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Princess Diana & Dr Hasnat Khan : An Affair Lesser Known! by Priyanka ,  Aug 8, 2013

Born Diana Spencer on July 1st, 1961, Princess Diana became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. She married heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, on July 29, 1981. They had two sons and later divorced in 1996. Diana died in a car crash after trying to escape the paparazzi in Paris on the night of August 30, 1997.

Aristocratic Upbringing

British royalty. Born Diana Spencer on July 1st, 1961, near Sandringham, England. Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of the most adored members of the British royal family. She was the daughter of Edward John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and Frances Ruth Burke Roche, Viscountess Althorp (later known as the Honorable Frances Shand Kydd). Her parents divorced when Diana was young, and her father won custody of her and her siblings. She was educated first at Riddlesworth Hall and then went to boarding school at West Heath School.

She became Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. Although she was known for her shyness growing up, she did show an interest in music and dancing. Diana also had a great fondness for children. After attending finishing school at the Institut Alpin Videmanette in Switzerland, she moved to London. She began working with children, eventually becoming a kindergarten teacher at the Young England School.

Diana was no stranger to the British royal family, having reportedly played with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward as a child while her family rented Park House, an estate owned by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1977, she became reacquainted with their older brother, Prince Charles, who was 13 years her senior.

As the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles was usually the subject of media attention and his courtship of Diana was no exception. The press and the public were fascinated by this seemingly odd couple — the reserved, garden-loving prince and the shy young woman with an interest in fashion and popular culture. When the couple married on July 29, 1981, the ceremony was broadcast on television around the world, with millions of people tuning in to see what many considered to be the wedding of the century.

Marriage and Divorce

On June 21, 1982, Diana and Charles had their first child: Prince William Arthur Philip Louis. He was joined by a brother, Prince Henry Charles Albert David — known widely as "Prince Harry" — more than two years later on September 15, 1984. Initially overwhelmed by her royal duties and the intense media coverage of nearly every aspect of her life, she began to develop and pursue her own interests. Diana served a strong supporter of many charities and worked to help the homeless, people living with HIV and AIDS, and children in need.

Unfortunately, the fairy tale wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles did not lead to a happily-ever-after marriage. The two became estranged over the years, and there were reports of infidelities from both parties. During their union, Diana struggled with depression and bulimia.

Diana's secret love

Princess Diana

Princess Diana was the most photographed woman on the planet – and she knew the power of a picture. The world thought that Diana had finally found true love with Dodi Fayed during the last summer of her life. But now, it turns out, there may be more to the story. Correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports. ..........................................

