Here is a very rare article. It is in keeping with this being Diana's personal site that it appears here. It is taken
from the Sunday Mirrors magazine "Personal" August 31st 1997. Printed for the readers of that days newspaper,
in the early hours of that morning following the shocking news from Paris, all copies of it were re - called, so I am
fortunate to own one of the few surviving exclusives of Diana and Dodi's last summer ! It's front cover page
depicting Diana and Dodi together in the Mediterranean sunshine with the headline:
" Diana and Dodi ... A Story of Love" --- Andrew Russell-Davis
"Love at last" by Judy Wade
At long last love ... whether it's fleeting or forever the romance between Princess Diana and playboy Dodi Fayed
has the whole world hoping she has finally found the happiness that has eluded her for so long. This love affair
took us all by surprise, from its start as a flirtation on a family holiday in St. Tropez to the sizzling climax in
Love seems to have hit Diana like a bolt of lightening but no one noticed at first as she slipped under Dodi's spell
... because attention was focused elsewhere. When she flew last month with her sons to the Fayed family villa in
St. Tropez, it was Dodi's father, Harrod's tycoon Mohamed al - Fayed, who was front page news. Pictures of the
holiday riveted Royal Watchers ... not because Diana was growing noticeably closer to handsome Dodi but
because the Princess of Wales and her children had accepted the hospitality of the man involved in the " Cash for
Questions " scandal.
What was she doing with one of the world's most controversial businessmen? There were more raised eyebrows
and critical comments when Fayed senior placed a fatherly arm around Diana's shoulders as they stood chatting
on deck. The man who started the parliamentary sleaze row was dubbed a "Chheky Hugger" after he and Diana
sailed out to sea aboard his £ 30 million yacht, "Jonikal" leaving controversy in their wake.
The princess tried to deflect the criticism by telling friends ... " He is an old friend of my fathers who I've known
10 years ... more to the point I was invited here by Mrs. al - Fayed, not her husband." Then she began behaving
oddly. She pranced around the waterfront in a slinky swimsuit as if deliberately showing off her newly rounded
curves. She climbed aboard Prince Harry's jet- ski whizzing around the bay of St. Tropez right in front of
boatloads of photographers ... then she pleaded for privacy.
Soon afterwards she turned in a Tarzan - style rope trick, swinging off the Fayed yacht far out over the sea then
splashing down into the water. One newspaper dubbed her "Princess Dive".
On July 17th which just happened to be Camilla Parker - Bowles 50th birthday, Diana turned on an amazing water
ballet for the worlds press, pointing her toes and diving in spectacular style from the side of a speedboat. This
showed off her long, tanned legs and her breathtaking cleavage. Reporters noticed she was joined by Mohamed al
- Fayed's wife Heine and their daughter Jasmine. They did not bother about Fayed's eldest son, Dodi in the
background of the family party. Diana was paying much more attention to the Fayed's youngest son Karim who is
Then one morning Di jumped into a boat and sped across the water to accost British journalists bobbing about on
the other side of the bay.
"You'll have a big surprise coming soon with the next thing I do" she told the puzzled pressmen
Cameramen observing Diana day after day suspected she was crazy. They were right. She was beginning to fall
crazily in love. Diana cavorted in the sunshine for the press but her sensual body language was directed at only
The young princes William 15, Harry 12 were with her, so there were no overt signs of affection between Diana
and Dodi at that stage...just the fun and friendship she had missed sharing her man with her boys for so long. In
fact Dodi devoted as much time to the boys as he did to their mother. He made friends with reserved William and
helped exuberant Harry burn off his excess energy. He cheered from an upper deck when William demonstrated
his prowess as a high diver plunging more than 30 feet into the sea. To cap it all, Dodi hired a fashionable disco
two nights in a row so that Diana and the boys could bop undisturbed by curious tourists. The princes laughing
faces showed how much they were enjoying Dodi's company. With her son's approval, the first hurdle had been
overcome and Diana felt free to follow her heart. She told friends it was the best holiday she had ever had with
Back in London there seemed only one way to test their feelings for each other. The following weekend Diana
disappeared with Dodi. He whisked her in a Harrod's helicopter to Stenstead airport in Essex where they boarded
the Fayed family's private jet and flew to Paris. Soon she was installed in the £ 6,000 - a - night "Empire Suite",
the most lavish in the Ritz Hotel owned of course by Mohamed al - Fayed. Only the best would do for the woman
the Harrod's boss hopes will soon be his daughter - in - law and Diana was treated like a Queen.
