Hasnat Khan was reportedly in a two-year relationship with Princess Diana in the mid-1990s before her death nearly 16 years ago. According to a new report, Diana sought to possibly move to Pakistan to be with him.
“Diana was madly in love with Hasnat Khan and wanted to marry him, even if that meant living in Pakistan,” Jemima Khan, the ex-wife of Hasnat’s cousin Imran Khan, told Vanity Fair. “And that’s one of the reasons we became friends.”
When Diana–the mother of Prince Harry and Prince William–died in a car accident, she was linked to Dodi Al Fayed, but friends say otherwise.
Diana, who married and divorced Prince Charles–“came to visit me twice in Pakistan to help fundraise for Imran’s hospital, but both times she also went to meet his family secretly to discuss the possibility of marriage to Hasnat,” Khan added. She said the two would have been “every conservative Pashtun mother’s worst nightmare.”
“You send your son to be educated in England and he comes back with an English bride. It’s something they dread,” she continued.
Khan told the magazine that the princess asked her about potentially living in Pakistan.
“She wanted to know how hard it had been for me to adapt to life in Pakistan,” Khan was quoted as saying.
“Both times she also went to meet [Hasnat’s] family secretly to discuss the possibility of marriage,” she added.
The relationship between Diana and Hasnat will be the subject of an upcoming film, which will star Naomi Watts as the late princess.
Eventually, the relationship ended because Khan would not marry Diana, with friends saying that he dreaded the media spotlight.
“He hated the thought of being in the glare of publicity for the rest of his life,” Jemima Khan said.
Diana also reportedly said that Hasnat’s decision to not marry Diana may have been for all the right reasons. “Everybody sells me out. Hasnat is the one person who will never sell me out,” writes Vanity Fair editor Sarah Ellison.