”Marriage with Dodi Fayed was not in the cards. I’m absolutely certain of that,” says author Kate Snell, who has a surprising theory on why photos of Dodi and Diana were taken and broadcast around the world just before her death. Snell, who conducted extensive research and produced a documentary about Diana, says the princess wanted these pictures published to inspire jealousy in the man with whom she was really in love.Dr. Hasnat Khan - Diana's true love?“Very near the end of her life, she said to one of her friends, ‘I’m no longer lonely. I know what love is now,’” says Snell. “And I think that’s the gift that one man gave her. And that one man was Dr. Hasnat Khan.” Khan, a cardiologist still practicing in London, has managed to avoid the flashbulbs and spotlights that dogged Diana incessantly. But if Snell is right, the princess did indeed find the true love she had wanted all her life -- just before her death. “She was deeply insecure. She was a person constantly in search of love. That dominated her whole life,” says Snell. Diana’s search for love almost always played out publicly, from the day of her marriage, which was probably doomed the day it began. Prince Charles invited his lover, Camilla Parker Bowles, to the wedding and Diana knew it. “Her ideals were simple. She just wanted to do the very best she could, for the royal family. She wanted to strike out and do the very best she could as Diana, the Princess of Wales,” says Ken Wharfe, who was in charge of security for Diana. By the time Wharfe joined the palace guard, and became head of security, Diana’s marriage was crumbling and she was deeply involved in her first affair with riding instructor James Hewitt. “She said to me, ‘Look, you may not know already, but you know I’m seeing a man called James Hewitt,” says Wharfe. “And one didn’t need to ask further questions.” Wharfe says he made no moral judgments about his boss, and that his job was keeping the princess safe and the affair secret. Hewitt’s mother frequently invited the couple and Diana’s bodyguards to her cottage on the English coast. The visits were always kept discreet, and allowed the couple a small taste of normalcy. “We would use sort of beaches and woodland areas nearby,” says Wharfe. “It was actually a normal weekend where two people could enjoy each other’s company, you know, alone.” As the affair continued, Diana’s security wasn’t the only concern. Her image also had to be protected and that’s what worried Diana’s chief of staff, Patrick Jephson. “It seemed that she had so much going for her that to risk losing it all for the sake of what could only ever have been an affair was a pretty high risk strategy,” recalls Jephson, who says that he didn’t ask Diana to stop. “I recognized that she wasn’t a machine. She was a human being. And she as much as anyone - in fact, more than most people - deserved a bit of happiness in her love life.” Despite the growing strain between Diana and Charles, Jephson made sure their public appearances gave nothing away. “I would have to arrange for them to arrive from separate places, but appear to arrive together, and their airplanes would arrive simultaneously at an airport, and then they would get into the same car and arrive in the city center together,” says Jephson. “It was hard work.” .......................................................Princess Diana in the operation theatre with Dr Hasnat KhanAfter five years, Diana broke up with Hewitt, who was distraught and sought advice from Wharfe. “I remember saying specifically to him, ‘Well, look, you know, if it’s over, I said, consider yourself to have been in a very privileged position,’” recalls Wharfe. “And I said, ‘Really that’s the end of it. Live with that memory.'” Even while she was still married to Prince Charles and still seeing Hewitt, Diana had reportedly begun a romance with a third man, a car dealer named James Gilby. Diana and Gilby sometimes had to settle for passionate phone conversations, despite warnings from Wharfe that cell phone calls were not always private. One of those conversations was recorded and ended up being played in public a few years later. By early 1992, Diana surprised even her palace guard. She had a new relationship with married art dealer Oliver Hoare. One night, Diana drove up to the palace, and her trunk popped open. The officer on duty that night was shocked. “He said, ‘Well, sir, quite late last night, sir, the princess arrives home … and then the boot sprung or the trunk sprung, sir, and a man got out of the boot, sir,’” recalls Wharfe. “I said, ‘Are you serious?' And he said ‘Absolutely serious.’ He said, ‘Well, we did recognize the man, sir, and he went inside, and left later that night.’ But of course, I subsequently found out this was Mr. Oliver Hoare. And the princess and I had a discussion about it.” Wharfe and the princess worked out more conventional ways to get Hoare into the palace. But, Hoare’s exits were occasionally awkward. Wharfe remembers one rude awakening early one morning by the palace smoke alarm. “As I sort of went down to the ground floor, so the smell of cigar smoke became stronger and stronger. And then I found Mr. Hoare standing underneath this sort of decorative bay tree in the lobby of Kensington Palace, and unfortunately he couldn’t get out because the door was locked and they were alarmed, but he was leaving the property,” says Wharfe. “I said, effectively ‘Good morning, Mr. Hoare,’ and there was a suitable answer to that. I don’t think anything more needed to be said.”

......................................................... Before long, evidence that the marriage had collapsed was hard to ignore, and the palace finally stopped pretending that Charles and Diana were still a royal couple. But the end of the marriage was not the end of the problems in Diana’s life. When Hoare broke off the relationship and returned to his wife, Diana reportedly made more than 300 nuisance calls to his home. Hoare called the police, who traced the calls to the princess. This time, the palace guard couldn’t protect her. “I do think that the drip, drip effect of embarrassing revelations about her private life had a corrosive effect on her public image,” says Jephson. At her exclusive London gym, Diana struck up a relationship with Will Carling, a rugby player who was very famous and very involved with a woman who was very tough and very angry. Carling got married and his wife wasn't going away without a fight. “The difference with Will Carling was Mrs. Carling,” says Jephson. “And I think with her, the princess found that she’d run up against an adversary who was younger than her, blonder than her, and in many ways, feistier than her.” Even though Carling denied the affair, the story became even more scandalous when the Carling’s marriage broke up.

