Princess Diana’s rocky relationship with her husband Prince Charles was just the tip of the tabloid iceberg. Chronicles of her many lovers—both before and after the royal divorce—continue to emerge 15 years after her tragic death in a Paris car accident.
This Friday Naomi Watts stars as Princess Diana in the movie Diana, an account of the last two years of her life and her love affair with cardiac surgeon Hasnat Khan, and later with billionaire Dodi Fayed. We decided to take a look at the various men who gave her excitement, comfort, and an interesting nickname during and after her time as Her Royal Highness.
1. Prince Charles Theirs was a wedding the world watched. The UK made July 29, 1981, a national holiday when the Prince of Wales and a 20-year-old Lady Diana Spencer tied the knot at St. Paul’s Cathedral. But the fairytale wasn’t meant to last. Just a few years into the marriage, after the birth of their two sons William and Harry, both Diana and Charles allegedly struck up affairs and became tabloid sensations. The pair separated in 1993, and the divorce was finalized in 1996, leaving Diana with a 17-million pound settlement.
2. James Hewitt Diana herself admitted to committing adultery with the red-headed Hewitt, who was at times rumored to be the biological father of Prince Harry (though Hewitt denied it). The affair lasted five years, after which, the military Major thought about killing himself. Instead, he pursued a number of businesses, partied it up, and attempted to sell Diana’s letters to him for 10 million pounds.
3. James Gilbey An alleged paramour during Diana’s marriage and the center of the “Squidgygate” scandal, Gilbey, then a car salesman, was caught on tape having intimate phone conversations with the Princess. Gilbey called her “darling,” and, most notably, “Squidgy”—enough ammunition to ignite the British press when the tapped calls were leaked a couple years later. The fallout was devastating to the Princess and is believed to have ended the relationship.
4. Barry Mannakee The earliest of Diana’s illicit loves was her bodyguard and confidant. The married Mannakee worked at Kensington Palace for about a year, until he was spied “comforting” a depressed Diana and removed of his duties in 1986. Conspiracy theories abounded about Mannakee’s death in a motorcycle accident in 1987.
5. Oliver Hoare The Islamic art dealer and a friend to Prince Charles was said to have become close to Diana in 1992, after the death of her father. Sixteen years older than Diana, Hoare was a suave aristocrat, and People reported the Princess became “obsessed” with him. Though the extent of their relationship is unclear, Hoare was spotted by one of Diana’s boydguards “semi-naked behind a potted bay tree in a Kensington Palace corridor, smoking a cigar,” according to the Daily Mail.
6. Bryan Adams The Canadian rocker called her “the queen of all my dreams” in his 1985 single “Diana.” But he didn’t even meet Di for another decade, after her split with Charles. An ex-girlfriend confirmed to the Daily Mail that the "All For Love" singer and Diana had a fling.
7. Hasnat Khan The Pakistani heart surgeon Diana nicknamed “Mr. Wonderful” is considered to have been the love of the Princess’s life. Their two-year relationship was kept a deep secret, with Khan fearful of the media attention he would inevitably receive as Di’s lover. They even quietly visited Khan’s family in Lahore. But the pressure proved to be too much: Khan allegedly ended the relationship at a late-night meeting in Hyde Park. Diana was rumored to be pregnant with Khan’s child at the time of her death.
8. Dodi Fayed Diana didn’t wait long to rebound after the breakup with Khan. A month later, she was dating Dodi Fayed. But the relationship didn’t last long. Not two months later, after a vacation together on a yacht in the French Riviera, the two were involved in a car crash in Paris that took their lives. Fayed’s father, the billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed, long asserted that the crash was a conspiracy executed by British intelligence organization MI6.