If a woman goes on a holiday with a man, in this modern world, to reveal that she has found happiness, should the rest of the world go up in arms about it? And if the media wallahs publish photographs of the happy ' couple' on their holiday, should it cause offence? Not necessarily. But if the woman happens to be of Royal stock and titled as a Princess, then undoubtedly all hell will lose break. This is what has happened during last few days in Britain after Diana Princess of Wales flew out with a millionaire filmmaker, the son of Harrod's owner, Mohammed Al Fayed.
The phrase ' curiosity kills the cat' very appropriately fitted the situation when Diana recently made it public that she would soon take the world by surprise. It all started when the Princess, 36, shared a family holiday with the Al Fayads in St. Tropez last month. It was said to be the first real break Diana and her two sons, William 15 and Harry 12 have had enjoyed with a normal family, especially Al Fayed, the senior being a great family man. But the newspaper men and paparazzi photographers started to get excited when she flew with Al Fayd's son Dodi, in his father's private jet for a six day exotic holiday in Al Fayed Senior's thirty million pound sterling motor yacht the Jonakil after the family holiday.
At least some of the tabloid press in the UK has been commenting that handsome and charming 41 year old Dodi Al Fayed is Princess Diana's new Mr. Perfect. A graduate of Sandhurst military academy, Dodi Al Fayed is believed to have first met Diana ten years ago at a polo tournament, which she attended with her estranged husband Prince Charles. When she was chauffeur driven by Dodi Al Fayed's limousine with bodyguards shielding her, to his exclusive eight block apartment next to London Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane, for a cosy dinner with her new friend, hours before she flew to Sarajevo to highlight the plight of victims of landmines in the war torn country she became automatically a victim to the media men around the world.
The Princess is not allowed to speak directly to the media, but it is said that with her approval, her close friends are happy to speak for her. In that context she has been quoted in the London press as saying : " I believe that he is the man who will take me out of one world into another. I trust him. I think he can provide everything I need. I just love his gentleness, his kindness and his almost dull way of living. I like way he sends flowers. I like the way he conducts himself, not only with me but with other women in general".
True to her words, Dodi Al Fayed prefers to drive around London in a mini when he is able to drive any car he wants. In 1983 Dodi Al Fayed became engaged to wealthy Iranian Lina Atterzaedh, but married model Suzane Gregard secretly in 1987. Dodi shocked his family not only marrying her secretly but when they started to live apart only after eight months of their marriage. At the age of 27 he had to part with an estimated 1.5 million including jewellery, property and a new £110,000 Rolls Royce. Dodi Al Fayed co-produced Steven Spielberg's film Hook at a cost £14 million which raised more than one million pound sterling for London's Great Ormond Street Hospital. He spends his time between the US and Britain where he has homes in Los Angeles, New York and London.
Lady Diana Spencer captivated the world at a tender age of 19, having fallen in love with the future king of England. From the photograph of her taken outside the Pimlico kindergarten, where she worked as a nursery teaching assistant, her fairy tale romance with Prince Charles created much enthusiasm among media personnel and sent them ' on the double' to follow her wherever she went. With the never ending camera clicking and video films constantly rolling, Diana created a new industry for the press and soon became the most photographed woman in the world.
In early 1981 Prince Charles remarked: " whatever is love means its pretty amazing. I would never have allowed myself to fall in love hopelessly with the person who would be queen one day. He took Diana's hand in marriage on 29 July 1981. Eleven months later, when Diana cradled her first born baby, Prince William, on her arms it was written all over her face that comfort had come to stay with her for ever. She never looked more contended and happy. But by 1990 the English rose which blossomed at sweet sixteen had started to show signs of ' withering' when her marriage had already started to hit the rocks. She had, by then, realised that the life she shared with a prince was something she could not endure any longer and a separation was the only option left, and it was already flashing on the horizon.
Diana had by now become a mother of two children having given birth to her second son, Harry. Still her ' golden girl' image and stunning looks attracted the newspaper and magazine editors around the world to send reports and cameramen on her trail. She had to constantly put up with this increasingly tiresome task of avoiding the press and cameramen, while at times she herself became hot with anger like the melted flash bulbs. Yet the public at large the world over showed an insatiable appetite for news about the girl who became a princess and an icon of the twentieth century.
Despite her world-wide image of being ' blissfully happy' and thrilled with her new royal life, Princess Diana suffered in silence, both emotionally, as a result of breaking up of her marriage and also due to too much press intrusion. There was a time she courted the media and enjoyed its attention, but by now she has begun to hate it, especially when some sections of the press exceeded the bounds of fairness and decency in pictures of her, using the most sophisticated electronic instruments.
She suffered for twelve long years in the public life in a way she had never anticipated or knew ' how overwhelming that attention would become, nor the extent to which it affected her public duties and personal life, in a manner that had been hard to bear. Those who dived deep into her personal life and were often unkind remarked that, ' there was nothing new about Di's tears'. For them, it was Diana's migraine headaches first, Bulimia later and then her fainting fits etc. Others were harsh to the extent of criticising her as ' a woman suffering very publicly for isolation'.
Princess Diana expressed concern during her traumatic months abut the treatment she received from Buckingham Palace, which she thought was , " trying to freeze her out of public life". Yet she was duty bound and had committed to 118 charities, where she diverted her energies to help raise the much needed funds for those.
As her dream was turning into a nightmare, day after day, the exposure of her private telephone conversation with a male friend, James Gilby, whose shoulder she cried on, as a result of Charles' adulterous relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, a Brigadier's wife, and a tape recording of Prince Charles with Camilla where Charles' oral canoodings drove her to more and more confusion, and humiliation particularly when the whole episode became public through the news media. It equally created an " annus Horribilis" for the Queen herself.
Di wrestled for a long time under intense stress, still being an asset to the Royal family as well as for marring Charles. Even the Prime Minister at the time, John Major, regarded her as the best thing that happened to the Royal family. But while she hit headlines in her public duties, the Palace tightened its squeeze on her popularity and while she relaxed privately, the cameras secretly clicked. At the end Diana has had enough and she though it was high time to throw the towel in. Finally she withdrew from public life and for most people Diana's withdrawal became an immense sympathy. A broken marriage did a lot of damage to a Princess. The separation from Prince Charles meant that she did not get support from a husband born to a Royal family and her chances of becoming future queen became very much obliterated.
But was she to be blamed..? she was only a young 19 year old girl who had to adapt to many royal protocols. Unfortunately for her, no one had ever written a manual before showing how to be a princess! She had to do the learning on her own, worked many things for herself, sometimes brilliantly, other times ' foolishly and ' naively'. But she grew up to be a determined and a matured woman at the end of the day. She learned from the University Life and personal experiences much more than any books or teachers could have taught her.
At a mature age of 36 Diana Princess of Wales thought, her life has been in limbo for too long and having met a gentle and a caring man, with whom she appears to be ' deeply in love', an exciting an more meaningful future beacons now.
When Diana Princess of Wales flew to Bosnia on another landmine mission
she was travelling on a private jet with two American victims. Landmine
issue is a cause very much closer to heart and the media stressed that
Dodi, too, would never have been far from her thoughts.