.................................................... By 1994, Diana had separated from Prince Charles and was on her own. Princess Diana visits Imran Khan in Lahore.She was lonely and vulnerable, but not for long. When a friend suddenly needed heart surgery, Diana rushed to his bedside. That's where she met Dr. Hasnat Khan. Snell says that Diana couldn’t wait to tell her friends about Hasnat: “She said, ‘Isn’t he just drop-dead gorgeous?’ … And she also described the meeting to one of her friends as being ‘karmic ’ -- that this was a man she felt was going to have an influence on her future and shape her destiny.” Diana was soon a fixture at the Royal Brompton Hospital, visiting patients, offering comfort, even watching a heart operation. She was spending a lot of time around Hasnat, the shy, quiet, doctor who now fascinated her. “She admired his humanity, his compassion, and his utter devotion to the sick and the suffering,” says Snell. “I think if a relationship was meaningful to Diana, she went out of her way to make sure it didn’t reach the headlines. And she went to extraordinary lengths to keep it out of the press.” But they were two people from two different worlds. “He’s not interested in the money, he’s not interested in the fame. I think he just loved her for being Diana,” says Shekhar Bhatia, one of the few journalists who has actually talked to Hasnat Khan, who regularly refuses interview requests. Hasnat came from a very conservative, educated family in Pakistan, and Diana decided she had to prove that she understood and respected his culture. So, in 1996 she went to Pakistan, and visited a cancer hospital run by a well-known cricket player and politician, Imran Khan -- who was also Hasnat’s distant cousin. After returning from Pakistan, Diana’s divorce became official and she continued pursuing Hasnat Khan. Her friends have said she snuck him into Kensington Palace -- hiding him in the trunk of her car. When the two went out, she reportedly wore disguises, so they could visit restaurants and clubs, just like a normal couple. But they weren’t a normal couple, and never would be. “I think he would have loved Diana to be the girl next door. I think what he couldn’t cope with was the Princess of Wales, the mother of the future king, and all of the baggage that she brought with her,” says Snell.

.......................................................... However, Hasnat also had problems with his parents. He was raised to believe in the tradition of arranged marriage, and a western, divorced non-Islamic woman would never get his parent’s approval. “They were still of the belief that he was gonna marry a girl of their choice,” says Bhatia. “In his father’s words, he will marry no one, nowhere, without my permission.” By 1997, their relationship stalled. Diana wanted to marry Hasnat, but he never proposed. So she turned to Imran Khan, one man she thought could understand. He had married a British aristocrat from outside the faith, so Diana asked him if he would intervene and convince Hasnat to do the same. “Maybe I could speak to him, because having married someone from outside my culture, maybe there if there was something which could be cleared, if there was advice that could be given, maybe I would be able to help,” says Imran Khan.

..............................................................Dr Hasnat Khan attends Princess Diana's funeralDuring this trip, Diana paid a low-key visit to Hasnat’s family. She had already sent them letters, and she hoped to convince Hasnat's parents that she was the right woman for their son. But it didn’t work. “I don’t think Diana had given up hoping that there could be a future. As far as Dr. Khan was concerned, he called the relationship off. But I don’t believe Diana considered that was the end,” says Snell. Snell says their breakup happened just days before Diana’s kiss with Dodi Fayed was seen around the world. But several people in a position to know now say it was Diana herself who arranged for the photographer to be there, to get just the right shots to make Hasnat jealous. “She was not in love with Dodi. She was in love with Hasnat Khan,” says Snell. “She wanted to get back to Kensington Palace. And she enjoyed being with Dodi, but when she got back home, Dodi would be a past chapter in her life.” As it turned out, Diana was already living the last chapter of her life. And to this day, Hasnat Khan has never spoken about the details of what happened between them. But Hasnat Khan was among the mourners at Diana’s funeral at Westminster Abbey, unable to completely hide his emotions behind his dark glasses.

He was hardly the stuff of a Mills & Boon romantic hero. Dr Hasnat Khan, a heart surgeon, was running to fat, smoked a packet of cigarettes a day, and had a passion for Carlsberg, Kentucky Fried Chicken and late-night jazz at Ronnie Scott’s. Not quite an advert for healthy living.

Yet the moment Diana, Princess of Wales, set eyes on the Pakistan-born surgeon, her heart skipped a beat.

“He’s drop-dead gorgeous,” she told Oonagh Toffolo, her friend and acupuncturist, after their brief encounter at the Royal Brompton Hospital in west London, where she was visiting Oonagh’s husband, Joe, following triple-bypass surgery.

Oonagh later told me: “I would say it was love at first sight. She was so overwhelmed, it can only have been a soul encounter.”

The self-appointed queen of hearts had found her king.

As with the first time she met Prince Charles, when he was mourning the loss of his great-uncle, Lord “Dickie” Mountbatten, their fleeting meeting in September 1995 brought out her strong mothering instincts.

Shortly afterwards, this highly unlikely couple embarked on what would be Diana’s last love affair. Their first date was a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit his aunt and uncle, and to pick up some books. “I did not think for one minute that she would say yes, but I asked her to come with me,” Dr Khan later recalled. “After this, our friendship turned into a relationship.”

