The new Vanity Fair features Princess Diana on its cover. The magazine reports on her 1995-to-1997 relationship with “the mystery man who stole the princess’s heart.” Hasnat Khan is a heart surgeon in Pakistan. According to Diana’s close friend Jemima Khan (no relation), “Diana was madly in love with Hasnat Khan and wanted to marry him, even if that meant living in Pakistan.” The two discussed marriage; she met with his family and looked for someone to marry them secretly. However, “he hated the thought of being in the glare of publicity for the rest of his life,” according to a friend.
Then Diana was introduced to Dodi Al Fayed by his father. Shortly afterwards, Dr. Khan broke off their affair. Friends say her relationship with Al Fayed was intended to make Hasnat jealous. As the world knows, Diana died in a car crash with Dodi in Paris on August 31, 1997. She is just as fascinating to our culture today as when she was alive.
The princess is in the news today for a second reason: A new movie on her life is coming.
Diana stars Naomi Watts and is inspired by the book Diana: Her Last Love by Kate Snell. Why is the world so interested in the British royal family, living and deceased?
In 1900, the United Kingdom was the largest empire the world had ever seen. As late as 1937, the “sun never set on the British empire,” as it controlled lands in each of the world’s 24 times zones. Today their empire is no more. But no matter how powerful or insignificant the British become on the world stage, many of us will still be fascinated by them and especially by their royalty.
One of the rules of marketing is: You want what you can’t have. “Travel Channel” is popular because we want to go vicariously to exotic places we’ll probably never visit. We’re enamored with British royalty, since we’ll never be royalty ourselves.
But we’re wrong. According to the Bible, “the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17). Our royal mansion will exceed anything this world knows: “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). In the meantime, God says, “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16) and “loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).
Diana has been gone for 16 years, but we’re still talking about her. Your next act of obedience to Jesus will echo forever.