Former Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son died in car crash with Princess Diana, dies at 94 - GulfToday

Former Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son died in car crash with Princess Diana, dies at 94


Actress Lucy Liu smiles with Mohamed Al Fayed as she holds two Pomeranian puppies in London. File/AP

Mohamed Al Fayed, the flamboyant Egypt-born businessman whose son was killed in a car crash with Princess Diana, died this week, his family said Friday. He was 94.

Al Fayed, the longtime owner of Harrods department store and the Fulham Football Club, was devastated by the death of son Dodi Fayed in the car crash in Paris with Diana 26 years ago. He spent years mourning the loss and fighting the British establishment he blamed for their deaths.

"Mrs Mohamed Al Fayed, her children and grandchildren wish to confirm that her beloved husband, their father and their grandfather, Mohamed, has passed away peacefully of old age on Wednesday August 30, 2023, his family said in a statement released by the Fulham club. "He enjoyed a long and fulfilled retirement surrounded by his loved ones.

Al Fayed was convinced Dodi and Diana were killed in a conspiracy masterminded by Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. He maintained the royal family arranged the accident because they did not like Diana dating an Egyptian. Al Fayed claimed that Diana was pregnant and planning to marry Dodi and that the royal family could not countenance the princess marrying a Muslim.

In 2008, Al Fayed told an inquest the list of alleged conspirators included Philip, two former London police chiefs and the CIA.

The inquest concluded that Diana and Dodi died because of the reckless actions of their driver - an employee of the Ritz Hotel owned by Al Fayed - and paparazzi chasing the couple. Separate inquiries in the U.K. and France also concluded there was no conspiracy.

Al Fayed's relationship with the royal family was recently depicted in season five of "The Crown,” in which the billionaire, played by Salim Daw, gets to know Diana.

The son of a school inspector, Al Fayad was born on Jan. 27, 1929, in Alexandria, Egypt. After early investments in shipping in Italy and the Middle East, he moved to Britain in the 1960s and started building an empire.

At the height of his wealth, Al Fayed owned the Ritz hotel in Paris and Fulham soccer team in London as well as Harrods, the luxury department store in the capital’s tony Knightsbridge neighborhood.

The Sunday Times Rich List, which documents the fortunes of Britain’s wealthiest people, put the family’s fortune at 1.7 billion pounds ($2.1 billion) this year, ranking Al Fayed as the 104th richest person in the country.

Associated Press

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