2 September (UPI) Family members have confirmed the passing of Egyptian billionaire and former owner of the Harrods department store Mohamed Al-Fayed, whose son Dodi and Princess Diana perished in a car accident in 1997. He was 94.
The colorful and well-known individual, who in the 1980s bought London’s Harrods Department Store and left a lasting legacy in the sports and entertainment industries of Britain, passed away earlier this week “peacefully of old age,” according to family members, according to a statement to media outlets released late Friday by the Fulham FC Premier League soccer team.
“He spent his entire long and happy retirement with his loved ones. At this time, the family has requested that their privacy be maintained, according to his relatives.
The Press Trust of India reported on Saturday that Al-Fayed and Dodi had been buried together following a ceremony at a mosque in London.
One day after his son’s death’s 26th anniversary, the news of his passing was made public.
Mohamed Al-Fayed bought the Fulham club in 1997, not long after the London team had succeeded in getting promoted from the third division of English football to the second, placing it towards the top of his impressive résumé.
The team said in a statement that the new owner “announced his intention to reach the Premier League within five years” after taking over. Fulham completed it in four.
According to current team chairman Shahid Khan, “The history of Fulham cannot be told without a chapter on the positive impact of Mr. Al-Fayed as chairman.” “Our promotion to the Premier League, a Europa League Final, and magical performances by players and teams alike will be remembered for his legacy.”
After beginning his career as a street vendor in Alexandria, Egypt, Al-Fayed built a sizable shipping empire in the Middle East. In the 1960s, he rose to become a personal advisor to some of the wealthiest men in the world, including the Sultan of Brunei and Rashid bin Saeed, the former prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.
The sad deaths of his son and Diana, though, and their love cast a shadow over his later years. The billionaire had long believed that the couple’s demise was the product of a plot by Prince Philip, the queen’s husband, who had claimed that Diana was expecting and had plans to wed Dodi and that the royal family could not support the princess’s union with a Muslim.