Was princess diana dating a black man Diana's mother 'called her a whore for sleeping with Muslim men'


Last updated at 13:04 15 January 2008

The mother of Princess Diana called her a 'whore' for dating Muslim men, her inquest has heard.

Frances Shand Kydd made the 'disgraceful' comment when she discovered her daughter was in a serious relationship with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.

The pair did not speak again before Diana died two months later, according to her butler Paul Burrell.

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Diana with her mother Frances Shand Kydd

The sensational revelation came on the day that he told how:

• Diana was planning to marry Dr Khan;

• Her romance with Dodi Fayed was just a '30-day' fling;

• Prince Philip did write 'cutting' letters to the princess but would not have ordered her murder;

• The Queen warned him of mysterious 'powers at work' - but he had no idea what she meant.

The 49-year-old former butler revealed that Diana's bitter conversation with her mother happened in June 1997, during the last throes of her relationship with Dr Khan and just two months before she and Dodi died in Paris.

Mr Burrell told the High Court that the princess had held up the phone as they sat together on the sofa of her Kensington Palace apartment so that he could hear her mother's rant.

He said Mrs Shand Kydd, who died in 2004, was a 'formidable lady' who often expressed herself 'in extremely forceful terms about Diana's consorts, especially if they were Muslim'.

Asked to describe what he had heard on that particular day, he hesitated.

It was only when the coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, interjected, saying: 'This is relevant', that Mr Burrell replied: 'Well, she called the princess a whore and she said that she was messing around with f****** Muslim men and she was disgraceful. She said some very nasty things.'

Mohamed Al Fayed's barrister, Michael Mansfield, asked: 'It was shortly after one of these telephone calls that the princess decided she did not want to talk to her mother again?'

'Yes,' Mr Burrell confirmed.

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Hasnat Khan and Dodi Fayed

Mrs Shand Kydd went through a bitter divorce from Diana's father Earl Spencer, after she left him for wallpaper tycoon Peter Shand Kydd.

She endured a rocky relationship with her youngest daughter and had no idea how serious Diana's relationship with Dr Khan was.

In fact the princess had been planning to marry the man she described as her 'soul mate' just months before she embarked on her high-profile relationship with Dodi Fayed.

Mr Burrell told the court that he discussed the matter in confidence with Father Anthony Parsons, a priest from a Catholic church near Kensington Palace, without Dr Khan's knowledge.

But the pair split up the month before Diana died in a clandestine night-time meeting in Battersea Park, South London.

As he took the stand yesterday, Mr Burrell appeared nervous. His voice was barely audible and he failed even to remember the date of his wedding with wife Maria, who worked as Diana's dresser.

As he went on, however, he gave a voluble account of his time with Diana and her troubled personal relationships, describing Dr Khan as the love of Diana's life.

'The princess said that this was her soul mate, this was the man she loved more then any other and it was a very deep spiritual relationship,' he said.

'I witnessed it at first hand and they were very much in love.'

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The couple met in 1995 when the princess visited a friend at the Royal Brompton Hospital in West London, where Dr Khan was working as a heart surgeon.

At first they held secret rendezvous, with Mr Burrell smuggling the consultant into Kensington Palace in the boot of his car.

But towards the end of their two-year relationship Dr Khan had, Mr Burrell said, become part of the 'fixtures and fittings' at Kensington Palace.

There were even plans to prepare some of the rooms in Diana's apartment for her lover.

Dr Khan's identity was also well known in the upper echelons of the Royal Family.

Princess Margaret - Diana's closest neighbour at the palace - was, in particular, aware of all her 'clandestine comings and goings'.

Most importantly, the surgeon had been introduced to Diana's sons with the intention of paving the way for something more permanent.

However the couple split during an emotional rendezvous shortly after Diana's 36th birthday in July 1997.

'I remember it coming to an abrupt halt because it happened in a park, in Battersea Park, late at night, and the princess came home that night very distressed and said that she had had it.

She had tried everything she could to bring this man out into the public spotlight and he was having none of it.

'He did not want to become a public name, he didn't want to become known, and they had reached a stalemate situation.'

Later the butler had a meeting with Dr Khan.

'He explained to me one day he worked very hard and had come from nothing to achieve what he had and had now become an eminent heart surgeon.

'He was achieving what always dreamed of and wasn't prepared to put that on hold for the princess.'

Days later, a distraught Diana flew off with Mohamed Al Fayed on holiday, where she met his playboy son for the first time.

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While she quickly became fond of Dodi, the relationship was dismissed by Mr Burrell yesterday as a '30-day' fling.

Diana's highly public romance, he insisted, was part of her attempt to 'get back' at Dr Khan.

Asked why she would want to humiliate a man she had cared for so much, Mr Burrell replied: 'I don't think that a relationship that lasted for 18 months was gone overnight.

'The princess was still burning a candle for Mr Khan. She was still in love with him.'

Mr Burrell was dressed in an ice-blue shirt and tie, his face tanned from the sun in Florida, where he has bought a luxury home on the back of two tell-all books about his former employer.

He was subsequently accused by her sons, William and Harry, of a 'cold and overt betrayal' by bringing out the books.

He has also been a contestant on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

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