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Mohamed Al-Fayed, Ex-Harrods Owner Whose Son Died With Princess Diana: 5 Points


Mohamed Al-Fayed, Ex-Harrods Owner Whose Son Died With Princess Diana: 5 Points

Mohamed Al-Fayed was born in Alexandria and was the son of a schoolteacher.

Mohamed Al-Fayed was an outspoken and successful Egyptian business tycoon. His death comes almost 26 years to the day after the car crash in Paris that killed his eldest son, Dodi, and Diana, Princess of Wales, on August 31, 1997.

Here are five points on the self-made billionaire:

  1. Far from being the scion of a dynasty of cotton and shipping barons he made himself out to be, Fayed was the son of a poor Alexandrian schoolteacher who, after an early venture flogging lemonade, set out in business selling sewing machines.

  2. He later had the good fortune to start working for the arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, who recognised his business abilities and employed him in his furniture export business in Saudi Arabia. He became an advisor to the Sultan of Brunei in the mid-1960s and moved to Britain in the 1970s.

  3. Fayed lived most of his life in Britain, where for decades he was never far from the headlines. But to his frustration, he was never granted UK citizenship or admitted into the upper echelons of British society.

  4. The defining tragedy of Fayed’s life came in August 1997, when Dodi and Princess Diana died when a car driven by one of Fayed’s employees, chauffeur Henri Paul, crashed in a Paris road tunnel. For years afterwards, Fayed refused to accept that the deaths were the result of speeding and intoxication by Paul, who also died. The distraught Fayed accused the royal family of being behind the deaths and commissioned two memorials to the couple at Harrods.

  5. According to Forbes list of the world’s billionaires, Fayed was worth $1.9 billion in November 2022. With a business empire encompassing shipping, property, banking, oil, retail, and construction, Fayed was also a philanthropist whose foundation helped children in the UK, Thailand, and Mongolia.

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