Ten other rooms on the same corridor were booked for guards and air - crew from the private plane which also
ensured that no stray holiday makers could disturb Diana's privacy. Her bedroom featured a vast gilded and
canopied bed which is a copy of Queen Marie Antoinette's at the fabulous "Palais de Versailles" just outside the
French capital city. Diana could also luxuriate in a splendid bathroom of marble and antique oak. A staff member
who attended her said later...
"She was easy and polite and charming, she seemed happy and relaxed and very, very happy!"
Diana was smuggled into the hotel late at night by a side door and left the building only once during her stay. That
was to visit the mansion in the Bois de Boulogne which was once the home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
It is now the property of Mohamed al - Fayed who has recently shocked traditionalists by deciding to auction its
contents next month at Sotheby's in New York. Now the reason for this clear out seems obvious. If Diana hopes
to settle down there she will want to put her own stamp on the house. The exquisite 18th century mansion would
make an ideal home for a princess seeking solitude and peace. It's hidden in the secluded area of the Bois and
French privacy laws would protect Diana form the long lenses of intrusive cameramen. Strangely stories have
been circulating in Paris for some time that the house was soon to be occupied by Princess Diana. The mansion
would certainly make a perfect wedding present from a doting father - in - law.
No one suspected Diana had been out of the country until she was seen arriving home by helicopter on the
landing pad near Kensington Palace. Her new love was still secret...but not for long! The very next weekend the
couple were together again when they escaped once again to the south of France and boarded the Fayed family
yacht in Nice. Now uninhibited without the children around them they could relax and devote every moment to
each other. With every luxury at their fingertips they lazed in the sunshine rubbing sun - tan into each other's
skin even on deck still lost in a sea of love.
Not for 15 years had Diana been pictured in the arms of a man she loved, who at that time happened to be her
husband. Now here she was in broad daylight heedless of the holiday crowds, locked in a lingering embrace that
was soon to become headline news all over the world. After the chill and cheerlessness of her marriage to Charles,
what could be better for a warm, affectionate princess than the love of a hot blooded Mediterranean man? If this
is the real thing, the whole world will wish her well. If it lasts only a short time, then at least Diana has known a
little happiness. Perhaps blinded by their love the canoodling couple failed to notice that an Italian cameraman
called Mario Brenna had accidentally stumbled on them when he recognised the Fayed yacht moored off
Sardinia's Costa Esmeralda coastline .......
( Diana has channeled that Dodi and she tipped photographers off where they were or would be and then once
located deliberately posed for them, to ensure their Love Affair made the front headlines of the World's press as
it did...with various agendas for doing so in mind! )
Soon Mario was busy snapping away as Diana and Dodi splashed about in the sparkling sea, then sunned
themselves on the deck of the yacht unafraid to show their love to the world. The next day the world was beating
a path to Mario's door desperate to secure the first photos that revealed Diana in the arms of her new man.
Finally the Sunday Mirror was first to publish the proof that the princess had put her unhappy past behind her
and was beginning a new, more fulfilled life!
If there were any doubts, Dodi confirmed what the world suspected with his comment when he returned home ...
"We relaxed...we had a good time" adding what now seems an understatement " We are very good friends"
Was this just a holiday romance or something more serious? The answer came when on the eve of her trip to
Bosnia earlier this month, Diana chose to spend her last night in England dining at Dodi's Mayfair apartment.
Soon after she arrived silver platters loaded with the delicious meal were brought in from a favourite restaurant
and the couple stayed alone together until 1 am. With the heady excitement that comes from a new romance,
Diana had already confided that day to friends...
"I believe that he is the man who will take me out of one world into another, I trust him, I think he can provide
everything I need!" She believes Dodi wants nothing from her but her own happiness... "I just love his gentleness,
his kindness and his almost dull way of living" she said. "For someone like me who has lived a goldfish- bowl type
of existence, I can't tell you how comforting this is. I like the way he sends flowers, I like the way he conducts
himself not only with me but with women in general."
The following morning came another shock when news came out of the couple's secret trip to Paris. Diana had
spent three weekends in a row with Dodi and now there was no doubt that this was something real and serious!
It soon became clear that someone was playing cupid. Dodi's father Mohamed, known as "Mo" to his friends, had
certainly been pulling some strings. He made his company jet available as well as his luxury yacht and he picked
up the bill for Diana's weekend of pampering at the Ritz. Not surprisingly the man who has been repeatedly
refused a British passport was deliriously happy that the mother of a future British King should fall for his eldest
son and heir to his immense fortune. He had reportedly been dreaming of just such a match and urging Dodi to
woo Diana. Gossip columnist TAKI revealed how earlier this year Diana had told him that Mohamed suggested
she should marry his son. Matchmaker Mohamed had provided the perfect surroundings for love to blossom and
to his joy it did.
