Mohamed Al-Fayed has died aged 94.
The billionaire former Harrods boss – who was the dad of Princess Diana’s alleged lover Dodi – is thought to have passed away on 31 August – exactly 26 years to the day that his son, 42, was killed with Di, 36, in their Paris car smash.
A source told the Daily Mail a funeral service was held for the Egyptian tycoon at London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park on Friday (01.09.23), which apparently followed Islamic conventions to bury the dead within 24 hours.
Insiders also told the publication he passed away on Thursday (31.08.23) night, and that Janazah – funeral – prayers were held at the mosque the following day.
A source said: “The service went ahead as planned. The prayers were held in the mosque after Friday prayer – the prayer for the deceased.
It’s believed he went to his grave believing Diana and Dodi were killed as part of a wide-reaching conspiracy to stop an Egyptian entering the Royal Family and having a child with Diana.
Diana and Dodi left the Ritz hotel in Paris in the early hours of 31 August and were being driven away from paparazzi by Henri Paul, the deputy head of security at the hotel, when the chauffeur lost control of the car and struck a pillar in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel while speeding at around 65mph.
Mohamed funded a huge private probe into the crash, but a 2008 inquest concluded his son and Diana were unlawfully killed by a combination of Henri Paul’s driving under the influence of alcohol and the fact neither were wearing seatbelts.
But Mohamed is famously said to have told Press outside the court at the end of the inquest: “The most important thing is it’s murder.”
Some believe Diana and Dodi were engaged at the time of their deaths – with other unsubstantiated theories saying she was pregnant.
Along with owning Harrods, Mohamed is famed for previously buying Premier League club Fulham.
He invited Princess Diana with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry to join his family on their yacht the Jonikal – where Dodi and Diana got close before their deaths.
He’s said to have believed the couple were just hours away from announcing their engagement when they were killed.
Born in 1929, Mohamed grew up in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, Mohammed married author Samira Kashoggi in 1954 and worked for her arms dealer brother Adnan Khashoggi, before launching a successful shipping company in Egypt.
Dodi was born a year later and Mohamed went on to work as a financial adviser to the Sultan of Brunei in 1966, before he arrived in Britain in 1974.
Five years later, the businessman bought the Ritz hotel in Paris, before he and his brother Ali made purchased a 30 per cent stake in House of Fraser.
This included the famous Knightsbridge store Harrods, which they went on to buy outright £615 million.
Mohamed sold the flagship London store in 2010 for £1.5 billion to Qatari Holdings.
He had four children with Finnish model and actress Heini Wathem, 68, who he married in 1985 – and he has five children in total, including one from his first marriage to Samira.
His net worth is said to have been £1.3 billion.