She was still so young, so full of vitality and a lust for life. Certainly the princess worked hard, but she was also a woman with erotic needs, with an inclination for love and passion. Diana longed for a male shoulder to lean on. At 36 life was not yet over, completely the opposite is true - the divorced princess had the feeling that hers would now properly begin. For Diana getting acquainted with men was always a great problem, and acquiring trust was an ever greater one. Yet in the summer of 1997 the princess tossed her cares aside and once again fell head over heels in love. She gave herself over completely to this wonderful feeling of being in love. This time Diana hoped that he would be the right one. Her choice was called Dodi Al-Fayed.
He was 41 years old and, like her, divorced. On the whole Diana and Dodi had many similarities: both had not been diligent at school, both stemmed from broken homes, both had been left by their mothers as children and grew up with their fathers. Their financial situations were also similar, both had access to fortunes worth more than a million. Accordingly even their luxurious lifestyles were certainly similar. This aspect was not completely unimportant for the Princess of Wales. Only in this way could she be certain that the man who she loved would not be after her money, or would later write some kind of revelation book.
Diana and Dodi met at various parties. They both found each other pleasant and came ever more closer to each other at the end of 1996. That had certainly also something to do with the fact that Dodi's father had suddenly placed a lot of money into charity in order to improve his public image. Enough common topics for conversation were in any case at hand. Yet it would be still a few months until true love emerged from inner friendship. In July 1997 Mohamed invited his son, Diana and her children to a Mediterranean cruise on his sea-worthy luxury yacht.
They say that it was here that the famous sparks were ignited. They were happy days full of fun and affection. Dodi was an exceedingly charming and attentive man. He fulfilled the Princess's every wish, showered her with compliments and little gifts. Finally Diana felt like a woman again, loved, honoured and respected. Dodi conquered her heart very gently and without haste. She should slowly gain trust and only then decide whether she would like to enter in to a love-affair. Diana enjoyed this trip very much. Life appeared to her to be suddenly so carefree and joyful. Yes, her heart started to pound again! It was clear to her that she wanted this man. She felt safe, secure and desirable. Two weeks later Dodi and Diana once more undertook a 6-day trip.
Dodi's father owned a dream villa in St. Tropez. That was the right place for undisturbed togetherness! But the journalists naturally didn't stay in England, they also travelled to the South of France. The pink coloured villa was well known, the yacht too. So they posted themselves with giant telephoto lenses near the action and rented small motorboats, so that they could not miss anything. They certainly got a lot to see: Diana and Dodi canoodling on the deck, hot embraces on the villa terrace, kisses on board, loving little games in the water. There finally was really a story - the journalists celebrated.
Diana noticed the photographers. She knew what would soon appear in the papers. She felt terribly worked up and troubled. However she didn't want to let this ruin her good mood and the fun she was having. Diana didn't think about keeping in the villa or under deck with Dodi. The sun shone gloriously in the blue sky, and the water shone like silver. She wanted to be happy, to enjoy herself with every fibre of her body. One time the princess even approached the photographers and said to them: "I have a huge surprise for you! You just have to wait a little..." Even though the curiosity of the photographers had been greatly awoken, she didn't betray any more information
At the same time England wondered why Diana had a round belly in the photos when wearing her swimming costume. She couldn't be expecting a baby? Was that perhaps the great surprise that she soon wanted to announce? The speculations came thick and fast.
Comment: When one considers that Diana and Dodi had been together for only a few weeks, it appears quite sensational to be able to recognise a pregnancy bump. Besides, it is questionable that Diana would consider having a baby with Dodi after such a short time.
The photos of Diana and Dodi went all around the world, and a woman called Kelly Fisher from Los Angeles announced herself loudly to the world. In front of running cameras she cried thick tears and cursed Dodi Al-Fayed as a cad and heartbreaker. The former photograph model had been Dodi's previous lover to Diana. "He promised to marry me", she accused, "He wanted to marry me this year". As proof she held her engagement ring, a sapphire set in diamonds, in the air. Yet the press officer for the Al-Fayed family denied this: Dodi and Kelly had been together until January. Since then they had just been friends. The ring was a friendship ring, nothing more. Kelly brought in her lawyer. She demanded compensation of ten million dollars. And because Kelly was so completely disappointed, she sold intimate details to a magazine for a lot of money. Dodi, one could read, was a Playboy, a poor lover and a liar.
All the world asked how Diana would react to this scandal. Was everything over? Would she leave Dodi? Did she cry bitter tears? The Princess of Wales did the opposite. She flew to Sardinia with her lover for a further short holiday. Diana knew from her own bitter experience how terrible it is to read revealing stories in the papers. She didn't react to the gossip. One can come to the conclusion from this that this experience just brought the pair closer together. They became allies against the rest of the world.
The pair took altogether four short breaks to the Mediterranean. It was said that Diana and Dodi were already secretly engaged. Mohamed Al-Fayed confirmed the close connection between his son and the Princess. The wedding should take place in the autumn reported the newspapers. Dodi gave his chosen one a beautiful diamond ring worth æÃ150,000. It bore the inscription "Say yes to me". The jeweller who made the ring said that as Dodi bought the ring, he said "This ring is for the love of my life".
Diana gave Dodi supposedly antique cufflinks that she had inherited from her father. A very meaningful present, when one considers how much she admired her father. These cufflinks were priceless keepsakes which she would certainly not be easily parted from: they were a proof of love! Besides these she gave him a gold cigarette case with the engraving: "With love, from Diana".
Protocol the last days of her great luck in love:
Sunday, 24th August:
Early, at four o'clock, Di and Dodi leave the harbour at Monaco in the direction of Portofino on the million pound yacht Jonikal. There the photos were taken which show the pair on deck looking so in love.
Monday, 25th August:
Diana and Dodi leave Portofino by yacht in a southerly direction and throw down anchor before Portovenere in Italy, a small place twenty kilometres south of La Spezia.
Tuesday, 26th August:
The lovers are sighted just off the Island of Elba, where the pair spend the whole day.
Wednesday, 27th August:
The Egyptian and the Princess leave Elba and sail in the direction of Sardinia.
Thursday, 28th August:
The pair spend some time on the island and are seen in Olbia, in the north-east of Sardinia.
Friday, 29th August:
They spend a further day there.
Saturday, 30th August:
Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayad fly from Sardinia to Paris and land at Le Bourget airport. In the evening they stroll along the splendid street, the Champs-Elyées, and enjoy a concluding dinner for two in the exclusive hotel Ritz, which belongs to Dodi's father.
On the next day Diana wants to hug her children in her arms, pass the last days of holiday with them together. Yet it will not come to this any more.
What began as a fairytale ends in a tragedy which will shatter the world.