Their intense but largely secret two-year romance is now the subject of a new film by the director Oliver Hirschbiegel, Diana, out next month. Naomi Watts, the Oscar-nominated actress, plays the love-struck princess, while the rakishly handsome Naveen Andrews, star of the television series Lost, is the publicity-shy NHS doctor.

The film — the first to deal directly with the last two years of her life — is the latest example of Hollywood’s recent love affair with all things royal (think Peter Morgan’s brilliantly observed 2006 film The Queen, and 2010’s The King’s Speech). In the past, films about Diana have been low-budget, made-for-television affairs that have had scant critical recognition. Given the tragic drama of her life, it is surprising that so few have been tempted to interpret her story.

The movie has propelled Diana back on to the cover of Vanity Fair — the fifth time since her death in August 1997. Her surgeon boyfriend also, reluctantly, returns to the limelight.

This is in contrast with the suffocating secrecy surrounding their affair. They spent their time either in Kensington Palace, where Diana lived alone, or in Dr Khan’s tiny one-bedroom Chelsea flat, where she would perform housewifely duties for the doctor, who worked 90-hour weeks, doing the washing-up and his laundry.

Diana, then 35, frequently wore a wig and spectacles as a disguise, and once climbed out of a ground-floor window when she visited him at Harefield Hospital in west London to avoid discovery. At other times, she risked all to please the man whom she described as having “dark-brown velvet eyes that you could just sink into”.

Shortly after her birthday in July 1996, the Princess apparently met her lover wearing a fur coat, a pair of sapphire-and-diamond earrings — and nothing more apart from a big smile.

As with her other relationships, Diana threw herself into his life and interests. When she visited Pakistan on a humanitarian mission in 1996, for instance, she made a point of visiting his parents for tea. She even studied the medical textbook, Gray’s Anatomy, so that she could more clearly understand his work.

Her romance coincided with a time when her life was beginning to make sense. She was in secret discussions with Tony Blair, then leader of the opposition, about becoming a roving ambassador; her divorce was finalised on July 4 1996; and she had a new sense of purpose, symbolised by her decision to sell her collection of gowns at a charity auction in New York.

After meeting Dr Khan’s parents, Diana was talking about marriage, children and a new life together in Australia, South Africa or Pakistan. She kept his picture by her bedside, read the Koran each night and introduced Dr Khan to her children.

As she dreamt of becoming plain Mrs Khan, she talked, too, of having a “beautiful brown daughter” whom she would call Allegra, a name suggested by her friend Annabel Goldsmith. She believed that she and Hasnat could open hospitals for children with heart conditions or hospices on an international scale. “She felt that Hasnat and she could change the world,” recalls Oonagh Toffolo.

Jemima Khan, the socialite, told Vanity Fair that one reason they became friends was her own marriage to Imran Khan, the Pakistani cricketer, now politician.

“Diana was madly in love with Hasnat Khan [a distant cousin from the traditional Pashtun tribe] and wanted to marry him, even if that meant living in Pakistan,” she explained.

While the prospect of making a new life with him was a tantalising vision, her single-minded focus was unnerving for the unassuming surgeon. She was intense and obsessive, and her neediness was as demanding as it was compulsive.

A certain “Dr Armani” — that is to say, the princess — would bombard Dr Khan with texts and calls while he was on duty.

“She was besotted with him, and I think his rather reserved manner made it worse,” recalls Simone Simmons, a spiritualist friend.

She would follow him on his rounds and even watched him perform heart operations, on one occasion allowing herself to be filmed in the operating theatre. This lead to widespread ridicule from the media, who were baffled by her behaviour.

As the man she described as “Mr Wonderful” absorbed the implications of life in the media spotlight, he started to have serious doubts, especially when the press began contacting former girlfriends and professors from his medical school.

Debbie Frank, her friend and astrologer, recalls: “He wasn’t at all interested in being a celebrity and would get annoyed if things came out in the press about them, and he would blame her.”

Diffident and unassuming, he would prefer to sip a pint of Guinness in his local pub, the Anglesea Arms in South Kensington, than appear on the front pages.

While Dr Khan found no allure in the princess as a celebrity, the altruistic, caring woman who was unafraid to take on difficult causes was quite another matter. This was the tension at the heart of their relationship, the conflict between her public persona that attracted unwanted attention, and the private princess.

It was becoming clear that Dr Khan felt constrained by the curse of celebrity, the conflicting demands of the princess and his career, and by their cultural and religious divide. As he told his father, Abdul Rasheed Khan, she was from Venus, he was from Mars.

