Butler says Pakistani surgeon was Princess Diana's true love

( dpa ) - Princess Diana planned a private wedding to a Pakistani heart surgeon whom she called "Mr Wonderful" and never intended to get married to Harrods' heir Dodi al-Fayed, with whom she died in Paris in August 1997, the inquest into their deaths was told Monday.

Paul Burrell, Diana's former butler whom she called her "rock," said Dodi and Diana were "definitely not engaged" and the princess never intended to marry him.

Burrell said the princess was on the rebound from a two-year, "extremely serious" relationship with Hasnat Khan, whom she had hoped to marry, but who ended the relationship a few months before Diana took up with Dodi.

Khan, a 48-year-old heart surgeon at London's renowned Royal Brompton Hospital, returned to Pakistan late last year. He is expected to give evidence to the inquest in the next few weeks.

The ex-butler, who worked for Britain's royal household for more than 20 years, and who now lives in Florida after having made millions from publications, also categorically rejected the notion that the princess and Dodi were murdered on the orders of the royal family.

"No, I can't begin to believe that," said Burrell in answer to questions by counsels to the inquest. "Knowing the members of the royal family as I do, and knowing them so well, I think that is impossible."

Asked specifically about fears expressed by Diana that her ex-husband, Prince Charles, was planning "an accident" in her car, Burrell said that too, was impossible.

"The princess always had a great fondness for Prince Charles even after her divorce," he said. "I could not possibly see the father of her children murdering her."

The butler's testimony differs sharply from claims by Dodi's father, Harrods' owner Mohammed al-Fayed, who maintains that the couple were "murdered" by Britain's secret services because they wanted to get married and she was pregnant with Dodi's child.

"I need marriage like a rash," Diana had said after Dodi showered her with gifts, including a precious ring which she wore on her fourth finger to indicate that it was just a friendship token.

Burrell said Diana had asked him to approach a priest to arrange a private wedding between her and Khan, who had become part of the "fixtures and fittings" at Diana's London residence, Kensington Palace.

Khan recently spoke for the first time about his relationship with Diana, saying in newspaper interviews that her death "continued to haunt" him and made him "want to scream" at times.

"There have been very bad times. I have moved on, but it keeps coming back," he told the Daily Mail Monday.

Khan recently separated from his 29-year-old wife, but declined to say why the arranged marriage broke down.

He declined to talk about the circumstances surrounding his split with Diana, whom he first met in 1995, and instead talked of the esteem in which he still held the princess.

Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 30 times
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 30 times
Analyst: Ties with Armenia won't bring economic benefits to Serbia
Analyst: Ties with Armenia won't bring economic benefits to Serbia
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 24 times
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 24 times
Loading Bars
Latest
Azerbaijani parliament approves agreements signed by government with several countries
Azerbaijani oil prices for March 23-27
Minister: No problems with supply of bread in Georgia
Export of fruits, nuts from Georgia up in January-February 2020
Turkey urges int’l organizations to boycott so-called "election" in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh
China helps Uzbekistan to fight coronavirus
Kazakhstan's biggest oil transporting company eyes buying locally-made equipment
Volume of cargo transshipment via Turkish Port of Mersin disclosed
Coronavirus cases increase in Georgia
Turkey’s state water administration opens tender to rent vehicles
Azerbaijan extends benefit terms for contributions to mandatory health insurance for non-oil sector employees
Iran talks production of equipment in its oil sector
Turkey's municipality attracts foreign insurers via tender
Turkish university opens tender to attract foreign IT companies
Turkmen company masters production of nonwoven fabric
Azerbaijan extends terms for use of mandatory health insurance
Pakistan's National Commission for Human Rights condemns so-called "parliamentary and presidential elections" in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh
SOCAR: No restrictions on fuel sale in Azerbaijan
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's precious metals market
Turkey discloses cargo transshipment via Port of Zonguldak
South Korea to pay families hundreds of dollars to ease coronavirus impact
Iran's exports to African countries announced
Export volume of startup companies via Iran's Markazi Province announced
Iran announces its copper exports
Uzbekistan's total external debt increases
Georgia bans movement of buses in self-governing cities and administrative regions
Turkey discloses cargo transshipment via Port of Samsun in January-February 2020
Analyst: Forecast for oil prices depends on coronavirus spread
Azerbaijan Insurers Association: insurance community must promptly prepare plan for transition to distant operation mode
Kazakhstan’s oil & gas company opens tender to buy pumps
Scientific sphere switches to digital mode in Turkmenistan
Passenger trains operating to Kazakhstan’s Atyrau to be suspended over coronavirus fears
Charter flight to bring Georgian citizen from Bulgaria
Next plenary meeting of spring session of Azerbaijani Parliament kicks off
Iran's exports through Golestan customs announced
Review of oil, gas operations in Azerbaijan in January-February 2020
Foreign investments in Iran's Fars province increase
Uzbekneftegaz contunues to increase gas production of Uzbekistan
Georgia increases import of wood, furniture from Turkey
Fatal work accident occurs along Balkan Stream route
COVID-19 cases reach 97 in Georgia
Turkmen state concern announces tender to purchase material and technical resources
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
No direct financial loss suffered from postponing of F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
US allocates funds to Georgia amid COVID-19 pandemic
Iranian currency rates for March 30
Georgia confirms new case of coronavirus
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Internal Affairs lists facilities suspending work during quarantine
Tender to purchase material and technical resources opens in Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan sees increase in coronavirus cases
Iran's chemical, petrochemical industry increases production
More coronavirus cases detected in Kazakhstan
Production not to stop in Iran amid Coronavirus
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 24 times
MP: Massive donations to Azerbaijan’s Fund to Support Fight against Coronavirus shows national solidarity
Number of coronavirus cases in Germany rises to 57,298
Iranian government pays loan to damaged businesses
China unexpectedly cuts reverse repo rate by most in five years to support virus-hit economy
VISA considering Azerbaijan as financial market open to innovations
Israeli PM Netanyahu’s aide tests positive for coronavirus
South Korea coronavirus cases rise steadily, more financial aid expected
Trump extends national social distancing guidelines to April 30
Vietnam PM asks major cities to prepare for lockdown to stop virus
Trudeau continues self-isolating after his wife's recovery from COVID-19
5.1-magnitude quake hits Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Egypt condemns Yemeni Houthis' missile attacks on Saudi cities
France reports 2,599 new coronavirus cases, 292 additional deaths
Turkey's COVID-19 cases rise to 9,217, death toll hits 131
All Moscow’s residents to stay in home self-isolation from Monday
Somali army kills 142 al-Shabab militants during operation
Syria reports 1st death case of COVID-19
Coronavirus deaths fall again in Italy
EIA decreases previously forecast oil extraction volume in Kazakhstan for 2020
Brunei reports 6 new cases of COVID-19, 126 in total
Nearly 20,000 COVID-19 cases confirmed in UK
Saudi Arabia expands lockdown as coronavirus death toll doubles
Spain’s coronavirus death toll rises by 838 overnight to 6,528
Saudi intercepts missiles in attacks claimed by Yemen's Houthis
Herbal medicine being tested for treatment of coronavirus in Iran
VISA considering Azerbaijan as financial market open to innovations
Permanent representative: PACE leadership must change approach periodically demonstrated in relation to Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan's Atyrau to close for quarantine to battle coronavirus spread
Enterprises in Iran's industrial parks restore production
Azerbaijan confirms 27 more coronavirus cases
Expert: Impact of global shocks on Azerbaijan's economy and society is minimal
Azerbaijan's Central Bank attracts funds
Turkey reveals volume of cargo transshipment from France through its ports
Azerbaijan extends deadlines for paying taxes and filing declarations
Production of some Iranian industrial products decreases
Azerbaijani company to increase disinfectant production
Iran's Ministry of Industry, Mines & Trade announces volume of foreign investments
Volume of cargo transshipment through Turkish port of Tekirdag announced
Turkey reveals volume of cargo transshipment from Morocco through its ports
Management Union of Medical Territorial Units: Epidemiological situation in Azerbaijan under control
Total amount of donations to Azerbaijan’s Fund to Support Fight against Coronavirus disclosed
Turkey reveals volume of cargo transshipment from Ukraine through its ports
Iran reveals volume of investments in employment loans
Coronavirus confirmed in one more Kazakh city
Support to Exports Guarantee Fund of Iran to continue
Exports via Bilasuvar customs of Iran increase
All news