Daily Mail - 18th Jan - What If?

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Daily Mail - 18th Jan - What If?

Postby bjr » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:51 am

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/f ... ge_id=1879


What if Diana HAD married the love of her life, Hasnat Khan? We imagine what her life could have been
By DAVID THOMAS - More by this author ┬╗

Last updated at 23:00pm on 18th January 2008


Of all the evidence at the Princess Diana inquest, perhaps the most provocative concerns the alleged state of mind of Diana. She has been depicted as a woman whose true love was a Pakistani surgeon, and who regaled friends and even her lawyer with a series of extraordinary claims about the future of the Royal Family.
But what if her love had survived? What if her predictions had come true? Here, we imagine a very different reality.

What a marriage it will be. The bells will ring out from St Paul's Cathedral, just as they had done at another royal wedding, 29 years before, as the crowds flock the streets of London to watch the king of England escort his new bride back to Buckingham Palace.

Next Saturday, January 23, 2010, His Majesty King William V will wed Kate Middleton, and make her his, and our, Queen Catherine.

The most glamorous young monarch the world has seen since the early days of his grandmother Elizabeth's reign, is finally tying the knot with the beautiful brunette he has loved since they were both students at St Andrews University.

This is a fairy tale that has captured the imagination of the entire world. Billions will watch on television, or follow events online.

And yet, in the days leading up to this glorious event, the greatest fascination of all is reserved for a very modest guest at the wedding.

At some point over the next seven days, at a time and place shrouded in absolute secrecy, a modest housewife from Pakistan will slip into the country, at her husband's side.

As a respectable Muslim woman, she will be dressed elegantly, but modestly, in the traditional tunic and trousers known as a shalwar kameez. Her head will be covered with a scarf, that she may even draw across her face, so that only her eyes are visible.

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Affection: Diana shared a deep bond with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan

She will, at all times, defer to her husband, letting him take the lead. For though there are few things more precious, or more highly regarded in Muslim culture than a good wife, and though it is the duty of a husband to treat her with the respect such a position deserves, still it is the man who must be leader in his family.

It is written that the ideal wife always strives to please her husband by appearing beautiful before him, and going with him when he calls her to bed.

She obeys him when he gives her a command. And though any money she earns is hers and hers alone, she never goes against his wishes, regarding her person or her property.

Mrs Dina Khan has always been happy to abide by those rules. Her husband is the man she loves, the man for whom she gave up a life of palaces and private yachts, the man who would only formalise his love for her if she, in turn, promised to retreat utterly from the limelight that he so abhorred.

And that is exactly what she had done, as they had walked together in Battersea Park at a 'make or break' moment in their relationship. Out of devotion to him, she had exchanged the drawing rooms of London and New York for the women's quarters of a modest colonial-style compound in the baking-hot Punjabi town of Jehlum, two hours from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.



Two cultures: Diana in Pakistan
The man who has inspired such passion is an eminent, 50-year-old heart surgeon, Dr Hasnat Khan. And his loyal wife is the woman the world once knew as Princess Diana, the former Princess of Wales, ex-wife of Prince Charles, and mother of King William himself.

Mrs Khan took the Muslim name Dina, which means love, when she converted to the faith, shortly before her marriage. Her conversion followed that of her great friend Jemima Khan, former wife of the cricketer and politician Imran Khan.

For seven happy years, the two women had been best friends and soulmates, sharing much more than their marital surname.

Of course, Jemima has long since returned to Britain, now dresses in modern, western clothes, and has been seen frolicking in a bikini on Caribbean beaches with her former boyfriend Hugh Grant.

Diana was devastated at her friend's return home. But despite - or perhaps because of - all the predictions that her own marriage would similarly crumble, Dina Khan has never veered from her new way of life, nor displayed any desire to return to the ways of the West.

So extreme is her transformation from social butterfly to modest housewife that some speculated that she had undergone a form of breakdown, brought on by the culture shock of a foreign lifestyle so at odds with her glittering past.

Yet on the very rare occasions that she has been photographed in public, the huge blue eyes that shine behind her veil seem to be suffused with a contentment that were never present when she was the most famous, most feted woman in the world.