More than that, he had a fear of commitment, having already been engaged twice and calling off the nuptials at a late stage. (His eventual marriage in 2006 lasted barely 18 months.) “Everyone knew she wanted to marry him,” Dr Khan’s mother, Nahid, told the Pakistan’s Daily Times, “but he felt that a marriage would be impossible.”

Ultimately, it was the other two men in her life, William and Harry, who became the biggest stumbling block. Dr Khan realised that if they married, they would have to live in Pakistan to have any chance of a normal life together. There was no way the Queen or Prince Charles would have allowed the heir to the throne to be raised abroad for any length of time.

Dr Khan said last year: “She couldn’t have lived in Pakistan at that time — her children were too young [William was 14 and Harry 12]. She couldn’t live in two places at the same time, spending a month here or a week there.”

They began to drift apart, friends saying that the relationship ended around the summer of 1997. He later recalled: “I think mainly the problem was that even after two years, the relationship wasn’t leading to a meaningful progression or conclusion, and that was the main stress on both of us. Everyone wants a relationship to be going somewhere.”

Just weeks before her death, Dr Khan met the princess for the final time at Battersea Park in south London. She said her final farewells. “It was not at all happy,” Dr Khan says, with typical understatement, adding: “She was not her normal self.” He suspected that she was now with Dodi Fayed.

Some of her friends, such as Simone Simmons and Rosa Monckton, then head of Tiffany & Co, the jewellers, believe that her subsequent courtship of Dodi was a deliberate move to make Dr Khan jealous and encourage him to change his mind about living in Pakistan.

During that last summer she looked sleek and glamorous, posing on the deck of the Fayeds’ private yacht or diving into the Mediterranean wearing a sexy one-piece bathing suit. Her publicity-seeking behaviour was, say her girlfriends, targeted at just one man: Hasnat Khan.

The Princess was still on the doctor’s mind, too; he tried telephoning her on August 31 1997, the night she died, not knowing that she had changed her number.

Of course, we will never know her real motives. It is part of the mystery that remains Diana. Certainly her romance with Dr Khan was highly unusual, although she had long since thrown away the handbook on how to be a conventional princess.

As for Dr Khan, he now works as a heart surgeon at a private clinic in Basildon, Essex, while quietly building a charitable cardiology unit in Pakistan. The £1 million unit is in the town of Badlote, near his family home. His aim is to provide free care for poor children in this rural region, something the princess and the doctor talked of nearly two decades ago.

Diana would have approved.

Personal life after divorce

Diana, Princess of Wales, meeting with Sri Chinmoy, May 1997 at her Kensington Palace apartments

After the divorce, Diana retained her double apartment on the north side of Kensington Palace, which she had shared with the Prince of Wales since the first year of their marriage, and it remained her home until her death. She also continued to use two offices at St. James's Palace.[81]

Diana dated the respected heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, who was called "the love of her life" after her death by many of her closest friends.[82] In May 1996, Diana visited Lahore upon invitation of Imran Khan, a relative of Hasnat Khan, and she also visited the latter's family in secret.[83] Their relationship lasted almost two years and Khan ended the relationship.[84][85] Khan was intensely private and the relationship was conducted in secrecy, with Diana lying to members of the press who questioned her about it. According to Khan's testimonial at the inquest for her death, it was Diana herself, not Khan, who ended their relationship in a late-night meeting in Hyde Park, which adjoins the grounds of Kensington Palace, in June 1997.

Within a month Diana had begun seeing Dodi Fayed, son of her host that summer, Mohamed Al-Fayed. Diana had considered taking her sons that summer on a holiday to the Hamptons on Long Island, New York, but security officials had prevented it. After deciding against a trip to Thailand, she accepted Fayed's invitation to join his family in the south of France, where his compound and large security detail would not cause concern to the Royal Protection squad. Mohamed Al-Fayed bought a multi-million-pound yacht, the Jonikal, a 60-metre yacht on which to entertain Diana and her sons.

Diana 'wanted to wed doctor'


Princess Diana and Paul Burrell

Princess Diana begged heart surgeon Hasnat Khan to marry her, according to her butler Paul Burrell.

The Princess wanted to wed her lover in a secret ceremony and even asked Burrell to approach a priest to organise it.

The 44-year-old butler revealed the extent of the Princess's love for the doctor in a sensational 39-page statement to police investigating the supposed theft of more than 300 of Diana's personal possessions.

An inquiry is already under way into how the explosive statement, which tells Burrell's story in his own words, was leaked to the media.

It comes in the aftermath of the collapse of his £1.5million trial when the Queen revealed that she knew the butler had taken some of Diana's possessions for safekeeping.

