The father and son had connections to the royal family even before Dodi's short-lived romance with Princess Diana.
As The Crown season 5 dives further into the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, including her divorce from Prince Charles, the show introduces the two prominent romances the royal was involved in following her split: Hasnat Khan and Dodi Fayed.
Little is known about Khan, who was called "the love of her life" by many of Diana's closest friends after her death, as he has remained reticent to speak about their relationship publicly. However, following the dissolution of their relationship in July 1997, Diana began a brief romance with Dodi that lasted until they died tragically the following month.
Diana and Dodi met through her relationship with his father, Harrods owner Mohamed Al-Fayed, and both men are portrayed on The Crown season 5, with Salim Daw playing Mohamed Al-Fayed and Khalid Abdalla portraying Dodi Fayed.
Mohamed Al-Fayed was born in Egypt in 1929, the eldest son of an elementary school teacher. He got his start in business when he and his brothers founded a shipping company in Egypt before moving its headquarters to Genoa, Italy, with offices in London. He made investments in the fields of oil refining and mining before meeting the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, in the mid-1960s, who tasked him with helping transform Dubai.
In 1979, Mohamed bought The Ritz hotel in Paris, France, for $30 million, and in 1985, he and his brothers acquired the department store group House of Fraser, which included famous London department store Harrods. He was also the owner of the Fulham Football Club from 1997 to 2013, owns Balnagown Castle & Estates in Scotland and took over the lease of the Villa Windsor in Paris, the former home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII and his wife, Wallis Simpson.
Through his first marriage to Saudi Arabian author Samira Khashoggi (the aunt of slain political journalist Jamal Khashoggi), Mohamed had one son, Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Mena'em Fayed, known as "Dodi." He later married Finnish socialite and former model Heini Wathén, with whom he had four more children: Jasmine, Karim, Camilla, and Omar.
Dodi was educated in Egypt, Switzerland and the U.K. before working as an attaché at the United Arab Emirates Embassy in London. He also served as a financier and executive producer on several major films, including Chariots of Fire, Breaking Glass, F/X, F/X2, Hook and The Scarlet Letter.
However, it was his work with his father through Harrods that would lead him to meet Princess Diana, a frequent shopper at the store. Following her split from Khan in the summer of 1997, Dodi invited Diana and her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, to vacation with his family in the south of France. The pair was photographed together on his family's yacht, the Jonikal, leaving to a media frenzy over the couple's relationship, which lasted a mere 30 days.
In the early hours of Aug. 31, 1997, Diana and Dodi were killed in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma underpass in Paris. They had stopped in Paris on their way back to London, after having spent nine days together on holiday in the French and Italian Rivieras aboard his family's yacht. Neither Dodi nor Diana was wearing a seat belt, and Dodi was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigations by French and British police concluded that the couple's chauffeur, Henri Paul, was driving under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs. Paparazzi swarming and chasing the couple throughout the Paris streets were also believed to have contributed to the accident.
However, following the death of his son and Diana, Mohamed has been publicly outspoken about conspiracy theories surrounding their deaths, making over 100 conspiracy claims during Operation Paget, a Metropolitan police inquiry that concluded in 2006, finding no evidence of a conspiracy.
Mohamed also financially supported a 2011 documentary, Unlawful Killing, that presented his version of events. The film was never formally released due to the potential for libel suits.
The Crown season 5 is streaming now on Netflix.