There are rumours, based in part on the conversation of old friends who have visited the couple, that Dina Khan is - like her husband - somewhat plumper than in days of yore. If so, that is surely a function of her happiness.

Dina no longer suffers from eating disorders, no longer has to worry about unkind gossips dissecting every picture for signs of excess poundage on the one hand, or worrying slenderness on the other.

While Dr Khan spends much of his time attending to his medical work not only in Pakistan but in Malaysia, Dina rarely ventures from the home she shares with a number of family members.

True Love: To Diana, marriage to Hasnat Khan was a dream
Only on exceptional occasions does Dina exploit the intense fascination that she still holds for countless millions around the world. In 2005, she made a televised appeal, calling on the West to help the victims of the Pakistan earthquake.

A few months earlier, she also visited victims of the tsunami, many of them Muslim, in Indonesia. She has always, however, taken extreme care not to do anything, or say anything that might be interpreted in political terms.

And yet, in her own way, Dina Khan possesses enormous political significance. She is a heroine to moderate Muslims the world over, who regard her conversion to their faith, and her respect for its teachings as the ultimate compliment.

Here, they say, is one of the great, iconic figures in contemporary western culture. And yet she has chosen to take her place among the faithful. What greater sign could there be of the power and beauty of Islam?

And yet, precisely because Dina represents a bridge between West and East, between Christian and Muslim, between two cultures that are otherwise so divided, she arouses hostility, too.

To extremists and terrorists, who seek war rather than peace, she is a dangerous threat. How can they stir up hatred and violence, when she is a living symbol of peace and reconciliation?

There have been numerous death threats in her new homeland, and few could forget the attempted car bomb attack that claimed the life of Dina's police escort, and a dozen innocent bystanders, but which had mercifully spared her any injury thanks to the armour plating of the vehicle.

Shocked at how close she had come to death, Dina now rarely ventured beyond the walls of her home.

But this week, she has had to. Having taken advice from a number of senior imams, Dina will be attendingher son's wedding service at StPaul's Cathedral, though she will take no active part in it. How could she not see her own child married?

What a very different country it is to the one she left ten years ago. And yet, with uncanny foresight, Dina Khan predicted many of the changes that have so astonished the people of Britain.

Diana leaving the Royal Brompton Hospital after a secret visit to Khan in 1996
Many of her insights were given to friends and associates in the months before she left Britain for Pakistan. Others were contained in a letter, first made public in 2003 by her former butler Paul Burrell, who now works as a junior footman in the household of Dodi Fayed, son of the Harrods proprietor Mohammed Al Fayed.

(To the delight of his father, Dodi had recently become engaged to Princess Stephanie of Monaco, after a brief courtship aboard his father's yacht.)

In some details, Mrs Khan's prophecies were inaccurate. She predicted, for example, that the Queen would abdicate in favour of Prince Charles in 1995.

In fact, that event had taken place three years later, in 1998, when Prince Philip's heart scare had persuaded her that their royal duties were placing too heavy a burden on his health, and the couple had retired to Sandringham.

Yet she rightly asserted that Charles's reign would be shortlived, and that he in turn would be obliged to make way for his son William. The new king acceded to the throne on his 18th birthday, January 9, 2000.

His uncle Andrew, the Duke of York, spent three years as regent, assisting the young king and taking his place at those formal state occasions to which, it was felt, an older presence would be more appropriate.

In truth, however, Andrew's heart was never in the job. He was not suited to the painstaking tedium that governs the day-to-day grind of monarchy and was happy to step back on to his beloved golf courses when William celebrated his 21st birthday.

As for Charles, he cuts a somewhat diminished, sorrowful figure today. His abdication was not of his own planning. After all the years spent in his mother's shadow, he had not unreasonably hoped that his reign as Charles III would be a long and popular one. Sadly that was not to be.

His people never forgave him for what they saw as his betrayal of their beloved Princess Di. Her disappearance to a far-off country only underlined the public's sense of loss. They had been deprived of a longedfor queen, and, however fairly or not, they blamed that deprivation on Charles.