In his account of his extraordinary working life with the Princess, Burrell said Diana and the 42-year-old doctor were deeply in love.

The Princess considered Dr Khan her 'soulmate'. Burrell said: 'The Princess loved many of her male friends - but she was in love with Hasnat Khan.

'He was her soulmate and she begged him to marry her.

'She asked me to check with Father Tony - a Roman Catholic priest - to see whether it would be possible for them to be married privately. I had to tell her that this was not possible.

'I had many conversations with Hasnat Khan on my own, taking him to and from the palace, and also when the Princess sent me out at night to try and find him when she had been contacting him and he had not been responding to her phone calls.

'I would sometimes find him at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant or his local bar close to Brompton Hospital.

'Dr Hasnat Khan is a heart surgeon who is extremely conscientious and who worked very long hours.

'A good meeting point for us was the Anglesea Arms. In a rendezvous I would meet him at a quiet mews in the back of Brompton Road which is a meeting place that the Princess had designated. Sometimes she met him there personally.

'On one particular evening, which was the Princess's birthday, she was wearing sapphire and diamond earrings and looked absolutely stunning. She went upstairs and took all of her clothes off and went out wearing a fur coat to meet Hasnat Khan. I think the Princess was seeing Dr Khan for about two years.

'I think that the Princess initially met Hasnat Khan in a lift when she was on a hospital visit with Susie Kassem (a close friend) and she said to Susie that he was "drop dead gorgeous".

'The stumbling block was that Hasnat could not stand the pressure placed on him by the press in the outside world and he found that he had no protection and there was also a conflict with his work, to which he was devoted.

'The Princess also gave me letters to deliver to Hasnat Khan in hospital.

'This was sometimes an embarrassment because I had to wait in reception in the hospital while he was bleeped to come and collect them from me - and on occasions this involved him breaking off from surgery.

'I couldn't leave the letters with anybody else - I had to deliver them by hand.

'Because at times Hasnat was deliberately choosing not to reply to the Princess's phone calls, when I eventually caught up with him he was a bit embarrassed.

'The Princess wanted to arrange for Hasnat Khan to be photographed with her publicly so that he would not be troubled about it as much in the future and at the same time as she was seeing him.

'And in an effort to make him more committed and jealous, which she later regretted, she also saw Gulu Lalvani, who was the managing director of Binatone, the electrical company and was photographed out publicly with him.

'Gulu Lalvani was a millionaire and was also another Moslem, which I think the Princess thought would make Hasnat more possessive. In fact, it had the opposite effect.'

In the police statement, reported by The Sun, Burrell told how he smuggled lovers into Kensington Palace in the boot of his car to keep her affairs secret.

He said: 'To facilitate the arrangements in relation to the Princess's male friends, I would say to the officers at the gate when I went out that I was going on an errand and that when I came back I did not want to be stopped.

'I would then flash my lights and they would open the barrier and let me in. When I arrived in Kensington Palace with the male visitor, I would not announce them as being a person entering the palace to police officers so the police would never have a record of Dr Hasnat Khan entering the palace, even though he visited and indeed stayed in the palace on many occasions.

'On a number of occasions when the Princess had an engagement early in the morning and Hasnat Khan was still in the palace he would be left to sleep there until later in the morning, at which point I would give him something to eat and then take him home.'

Recalling his years of dedication to the Princess, Burrell said: 'I was effectively on call 24 hours a day.

'Whenever the Princess wanted me she had a direct line to my home and she would ring. She had no regard for the time and would call at any time without embarrassment.'

Burrell said: 'It wasn't unusual for us to drive round Paddington Station to visit the prostitutes.

'The Princess became on first name terms with two or three of them.

'She would take great delight in taking me there and winding down the passenger window so that they could look through and talk to me to my face.

'She would give them money, especially when it was cold and wet, and tell them to go home.

'I saw her give £50 notes to them on condition that they went home and stopped working.

'She bought clothes for them from Marks and Spencer and she also gave one girl money so that she could buy a coat. And she was annoyed that whenever she saw the girl afterwards she was not wearing the coat, so that she had obviously spent the money on something else.

'The Princess would also send me around with money for them. This would take place normally round about 7 o'clock at night because she would come back to the house and settle down.

'She would then start phoning friends and would often be on the phone until very late at night.'

Burrell cited times when the Princess had bought home pregnancy testers from chemists as an example of her mischievous sense of humour, and revealed that she was paranoid about being bugged.

'She would take great delight going to the counter in Boots, picking up Predictor pregnancy kits or contraceptives', he said.

