Mohamed Al-Fayed, former owner of the British department store Harrods whose son Dodi was killed in a car crash alongside Diana, Princess of Wales, died on Wednesday. He was 94.
The Fulham Football Club confirmed the death of its former owner Al-Fayed in a statement on Friday, with his successor Shahid Khan writing, “The story of Fulham cannot be told without a chapter on the positive impact of Mr. Al Fayed as Chairman. His legacy will be remembered for our promotion to the Premier League, a Europa League Final, and moments of magic by players and teams alike.”
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Al-Fayed’s family shared in a statement, “Mrs. Mohamed Al-Fayed, her children and grandchildren wish to confirm that her beloved husband, their father and their grandfather, Mohamed, has passed away peacefully of old age on Wednesday August 30, 2023. He enjoyed a long and fulfilled retirement surrounded by his loved ones.”
Al-Fayed was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He started his business endeavors in the Middle East before moving to the UK. He bought the Ritz Hotel in Paris in 1979, and he later acquired the famous Harrods department store for £615 million. Additionally, he was owner of the English soccer club Fulham FC for several years.
“We owe Mohamed a debt of gratitude for what he did for our club, and our thoughts now are with his family and friends at this sombre time,” the club added in its statement.
Al-Fayed’s son Dodi Al-Fayed died alongside Princess Diana and driver Henri Paul in a car accident on Aug. 31, 1997. Mohamed often expressed his suspicion about the circumstances of their untimely deaths, speculating that they were killed intentionally.
Both Mohamed and Dodi Al-Fayed are portrayed in Season 5 of “The Crown,” Netflix’s fictionalized retelling of the lives of the Royal family. The father and son are played by Salim Daw and Khalid Abdalla, respectively, and are introduced following Princess Diana’s separation from Prince Charles. The third episode of Season 5 “Mou Mou” prominently features Daw and Abdalla as Mohamed and Dodi. As Netflix’s Tudum says, the episode “focuses almost entirely on Mohamed expanding his business empire and chasing his loftiest dream — validation from, or some kind of identification with, the British royal family.”
In recent years, Al-Fayed stayed out of the spotlight, living in his mansion in Surry alongside his wife Heini.
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