Diana's friend Jemima Khan converted to Islam following her marriage
For weeks after she had left the country, crowds would gather outside Diana's old home in Kensington Palace, laying flowers and leaving gifts as if mourning a loved-one.

They might, perhaps, have forgiven King Charles had he married his longterm partner, Camilla Parker Bowles. While many could never forgive Camilla's part in the break-up of his marriage to Diana, many more generous souls were happy to think that

Charles might find happiness with the woman believed to be the love of his life.

And yet, in another astonishing turnaround, foretold in every detail by Dina Khan, Charles swiftly dropped Camilla in favour of his sons' former nanny Alexandra 'Tiggy' Legge-Bourke.

His infatuation with a woman some 18 years his junior seemed to many like a classic example of a male mid-life crisis. Royal advisers begged Charles not to make Miss Legge-Bourke his bride, as much for her sake as for his.

Tiggy was an entirely respectable, decent woman who had done nothing to earn the massive public disapproval that was sure to follow if she married the king.

But Charles would not be dissuaded. And like his great-uncle Edward VIII, he surrendered his throne for the woman he loved.

Today, they are the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall. Charles still runs massive estates that stretch across the country. He pursues his long-term interests in the environment and takes an active interest in the charity now known as the Duke's Trust, helping disadvantaged youngsters.

But he is not, as by rights and tradition he should be, the reigning king of England.

And so we come at last to the young man who is King William V. To many he symbolises a new, young England. With the surprise election victory of the Tory leader David Cameron, who took advantage of Gordon Brown's catastrophic decision to call a snap poll back in 2008, Britain is led by two young men who seem to represent the country's hope for its future.

Yet their growing friendship has raised questions, not just about the boundaries between Parliament and the palace, but about a return to the bad old days of aristocratic rule.

This is the first time in British history that both monarch and premier are old boys of the same school, in their case Eton College. And the coincidence is further deepened because both Samantha Cameron and the future Queen Catherine attended Marlborough College, in Wiltshire.

Such matters scarcely bother Dina Khan, so far away from Britain. But if her husband permits, she will, it is said, visit both Buckingham Palace and Downing Street during her visit to London.

Mostly, though, she will spend time with her beloved sons, William and Harry, and she will, no doubt, pass on a great deal of valuable, hard-earned advice to the new queen-to-be.

And then, when the ceremonies are over and the cameras have all been packed away, Dina Khan will slip out of the country. And she will return to Pakistan, to her new family . . . to where she feels most at home.
To my critics
When I'm in a sober mood, I worry, work and think,
When I'm in a drunken mood, I gamble, play and drink,
But when my moods are over and my time has come to pass,
I hope I'm buried upside down, so the world may kiss my ar*e
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Re: Daily Mail - 18th Jan - What If?

Postby Scribbler » Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:53 pm

A nice story - I wish it had been like that. I wonder what made you think Charles would have dropped Camilla in favour of Tiggy though? Or do you think he would have done but that Tiggy turned him down?
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Re: Daily Mail - 18th Jan - What If?

Postby Groom1 » Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:15 pm

This scenario is highly unlikely to have ever taken place. Di chased after Khan and dallied with him for a while, but I think she was far too unstable to have been able to maintain a normal relationship with anyone for long (sexual or otherwise). Her entire history with people is taking them up, telling them they are everything to her, dumping them for some imagined slight, attempting to take up with them again etc etc. Who in their right mind would want a relationship with someone like that?

She was free with her sexual favours, particularly with other women's husbands and fiancees, so for a woman with her problems, becoming a chaste Muslim wife would have been next to impossible. I don't think Hasnet Khan's family wanted him to marry her - she was unsuitable. Unchaste, wrong religion etc.

Dr. Khan suspected her of leaking info about their relationship (which had been secret) to the press to force his hand. It was claimed that she collared Dr Christian Barnard asking him if there were any likely jobs for Dr Khan in South Africa. He was reportedly furious at her interference in his private life. Was a supposed pregnancy was her last card - if it was, it failed because he walked away from her.
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