Although it has been said that Princess Diana had her share of fleeting affairs, there was one particular man who won her heart. We’re talking about Hasnat Khan, a 36-year-old Pakistani heart surgeon. As journalist Tina Brown. wrote on her book “The Diana Chronicles,” there are still many secrets behind their two-year long whirlwind romance. Don’t miss our slideshow to read all about them!
#10. The Princess Called Him ‘The One’
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Back in the day, Diana met Dr. Khan in 1995 at the Royal Brompton Hospital, when was treating her healer Oonagh Shanley-Toffolo’s husband, who had suffered a massive hemorrhage during his triple bypass operation. Apparently, it was love at first sight. In fact, sources said that as soon as he left the room, she squealed like a school girl to Oonagh over the doctor’s gorgeous looks and caring eyes.
“I found my peace. He has given me all the things I need,” Diana confessed to one of her confidants after they started dating.
#9. She Wanted to Win over his Affections
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Diana was utterly smitten by her new lover. Such was the love she felt, that she immersed herself in his Pakistani culture. Suddenly, her closet was filled with shalwar kameez (the colorful silk tunic and trousers that Pakistani women traditionally wear) and she began to make numerous trips to Pakistan to learn about Khan’s heritage and roots. She even considered converting to Islam for him. But that’s not all… Diana became infatuated with studying cardiology too. Supposedly, she used to have copy of Gray’s Anatomy and piles of surgical reports on her night table. The Princess also watched Khan perform open-heart surgery.
#8. The Couple Used to Have Sleepovers at the Hospital
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Diana would often sneak into the hospital to spend the night with Khan. They would usually stay in his small overnight room at the hospital after one of his late-night shifts, and she’d always returne to the palace at dawn before any of the staff noticed her absence. The Princess was caught by a tabloid photographer while she was about to go inside the hospital, at midnight. Luckily for the couple, Diana was a quick thinker, and came up with a solution to avoid being exposed: she ripped the phone out of the photographer’s hand and called up the tabloid to inform them she was visiting some terminally ill patients to bring them comfort. As a result of this, the tabloid published a story with the headline “My Secret Nights as an Angel” a few days later.
#7. No Physical Intimacy…
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… until Diana’s divorce was finalized. Even though they stared dating before Diana and Charles‘ divorce was finalized, Khan’s morals as a Muslim made him draw the line at physical intimacy with a married woman. So, the couple waited until the divorce became official to take their relationship to the next level.
#6. Khan Never Liked the Limelight
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Although Khan was a well known and respected heart doctor, he always chose to stay under the radar. Even during his romance with Princess Diana, he hated being under the public eye so much that he did everything he could to avoid being in the spotlight, including refusing a new car, one of her most extravagant gifts. Clearly, Khan didn’t want to be known as “Di’s New Guy.”
#5. She Redecorated Kensington Palace for him
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Diana’s former equerrie’s room in her Kensington Palace apartment was soon turned into Khan’s very own basement den to relax on his days off. He used to watch football while drinking a can of Heineken.
#4. The Princess Turned Housewife
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When the staff was off, Diana enjoyed cooking dinner for Khan. The Princess enjoyed stepping back from the privilege life, and acting like a regular woman. She would often spend her days cleaning the his one-bedroom apartment, vacuuming and ironing his shirts, and washing the dishes.
#3. The Desire of a Secret Marriage
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The romance was a secret, but that didn’t stop Diana from wanting to tie the knot! It has been reported that The Princess asked Paul Burrell, her butler and friend, to ask a priest about the possibility of a secret marriage. Burrell visited the church where his son was an altar boy, but the news he brought disappointed Diana. The priest said it was practically impossible to marry a couple without notifying the authorities or even the fiancé! Speaking of the fiancé to be… When Khan found out about Diana’s plan, he asked her in aghast if she thought that she could just bring a priest to where they were and simply married them.
#2. He Didn’t Talk to her for Three Weeks
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When the Sunday Mirror published a story about the secret couple, in an effort to do damage control and keep their romance out of the spotlight, Diana called up a reporter at the Daily Mail to tell him the Mirror’s story was completely fake. The newspaper later reported that Dianas was “deeply upset” at those allegations because of how they could hurt her sons. But that’s not all… Diana even said that she and her friends were in laughing fits over the preposterous lies. The story Diana made up may have helped her to keep everyone away from her secret romance, but it also took its toll on her relationship. Not only was Khan deeply upset, but he also felt very humiliated. Khan also received racist threats in the mail. As a result of all of these hurtful situations, Khan decided not to speak to Diana for three weeks.
#1. She Didn’t Have his Family’s Approval
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Diana might have been a royal princess, but her status as such still wasn’t enough to win over the approval of the Khan family. Khan was a Pathan, a group of people between Pakistan and Afghanistan notable for their fierce loyalty to cultural traditions and, after two failed attempts to marry Khan off to a suitable Muslim bride, the family began to grow impatient. You can imagine that they did not appreciate the fact that Diana and Khan were dating. Diana did not share neither their culture nor their traditions, and for the family it was important that Khan married a Pakistani Muslim girl.
“He is not going to marry her. We are looking for a bride for him. She should be rich, among the upper middle class. She should at least be a Pakistani Muslim girl,” said Khan’s father in an interview with the Daily Express.