Where is Hasnat Khan now, and why did he leave Princess Diana? Their relationship in The Crown explained

Was he the love of Diana's life?

Princess Diana's former partner Hasnat Khan, and Princess Diana
(Image credit: Instagram @ddianaspencer/Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy/Future)

Their relationship is being gently handled by The Crown season 5, but where did it all go wrong and where is Hasnat Khan now? 

The Crown season 5 has exploded back onto screens with an epic season 5, covering an already well chronicled period in Royal history with the usual mesmerising skill viewers have come to expect. With the latest season, the debate rages on with increasingly vehement ferocity, over which aspects of the “fictional dramatisation” are actually real or fake. The relationship between Princess Diana and cardiothoracic surgeon Hasnat Khan, is currently under this level of scrutiny - did it happen as The Crown are depicting it? Read on, as we delve into the real relationship between the Princess and the man she fell for when her marriage fell apart - we uncover why Hasnat Khan ended his relationship with Diana, and where he is now.  

This season's coverage of the Princess Diana Panorama interview is also the subject of intense media focus, especially when her relatives feel it should be buried and not spoken of anymore. The Andrew Morton Princess Diana book is also back in the spotlight - the infamous Diana: Her True Story, is said to be the most accurate account of the late Princess's life in existence. Diana's friend Dr. James Colthurst also had a hand in bringing the book to fruition, but how? We delve into his role in the biography, and who plays him in The Crown.  

Where is Hasnat Khan now?

Hasnat Khan is now 64-years-old and lives in Essex, where he continues to work as a cardiothoracic surgeon at Basildon University Hospital. 

The pair really did date between 1995 - 1997, breaking up just prior to the start of Diana's relationship with Dodi Fayed. He continued to work in London following the death of the Princess, until taking up his post at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre in 2008. He also partakes in humanitarian work, and has commissioned cardiac centres in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and his home country of Pakistan. His profile on Top Doctors suggests that Dr. Khan graduated from King Edward Medical College, Pakistan with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, in 1984. After training in general medicine and general surgery, he was working as a medical officer in cardiology at Mayo Hospital Lahore, Pakistan. 

He relocated to Sydney in 1987, to take up a position as house officer in the area of adult cardiac surgery, before being promoted to fellow. On returning to the UK in 1994, Dr Khan was a registrar in adult cardiac surgery at Leeds Royal Infirmary. After taking up further training in cardiac surgery in and around London, he took up positions in the capital eventually meeting Diana in one of his postings there. In his present job in Essex, he is head of the surgical department, specialising in mitral valve and aortic root surgery. 

Princess Diana's former partner Dr. Hasnat Khan

(Image credit: Mathieu Polak/Getty)

Why did Hasnat Khan leave Princess Diana?

Hasnat Khan and Princess Diana’s relationship ended due to the pressures of the intense media scrutiny surrounding their life together. 

According to Vogue, Khan began receiving threats over his relationship with Diana, and began to question the quality of the future they would share. Diana was reportedly wanting to marry him, but he eventually decided he couldn’t go through with a marriage, or even go public with the relationship. He later said to police “My main concern about us getting married was that my life would be hell because of who she was. I knew I would not be able to live a normal life and if we ever had children together, I would not be able to take them anywhere or do normal things with them.”

In July 1997, Khan was staying at Kensington Palace with Diana, the night before she flew to St Tropez to holiday with Mohamed Al-Fayed. Although already faltering over how long he would stay in the relationship due to his feelings over the publicity surrounding it, it appears Diana sensed this and was already preparing to move on. Khan tried to contact her during this holiday, saying “After a few days, I felt something was wrong. I told her I thought something was wrong because of the way she had been acting, but she just said that because of the geography of where she was, she was having problems getting reception on her phone.” The pair met when Diana returned from her holiday, and she denied there was another man in her life. Khan concluded “At the end of our meeting, we arranged to see each other again the following day at Kensington Palace. It was at that second meeting that Diana told me that it was all over between us.”

Shortly after this conversation, Diana then flew to Paris to see Dodi. Her friends later speculated she was still in love with Khan, and using Dodi to make him jealous and realise he still wanted to continue their relationship. She even remained in touch with Khan’s family, giving the impression they were still a couple. It’s alleged that Khan tried to call Diana on the night she died, but was unable to speak to her as she’d changed her number. 

Humayun Saeed as Dr. Hasnat Khan in The Crown season 5

(Image credit: Netflix)

How did Diana meet Hasnat Khan?

Diana met Hasnat khan when visiting her friend Oonagh Shanley-Toffolo’s husband, at the Royal Brompton Hospital in West London where he was working.

Cosmopolitan reports that Khan had been the assistant surgeon in the surgery of Oonagh's husband and was introduced to Diana when offering Oonagh an update on her husband. It’s said that Diana was instantly taken with him, saying “Isn't he drop-dead gorgeous?” The Crown is factual in its depiction that Diana really made nighttime visits to the hospital to see Khan, and would attend public dates with him wearing a disguise. 

Diana was immediately serious about her relationship, and referred to Khan as “Mr. Wonderful”. She even hoped he would find a job outside of the UK, where they could marry and go and live peacefully together. She visited his family in Pakistan, and Khan said of her visits “She 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.” Since Diana’s death, Khan has spoken very little about their relationship, loyally saying “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.”

Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in The Crown season 5

(Image credit: Netflix)

Did Hasnat Khan go to Diana’s funeral?

Yes, Hasnat Khan attended Diana’s funeral at Westminster Abbey, in September 2007. 

Although Khan remains tight-lipped over the relationship, he did speculate over whether the pair would have remained friends should she still be alive. He also maintains compassion and warmth when speaking about her. He said “I think that if Diana were alive today, we would have remained very good friends, whatever she did and whomever she was with. 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.”

Speaking about the day they met, Khan recalled “One day I came out of the hospital, and she was going in, and she shouted at me, ‘Oi, where are you going?’ I said I was going to my uncle’s house in Stratford-upon-Avon to collect some books, and I blurted out, ‘Do you want to come?’ She said yes, and that was it, really. We drove up there, drove back and found this wonderful connection. She was very ordinary in many ways, a normal person with great warmth.”

Humayan Saeed as Hasnat Khan in The Crown

(Image credit: Netflix)

Hasnat Khan: Wife

Hasnat married first wife Hadia Sher Ali, in Pakistan in May 2006. They divorced two years later,and he married Somi Sohail in 2017 - the couple remain together. 

As Khan is so private about his life, not much is known about his current wife. According to the Daily Mail, his father Abdul Rasheed Khan, has spoken out about what his son said about potential marriage to Princess Diana. Khan reportedly said to his family “If I married her [Diana], our marriage would not last for more than a year. We are culturally so different from each other. She is from Venus and I am from Mars. If it ever happened, it would be like a marriage from two different planets.”

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Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and moms.com. In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.