Mohamed al-Fayed, the flamboyant Egypt-born billionaire businessman, has passed away at the age of 94, as confirmed by his family. Al-Fayed, best known as the former owner of Harrods department store in London and the Fulham Football Club, was deeply haunted by the tragic death of his son, Dodi Fayed, in a car crash with Princess Diana in Paris in 1997.
While mourning the loss of his son, al-Fayed became embroiled in a relentless battle against the UK establishment, firmly believing that both Dodi and Diana were victims of a conspiracy. He pointed fingers at Prince Philip, claiming that the royal family orchestrated the car accident due to their disapproval of Diana’s relationship with an Egyptian. Al-Fayed alleged that Diana was pregnant with Dodi’s child and intended to marry him, fueling the royal family’s motive to eliminate the couple.
In contrast to al-Fayed’s claims, the official inquest into the deaths of Diana and Dodi concluded that their demise resulted from the reckless actions of their driver and the paparazzi pursuing them. British and French investigations conducted separately also dismissed the existence of any conspiracy.
Born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1929, al-Fayed ventured into shipping investments before relocating to the United Kingdom in the 1960s. There, he embarked on a journey to build his own empire, which ultimately led to his ownership of notable establishments such as Harrods and Fulham Football Club.
Al-Fayed’s financial success earned him a spot on The Sunday Times Rich List, with a family fortune estimated at 1.7 billion pounds ($2.1 billion), ranking him as the 104th wealthiest person in the UK. However, his accomplishments were accompanied by controversy, including a highly publicized battle for control of the House of Fraser group and his involvement in the “cash for questions” scandal in UK politics during the 1990s.
Throughout his life, al-Fayed faced rejection by the British establishment. Despite his vast wealth and contributions, his applications for citizenship were twice denied, with the reasons undisclosed to the public.
Mohamed al-Fayed leaves behind a legacy marked by tragedy, controversy, and an unwavering belief in a conspiracy that the establishment continues to refute.