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Sunday 26 January 2020

Princess Diana had a lover in Pakistan, too

To the Pakistani surgeon's mother, Diana, an aristocratic, English, divorced wife of Prince Charles and mother of two children, was not acceptable

Prince William of Britain and his wife Kate Middleton are on a five-day visit to Pakistan these days. They reached Islamabad on Monday. They met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. The visit of the royal couple has renewed many old memories including one that was hushed up until now: a secret lover of the late Princess Diana!

Prince William’s mother, the late Princess Diana, was a friend of Jemima Goldsmith, the first and former wife of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. She visited Pakistan several times to mingle in her circle of friends. Diana’s last visit to Pakistan was in 1997 when she went to Lahore to help raise funds for Imran Khan’s cancer centre being built in memory of his mother.

However, later Diana’s friend Jemima Khan made a sensational disclosure, where she spoke about the man Diana actually used to come to Pakistan for. Jemima had said in an interview a few years ago that Diana was in love with a medical practitioner in Pakistan.

According to the Daily Mail, the magazine Vanity Fair had featured an article titled “The Grandmother Prince George Never Knew” in which Jemima stated that Diana was dating heart surgeon Hasnat Khan in 1995–97. Not only this, during her visits to Lahore, Diana consulted Jemima about the affair.

According to Jemima, Diana wanted to know from her how difficult it would be for her to adapt to a Pakistani way of life. The princess met with Hasnat’s family to discuss the possibilities of marriage.

Diana apparently wanted to impress Hasnat’s mother Naheed Khan. The princess, an aristocratic, divorced wife of Prince Charles and mother of two children, was not acceptable to Naheed who had a problem with Diana’s English roots, too.

According to Jemima Khan, “For a Pathan woman, this was nothing short of a nightmare that her son should marry an English woman. They look at it like ‘you sent your son to study in England and he brought home a British bride’.”

Despite the refusal of Naheed, Diana and Hasnat continued with the courtship. Jemima says that Diana wanted to have a daughter.

The relationship finally ended when Diana met Dodi al Fayed.

This is the first time in the last 13 years that a member of the British royal family is visiting Pakistan. Earlier in 2006, William’s father, the Prince of Wales, Charles, and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker-Bowles, visited the devastated areas after the 8 October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.

Other royal visits to Pakistan include visits by Prince William’s grandmother and Queen Elizabeth (in 1961 and 1997), his late mother Princess Diana (1991, 1996 and 1997).

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  1. The opening para says Diana’s affair with Hasnat was hushed up until now:

    “The visit of the royal couple has renewed many old memories including one that was hushed up until now: a secret lover of the late Princess Diana!’

    There is already an eponymous biopic on Diana, in which this love story — and not really the fling with Dodi — constitutes the dominant theme. The princess’s trip to Lahore is prominently treated. On meeting her (or, meeting WITH her?) Naheed remarks she “is a kinda sherni.” Either the hushed-up dimension of the episode in her love life is deliberately added to soup the lead or the news-writer (reporter?) is ignorant. Which?
    — Ranjit Kumar Dash

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