'The Princess was provided with telephones by Graham Harding, who was a security consultant, and I believe he also arranged for her apartment to be swept for bugs.

'I noted that the carpets and the floor boards were taken up at one time for this purpose.

'The Princess was convinced that her conversations were being listened to and she had a shredder by her desk which she used to dispose of certain items.'

Burrell began his statement by detailing his early working life, and how he landed his dream job at Buckingham Palace.

He said: 'I left college and worked for six months at a hotel in Torquay as an assistant manager during the summer season.

'During that time I learned that I had gained a post as a Household Footman working at Buckingham Palace.

'I had been interviewed for this position whilst I was still at college, having written directly to Buckingham Palace asking if any suitable positions were available for me. I commenced work at Buckingham Palace on 20th December 1976 as a Household Footman (one of 14).

'My duties involved taking care of Her Majesty's household and guests, providing meals and drinks for many hundreds of people who were entertained at the Palace.

'We would always travel with the Monarch on the Queen's Flight or on specially fitted out British Airways flights or sailed on Britannia.'

He said he met wife Maria when she began working at the Palace a year later.

Burrell said: 'Maria and I became close and after a couple of years we got engaged and were married in July 1984.

'Maria and I both met the Princess in the summer of 1980 at Balmoral Castle.

'The Princess had been invited as a house guest for the weekend. As usual, all the ladies were left behind while the men went hunting.

'Maria was assigned to Diana as her dresser.

'When she arrived she only had one evening dress, which was a black taffeta ball gown which she asked Maria to press.

'Maria and I felt quite sorry for the Princess at that stage, knowing how vulnerable she was, because she seemed a shy, timid and nervous girl.

'I understood from Princess Diana later that she never forgot our kindness to her on that occasion and that was the start of our friendship.'

The bond they forged was to last up to, and beyond, her death in Paris with Dodi Al Fayed in a car crash five years ago.

Looking back on how he and his wife's friendship with Diana bloomed, Burrell said: 'My recollection is that the Princess's engagement to the Prince of Wales was announced in the autumn of 1980.

'Shortly afterwards, the Princess moved into accommodation on the nursery floor at Buckingham Palace.

'The Princess's rooms were immediately underneath the rooms the maids occupied.

'Maria and I had easy access to those rooms and would often have private time with the Princess in her suite.

'On many occasions I remember fetching a McDonald's dinner for her which she would eat whilst I talked to her.

'I helped the Princess expose the carpet in the Throne Room so that she could take dancing lessons on the wood floor. She was keen to learn how to ballroom dance for formal occasions.'

Burrell then turned to Diana's fling with Dodi.

He said: 'Very shortly after Gulu Lalvani, the Princess met Dodi Al Fayed on perhaps three occasions.

'He was a very kind, gentle, softly-spoken man who obviously gave the Princess much attention and pampered to her every need.

'He sent the Harrods helicopter to Kensington Palace to pick the Princess to fly her to Paris.

'She was amazed when she landed at the Palace de Bologna, which was the home of the Windsors. It was not met by Customs or any officials because it appeared that they had managed to by-pass the Customs.

'Mohamed Al Fayed said that they were looking at the house with a view to living there. That was not true.

'The Princess said that she couldn't possibly live in a house like that - there were far too many ghosts.

'Dodi only spent a matter of perhaps 14 days in the Princess's presence during their relationship, spanning a period of no more than three months.

'The Princess told me that Dodi had a cocaine problem after she asked me on one occasion why I thought he spent so much time in the bathroom and locked the door after him.'

Burrell's statement also looked back to the day Diana married Charles.

He added: 'Being the Queen's footman, I took care of the bridal party on the wedding day and served the bride and groom and their immediate family their wedding breakfast.

'When the Princess came back from honeymoon and went for a swim she made a point of seeking out Maria and myself and telling us about the honeymoon.

'When Maria and I were married in 1984 she took great delight and was invited to attend the ceremony.

'But she said that she wouldn't because it was Maria's day and it would have been unfair for there to have been any press attention directed away from her.

'I remember at Balmoral that the Princess confided in Maria and I that she was expecting a baby long before she officially announced it.

'I remember that she told us that it was a boy.

'Maria became pregnant shortly afterwards and Alexander was born in May 1985.

'It gave the Princess a perfect excuse for her to visit us at the family home whenever she wanted.

'Prince Harry had been born by that time and she was able to talk to Maria about newborn babies and children.

'She would visit regularly, at least once a week and often when I wasn't there.

