Royal romance: How Diana felt like ‘teenager’ again on first dates after divorce exposed

Princess Diana and Prince Charles officially divorced in the Summer of 1996 following four years of separation and after the Queen pleaded with them to end their marriage and end their public feud. The Princess of Wales began dating Pakistani surgeon Hasnat Khan in 1995 but because Diana was still legally married to Charles the pair were forced to keep their romance away from the public scene until the divorce became official. Royal commentator Emma Forbes told PEOPLE Magazine the secrecy required had Diana feel like a “teenager” when on dates with her new beau. 

Ms Forbes said: “There was really a sort of teenager feel to it.

“There would be cigarettes leftover, Kentucky Fried Chicken packets – you’d never imagine Princess Diana having take out or doing those king of teenager-in-love things.

“But I think he came at a point in her life when she relished having her normality back. Because she got married so young, she never really had that real teenager’s heady feeling of being in love.”

The pair are believed to have met when Princess Diana visited a friend whose husband had been rushed to the Royal Brompton Hospital and was being treated by Dr Khan. 

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Ms Forbes suggested the heart surgeon won over Diana when he treated her like a normal visitor rather than fawn over her because of her royal status.

The commentator continued: “I think that must have made him infinitely, like to any woman, more appealing.

“Of course, to Princess Diana, that had never happened where somebody didn’t instantly go, ‘oh my goodness, you are Princess Diana.’

“Who doesn’t love a surgeon who’s that handsome, like he’s off some TV soap, performing open-heart surgery and you go watch him, and he’s doing heroic things.

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“It ticked every box for her that she loved. He was helping people, she was wanted to help people. It was an amazing combination.”

The romance between Princess Diana and Hasnat Khan continued to blossom after she officially divorced Prince Charles in August of 1996.

The same year the Princess of Wales visited Pakistan and she allegedly quizzed British TV presenter Jemima Khan, then married to cricketer Imran Kahn, on how she had adapted to life in Pakistan. 

The visit sparked speculation on whether the mother of the future King of England was considering to follow her heart and move with Dr Khan to his home country but the couple ended their relationship the following year.

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Ms Forbes added: “They both knew it couldn’t really happen, she couldn’t go and live in Pakistan.

“Be the surgeon’s wife and still be mother to Harry and William and still keep her public commitments. It just tragically couldn’t happen.”

Princess Diana broke up with the heart surgeon in June 1997, two months before she tragically died in a car crash in Paris as she travelled with her new boyfriend Dodi al-Fayed.

In his statement to the inquest into Diana’s death, Dr Khan said: “I think that if Diana were alive today, we would have remained very good friends, whatever she did and whomever she was with. It is a huge loss when someone very close to you dies.

“I do not know what Diana was like in other relationships but she protected me very well, not just from the media but also from a lot of information. Perhaps she protected me because she thought we had a future together.”

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