Aaron Rapoport/CORBIS OUTLINE/Corbis via Getty Images

How Did Princess Diana Meet Dodi Fayed?

Season 5 of The Crown depicts the first meeting of Diana and Dodi at a polo match, which reportedly occurred in 1986. At the time of the match, the Princess of Wales was still married to the then Prince of Wales.

In December 1992, Prime Minister John Major announced that the royal couple were separating. In late 1995, Diana began dating heart and lung surgeon Hasnat Khan. In August 1996, Diana and Charles’ divorce was finalized, and they continued to coparent their two children, Prince William and Prince Harry.

In July 1997, Diana and her sons were invited to visit the Fayed family’s villa in St-Tropez, France. The princess’ relationship with Hasnat ended soon after.

“Everything about that trip to St-Tropez was heaven,” Harry wrote in his memoir, Spare. “We’d been with Mummy weeks earlier when she first met him, in St-Tropez. We were having a grand time, just the three of us, staying at some old gent’s villa.”

Diana and Dodi reportedly began officially dating shortly after the trip, with the first photos of them kissing being published in The Sunday Mirror on August 10, 1997. That same month, the pair returned to the South of France for a cruise through the Mediterranean. Two weeks later, they flew to Paris, where they stayed at the Ritz.

What Happened to Dodi Fayed?

On August 31, 1997, Diana and Dodi left the Ritz in a black Mercedes and headed toward Dodi’s Paris apartment. As the car was tailed by paparazzi, driver Henri Paul crashed into a support column in Pont de l’Alma, causing the vehicle to flip. Dodi and Paul were killed instantly. The film producer was 42 at the time of his death.

Diana was taken to ​​Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, where she was pronounced dead hours later at age 36. Following the respective burials of Diana and Dodi, Mohamed unveiled two memorials dedicated to them at Harrods. He died in August 2023 at age 94 and was buried next to his son at the Fayed family’s estate in Surrey.