Home » Lifestyle » Mohamed Al-Fayed trained son Dodi ‘like a dog on a chain’ as The Crown shows him masterminding Princess Diana romance | The Sun
Mohamed Al-Fayed trained son Dodi ‘like a dog on a chain’ as The Crown shows him masterminding Princess Diana romance | The Sun
CHARMING gentleman Dodi Al-Fayed had all the makings of a British aristocrat – or so his father wanted to believe.
Desperate to be accepted into the upper echelons of British society, Harrods tycoon Mohamed Al-Fayed kept a careful watch over his son's life, masterfully positioning the family until they were rubbing shoulders with the most famous woman in the world.
In the first part of season six of The Crown, which dropped on Netflix today, Dodi's famous romance with Princess Diana is depicted as being 'engineered' by his overbearing dad.
Episode one sees Mohamed (Salim Daw) pressuring the millionaire playboy (Khalid Abdalla) to throw away his impending marriage to model Kelly Fisher and to instead pursue the people's princess.
Offering half his empire in return for marrying into the monarchy, he says: "This is your chance to finally make me proud of you."
In real-life, the father and son's relationship was certainly complex, with one film producer close to Dodi comparing it to "when you are training a dog and you use a choke chain".
"You give a little freedom, then you need to give a pull. Dodi was encouraged to fly and then not allowed to," they told Vanity Fair.
Diana is believed to have first met Mohamed and Dodi alongside her husband, the then Prince Charles, at a polo match in 1986.
Harrods tycoon Al-Fayed had started sponsoring charities and events that were attended by the Royal Family, and would build up a close relationship with the princess over the following decade.
Michael Cole, then director of public affairs at Harrods, said: "Diana is so easy going with Mohamed… Mohamed is not one of those who's overwhelmed by her. They spark off each other very well."
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