'A lot of my conversations with the Princess took place in snatched moments when she wanted to gossip, in corners or on the way to official engagements.

'I created a diversion for her from the boredom of royal protocol, which the Queen often questioned with a raised eyebrow.'

Burrell went on: 'Although I was very happy working for the Queen, I had been approached by the Princess personally on one of her visits to our house when she asked us to come and work for her and Prince (Charles) in Highgrove.

'She had already been trying to persuade Maria to do this for a number of months before.

'I was initially opposed to it because I enjoyed our life as it was at that time and I had a secure, responsible and good working relationship with the Queen.

'The Princess persuaded me to at least visit Highgrove and see the accommodation in which we would live and the environment in which we would work.

'I went on my own for this visit.

'She reasoned that our children would be better served by growing up in the countryside.

'The Princess confided in me that all wasn't well in their marriage and that she needed somebody that she could trust to lean on.

'After visiting Highgrove, Maria and I discussed the move and we agreed between ourselves that it was the best way forward for us.

'We moved to Highgrove in the autumn of 1987.

'Times were very difficult within the royal marriage. I constantly found myself torn between loyalties with the Prince, who spent a great deal of time during the week at Highgrove, and the Princess, who visited every weekend with the boys.

'The boys would arrive after they finished school in London on Friday afternoons and come down with the Princess and then go back on Sunday afternoons.

'During the week the Prince would entertain his own friends.

'And he would tell me that I was not to discuss those friends with the Princess or even tell her where he was during the evenings.

'This was obviously something I found very difficult because I was closer to the Princess than I was to P rince Charles, and because the Princess would often ring me during the week from London for a gossip or a chat.

'And she would also ask me questions and was obviously very keen to try and find out what Prince Charles was doing.

'I remember on one occasion the Prince threw a book across the library at me and told me never to discuss his whereabouts with the Princess, as she had rung the previous evening and I had told her he was out.

'I asked him specifically if he wanted me to lie for him and he said, "Yes".'

Khan has been widely identified as an "ex-lover" of Diana, Princess of Wales. In May 1996, Princess Diana visited Khan family in Lahore. According to Diana's butler Paul Burrell, the relationship was ended by Princess Diana in June 1997.

The heart surgeon told the police in 2004 that he doubted she had been pregnant when she died because she always took her contraceptive pills.In March 2008, Khan said in a written statement to Lord Justice Scott Baker's inquest into Diana's death that their relationship had begun in the late summer of 1995, and that although they had talked about getting married, he believed that he would find the inevitable media attention "hell". He also said that he believed that the car crash which caused Diana's death was a "tragic accident".

Diana's friends are reported to have described Khan as the 'love of her life' and to have spoken of her distress when he ended their relationship. He, however, is said to be reticent about speaking of how much he may have meant to her or even how much she meant to him. Many of Diana's friends believe she was using Dodi Fayed in order to make Hasnat jealous and win him back. Khan attended the funeral ceremony of Princess Diana at Westminister Abbey in September 1997.

Diana, Princess of Wales's former lover Hasnat Khan has revealed that police believe his phone may have been hacked in the months before the inquest into her death.

The 53-year-old heart surgeon said he had been contacted by detectives after his name and mobile number were found in paperwork uncovered during their investigations into phone hacking.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Khan said he felt "violated" to discover his voicemails may have been intercepted ahead of the belated inquest in 2008.

He said: "To know that someone has been listening to your private messages is awful.

"It is absolutely terrible. It feels as if you have been robbed. We live in the UK. We are supposed to have civil liberties. I feel really, really violated. I am very angry."

Scotland Yard reopened an inquiry into phone hacking last year – codenamed Operation Weeting – amid a steady flow of fresh revelations about the practice of intercepting the voice messages of high-profile people.

Khan said that any potential compensation he may receive would be donated to a heart unit he is setting up for children in Pakistan, which he and Diana had dreamed of building.

He said: "Diana was one of those people who didn't just talk about things.

"She was proactive. She would go out and get it done. I think this hospital would be 10 years old by now if she was alive. She did good things because she wanted to, not because of her status. She had an inner desire. It genuinely came from within her.

"I have no doubt that Diana would have been involved in this. It wouldn't have mattered whether we were together or not."

The inquest into Diana's death heard that friends of the princess believed her two-year relationship with Khan was serious, and that he had been introduced to Princes William and Harry. The pair separated in the summer of 1997.

During the inquest, Khan insisted in a statement that it had been Diana who broke up with him in the summer of 1997 after her first holiday with the Fayed family in late July, when she met Dodi.

Scotland Yard declined to comment.