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Harrods Owner and Diana Conspiracy Theorist Mohamed al-Fayed Passes Away

Harrods Owner and Diana Conspiracy Theorist Mohamed al-Fayed Passes Away

Harrods Owner and Diana Conspiracy Theorist Mohamed al-Fayed Passes Away
Harrods Owner and Diana Conspiracy Theorist Mohamed al-Fayed Passes Away(Image-Getty)

Mohamed al-Fayed, the self-made Egyptian billionaire renowned for his ownership of the Harrods department store and his controversial claims regarding the deaths of his son and Princess Diana, has passed away, as confirmed by his family.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, al-Fayed began his career humbly, initially selling fizzy drinks and later working as a sewing-machine salesman. He gradually built a substantial family fortune through ventures in real estate, shipping, and construction, primarily in the Middle East before expanding into Europe.

Although al-Fayed acquired iconic British establishments like Harrods, Fulham Football Club, and the Ritz hotel in Paris, he often found himself on the fringes of British society, not fully embraced despite his significant business holdings. His relationship with the British government soured when his application for British citizenship was denied, and he occasionally threatened to move to France, where he received the Legion of Honour, France's highest civilian honor.

One of the most significant chapters in al-Fayed's life was his relentless pursuit of proving that his son, Dodi, and Princess Diana were murdered in a car crash in a Parisian tunnel in 1997. Despite a lack of supporting evidence, he promulgated a conspiracy theory claiming the British royal family, particularly Prince Philip, orchestrated the deaths to prevent Diana from marrying a Muslim and bearing his child.

Mohamed al-Fayed passed away on the eve of the 26th anniversary of Dodi and Diana's tragic deaths. His family issued a statement confirming his peaceful passing due to old age.

Beyond his notoriety for conspiracy theories and controversy, al-Fayed was known for his eccentricities. He once expressed a desire to be mummified in a golden sarcophagus within a glass pyramid on the roof of Harrods. Within the store, he enforced a strict dress code, even for customers, and erected a bronze memorial statue of Diana and Dodi dancing under an albatross.

As the owner of Fulham Football Club, he installed a sequined statue of Michael Jackson outside the stadium, despite the singer attending only one match. In response to criticism, he famously retorted, "If some stupid fans don't understand or appreciate such a gift, they can go to hell."

While al-Fayed's life was marked by self-invention, exaggeration, and audacity, his legacy encompasses significant moments in recent British history, including a contentious takeover of Harrods in 1985 and his role in the "cash-for-questions" scandal that rocked British politics in 1994.

After a lengthy ownership stint, al-Fayed eventually sold Harrods to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund in 2010. His presence in the UK remained a subject of debate, and his name was often met with skepticism.

Despite his eccentricities and controversies, Mohamed al-Fayed's life was punctuated by a relentless pursuit of justice for his son and Princess Diana, making him a prominent figure in one of the most enduring mysteries of our time. 

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