"I give them my blessing" he trumpeted when pressed for a comment. "I love my son and just want him to be
He seemed unworried that the romantic rendezvous his playboy son and the princess had tried to keep secret was
now headline news. In fact the love - cruise photographs could only enhance the reputation of the Fayed family,
proving the woman once destined to be a British Queen now preferred the company of the Harrod's heir.
The pictures show a man and a woman in the relaxed intimacy of a real relationship, displaying a tenderness that
says more than words. Together in an idyllic spot they cannot hide their feelings for each other. In many ways
they seem the perfect couple! According to former girlfriends ( which include actress Brooke Shields and
Princess Stephanie of Monaco) Dodi, 41 years old and formerly married to and now divorced from North
American beauty and model Suzanne Gregard, is kind and caring - a true gentleman. He is also darkly handsome
as Diana is fair and having dated so many Hollywood lovelies is not overawed by Diana's beauty and fame, he can
handle all that.
There's no doubt Dodi will fit seamlessly into her world. Like Diana he has been living with bodyguards most of
his life and mixes in the realm of the super - rich that makes most lottery winners look like paupers. So he has the
means to provide a princess with all the protection she needs from an intrusive public. He can whisk her away in
his helicopter or private jet to enchanted places where no one can harm her. Diana can be certain he is not wooing
her for her £ 17 million divorce settlement! He is the son of a billionaire and has made his own tidy fortune as a
film producer. Allied Stars invested in the Oscar winning film "Chariots of Fire " ( One watched by Charles and
Diana on their honeymoon aboard the Royal Yacht! ) and he was executive producer on the Steven Spielberg
fantasy/ adventure "Hook".
By an odd coincidence Diana was guest of honour at the film's London premiere. Dodi is now working on a new
Peter Pan project. Dodi is only a family nick - name. His real name is Emad which means "Someone you can
depend on". That is exactly what a vulnerable princess needs. Dodi did not excel at school and neither did Diana
who left without gaining a single O - Level or G.C.S.E. pass. He loves skiing in winter and sunshine holidays in
summer as she does. Even their nick - names Di and Dodi are similar. Surely they were fated to be mated!
Meanwhile cooler heads are asking... Will it last? Dodi normally spends nine months of the year in L.A. in the
U.S.A. while Diana remains dedicated to carrying on her crusade against land mines at home and abroad. Is she
simply escaping from the stifling world at court only to find herself trapped in yet another golden prison, this
time an Arab one? Dodi is charming says one girl who once worked with him but also saying he is a typically
Middle - Eastern man. He has no real respect for women. If he is not interested in sleeping with you, he simply
One of Hollywood's big spenders he has run - up massive debts on furs, jewelry and gifts for his girl friends. He
has 19 lawsuits filed against him in the U.S.A. While dating Brooke Shields he once sent her a bottle of every
scent sold in Harrods - 150 of them! A quieter character than his father, he remains on friendly terms with his ex
- wife who says that he is a good guy but refuses to reveal why they broke up within months of their marriage.
When news of his affair with Diana broke, Suzanne called Dodi in London and he told her...
"It's not a fling I promise, it's serious!"
After their marriage was over Dodi dated many beautiful women and one of them Texan model Denice Lewis
recently revealed one of his bedroom secrets ... "He likes to make love with the light off" she says ... "We almost
had to grope like blind people to find each other and our hot passion was always over within 20 minutes!"
Back in the U.K. the love story of the decade was still taking amazing new twists. Diana and Dodi still tanned from
their love - boat cruise whisked away in a Harrods helicopter to Chesterfield on a 160 mile hop to visit her
clairvoyant Rita Rogers. The helicopter landed in a field behind the psychic's Derbyshire home and attracted by
the clatter, a group of local children dashed out to take a look. They saw Diana and Dodi dash into Rita's house
and saw them come out more than an hour later. The children said she seemed in an awful hurry and kept her
head down to avoid being photographed. The flying visit could only mean the princess was keen to know what the
future holds for her and her new love. Diana has repeatedly visited Rita trying to make contact with her late
father and sought her advice before agreeing to her sensational "Panorama T.V. Interview". As Diana and Dodi
took to the skies a new royal fairy tale held the nation in its grip. The lost and lovely princess had found love.
This time flitting around in the background was a fairy Godfather in the shape of Harrods tycoon Mohamed al -
Fayed who doesn't even need to wave a magic wand to grant her every wish.
So the stage seems set for a happy ending. They have riches, romance and regal connections. If this isn't a match
made in heaven, it certainly appears Diana is no longer in limbo!
Judy Wade ... August 31st 1997.