Princess Diana Called Dr. Hasnat Khan By This Very Sweet Nickname

pakistani surgeon hasnat khan princess diana
Dr. Hasnat Khan: All About Princess Di's BoyfriendStan Karczmarz - Getty Images

The newest season of The Crown dives head first into the drama surrounding the young and beautiful Princess Diana’s crumbling relationship with Prince Charles, and of course, viewers meet a few new cast members who push the story's sad arc along. One special character, a doctor named Hasnat Khan, has garnered a lot of attention after Diana makes it very clear she's interested in him during season 5.

True to the on-screen depiction, Khan was a heart surgeon who Diana dated in the years before her death. And understandably, viewers have a lot of questions about the role this doctor played in the princess's life. Specifically, they want to know whether his portrayal on The Crown, and his budding love story with Diana, is accurate. Of course, as the British royal family loves to stress, The Crown is a fictional series that is based on real events. So, who is Hasnat Khan, and did he and Princess Diana actually date? Here’s everything to know about their relationship and love story:

Who is Dr. Hasnat Khan?

Hasnat Khan is a British-Pakistani heart and lung surgeon who is played by Humayun Saeed in The Crown. He was also Princess Diana's boyfriend after her divorce from Charles.

He’s currently a cardiothoracic surgeron in Basildon and London, according to Topdoctors.co.uk. According to the website, he specializes in specializes in thoracic aorta and aortic valve surgery, heart failure surgery, coronary artery bypass graft, mitral repair surgery, arterial fibrillation surgery, and minimally invasive (keyhole) surgery.

How did Khan and Diana meet?

In the newest season of The Crown, viewers see Diana in a hospital with her friend, Oonagh Toffolo, whose husband has just undergone heart surgery. It's then that she meets Hasnat Khan. After the doctor leaves, Diana refers to him as “dishy,” i.e. hot.

Apparently the two met in a similar way in real life in September of 1995, according to Vogue UK. Hasnat was the attending surgeon at Royal Brompton Hospital and really did give Oonagh an update of her husband’s triple-bypass surgery, per Vogue UK. Diana also returned to the hospital every day for the next few weeks and eventually ended up alone in an elevator with Hasnat. They went on a date a few weeks later.

“I did not think for one minute that she would say yes, but I asked her if she would like to come with me,” Hasnat said in a police report after Diana’s death, per the New York Daily News. “I was very surprised when she said she would. After this, our friendship turned into a relationship.”

How long did they date?

The two were together from 1995 until 1997, and Diana was reportedly very serious about Hasnat. (Diana and Charles separated in 1992, and the divorce was finalized in 1996.) The couple apparently discussed the possibility of getting married and having children at some point, but didn't talk specifics, per Vogue UK and Today.

Also, Diana really did wear wigs and dark sunglasses when she was out and about with Hasnat, which viewers see on The Crown, Vogue UK reported.

And even though she was dating Dodi Al-Fayed when she died in the infamous 1997 car crash in Paris, she had only recently broken things off with Hasnat, and they were still close.

What did Diana say about him?

Friends said that Diana called him “Mr. Wonderful” behind the scenes, per ET. She also reportedly told his family that she was considering the idea of permanently moving to Pakistan so that she and Hasnat could be together.

What has Khan said about Diana?

Hasnat has been pretty guarded about his relationship with Diana, but he has shared a little about their time together in the 25 years since her death.

“I found her a very normal person,” he told The Mail on Sunday in 2008. “We all have our drawbacks, but I found her a very normal person with great qualities, and some personal drawbacks, like bad habits. We all have drawbacks. I think she did great work for the country and for people all over the world – not just in the U.K. but everywhere. I think that is important.”

Hasnat said Diana visited his family in Pakistan and “really enjoyed her time when she came here. She also enjoyed the afternoon tea she had with my family. And I think she very much liked the Asian family's eccentric culture.”

But Hasnat has mostly stayed mum on the topic. “I'm loyal to her not because she was a celebrity, but because I'm loyal to all my friends. I'm like that," he said. “If I had said some things about her before 1997, she could have responded to them but, since she is not here, it would be very unfair to make a comment about her.”

Hasnat did say in a police interview after Diana’s death that the two considered moving to Pakistan to be together, but he was hesitant about publicly being with someone so famous. “I knew I would not be able to lead a normal life," he said. "My main concern about us getting married was that my life would be hell because of who she was.”

Did he attend Diana’s funeral?

Yes, Hasnat attended Diana’s funeral, but he kept a low profile, Today says.

Right before Diana's death, he apparently tried to contact by calling her phone number on the night she died, but she had changed her number, Vogue UK reported.

Where is he now?

Hasnat appears to still practice medicine in the U.K. However, he has “shunned the limelight,” according to the Daily Mail and has tried to stay away from speculation about Diana.

However, he seems to have found love again, as Esquire reported that Hasnat married his second wife, a woman named Somi Sohail, in 2017.

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