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Posts Tagged Love Story

Diana and Hasnat: A Mystically Transcendent Love Story

Diana and Hasnat

‘Diana wanted to know how I had adapted to life in Pakistan’: Jemima Khan on how late Princess was ‘madly in love’ with Hasnat Khan and planned to leave the UK for him

  • Diana appears on the front cover of the September issue of Vanity Fair
  • The interview sees Jemima Khan and Rosa Monckton share their own accounts of Diana’s relationship with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan

Jemima Khan has revealed that her late friend Princess Diana was so ‘madly in love’ with Hasnat Khan, she considered moving to Pakistan to be with him.


In a Vanity Fair article titled: ‘The Grandmother Prince George Never Knew’, Jemima says Diana, who dated the heart surgeon from 1995-97, sought her advice during fundraising visits to Lahore.


‘She wanted to know how hard it had been for me to adapt to life in Pakistan,’ Jemima told the magazine’s contributing editor Sarah Ellison.


True love: The September 2013 Vanity Fair features the late Princess Diana on its cover. Inside, the magazine discusses her relationship with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan


Close friends: Diana pictured with Jemima Khan on 21 February 1996 in Lahore. It was on visits such as these that Diana would seek Jemima’s advice on moving to Pakistan


‘Both times she also went to meet [Hasnat’s] family secretly to discuss the possibility of marriage.’ 

Publicity-shy: Hasnat Khan, pictured in January 1997, was in a relationship with Diana for two years

Publicity-shy: Hasnat Khan, pictured in January 1997, was in a relationship with Diana for two years


Indeed, Diana was apparently desperately keen to impress Hasnat’s immediate family, especially his mother.


But in spite of her best efforts, it would appear that this second love would see Diana yet again falling on the wrong side of an influential family.


Even though Diana had an aristocratic lineage, had married (and divorced) Prince Charles, and was mother of the heir to the British throne, Naheed Khan was unlikely to approve of her son contemplating marriage with an English woman.


‘[For a] son to marry an English girl is every conservative Pashtun mother’s worst nightmare,’ Jemima said. 

‘You send your son to be educated in England and he comes back with an English bride. It’s something they dread.’

Though the couple discussed marriage and children (friends of Diana told the magazine that she had wanted a daughter with Hasnat), the relationship fell apart around the time that she met Dodi Al Fayed. 

Diana’s friend Rosa Monckton says Hasnat was the one who initiated the break-up, but other friends argue that Diana ended it because the surgeon refused to marry her.

In fact, Rosa insists to this day that Diana’s relationship with Dodi was only to make Hasnat jealous.



On the silver screen: Diana’s relationship with Hasnat is at the centre of the upcoming film Diana, starring Naomi Watts in the title role


It would seem that marriage was certainly a point that divided the couple. According to Jemima, Hasnat ‘hated the thought of being in the glare of publicity for the rest of his life.’



And indeed, in his interview as part of the Lord Stevens inquiry into Diana’s death, he called marriage ‘a ridiculous idea’, adding that he ‘told her that the only way I could see us having a vaguely normal life together would be if we went to Pakistan, as the press don’t bother you there.’



Insider’s theory: Rosa Monckton pictured (left) with Diana in 1993, believes to this day that Diana used Dodi Al Fayed to make Hasnat jealous


Royal ties: Diana in 1995 on the VJ Day 50th Anniversary with sons Harry, William and ex-husband Prince Charles

Royal ties: Diana in 1995 on the VJ Day 50th Anniversary with Harry, William and Prince Charles



Diana’s relationship with Hasnat is at the centre of the upcoming film Diana, starring Naomi Watts in the title role.


Despite this fact, Vanity Fair reveals Hasnat refused to cooperate with filmmakers, remaining very much the man Diana once described to a friend as ‘the one person who will never sell me out.’


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ARCHIVE: Rizwanur’s death: A tragic Hindu-Muslim love story



Friday, September 28, 2007

Rizwanur’s death: A tragic Hindu-Muslim love story



Priyanka, a millionaire’s daughter, and Rizwanur Rahman fell in love and got married. From her palatial house in Salt Lake, she came to the humble two-room house in a lower middle class to live with his family but their happiness barely lasted a month. 



The police started harassing him. Rizwan was warned to let his wife go back to her house. He was rounded up, kept in detention and later his body was found on the railway tracks. And this hasn’t happened in Ahmedabad or Meerut, but in the City of Tagore

Two adults who love each other and want to live together can’t be separated but here they were not only in love but also married. Still, the police not only played ‘moral guardians’ to separate the mismatch marriage: Rich-Poor & Hindu-Muslim wedlock. 

Several top officials of Kolkata police allegedly colluded to try to separate them and put pressure on Rizwan even as he was seeking legal support and the help of human rights groups. West Bengal, especially Calcutta, is known to have an enlightened society compared to other Indian cities and it is a place where ordinary people and the middle-class does react.
There is outrage in Kolkata. Social organisations and citizens have taken up the issue. Inquiries have been ordered but that’s just a way to divert attention. Stern action must be taken against the police officers who harassed Rizwanul and Priyanka, the daughter of Ashok Todi who is Chairman of Lux hosiery.


The State and police have no business to interfere in the lives of people and stop people in love from marrying. We have enough of such killings in this country and it’s time for us to raise our voice strongly at all forums to ensure that lovebirds don’t have to fear for their lives in this country.
Going by WB Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya’s statement that guilty policemen would not be spared and his admission that the case has many angles including money power, communal and social issues.
Rizwan, the 30-year-old graphic designer is no more. He has lost his life for love and at least we can hope that justice would be done.
(Photo: Rizwan and Priyanka)


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How love led Ranjit Singh’s deposed son to rebel against Queen Victoria


“Four things greater than all things are – women and horses and power and war.”

(Rudyard Kipling)

Not so long ago when the eastern bank of once great Ravi River is popularly known to touch the walls of Lahore, here ruled a man who then earned the title of Napoleon of East and later after his death would be popularly known as the Lion of Punjab. The founder of about fifty years of Sikh rule, Maharaja Ranjit Singh reigned over the vast plains of five rivers from the capital city of Lahore with full might and an iron fist. Today, the only remaining remembrance of Ranjit Singh’s times in the city is his officially neglected Samadhi that shelters his ashes. This mausoleum of white domes that are laced with golden threads distinctly stand between the majestic Badshahi Mosque that was consecrated in 1671 and the antique Lahore Fort, which once also inhabited the Sikh emperor from where he must have crafted many of his successful war strategies and endless invasion plans.

But this little tale is not about Ranjit. It is about his youngest ill-fated son, Maharaja Duleep Singh who became the last ruler of the dynasty and was signatory to ignominious instrument of surrender also called Anglo-Sikh Treaty of 1846. The pact dethroned and eventually exiled the last Maharaja to the British Isles and compelled him to cede the whole empire to colonial rulers. The young Duleep and Lahore were also permanently dispossessed of the precious diamond rock called Kohinoor that even today makes the present British Queen appear resplendent and her crown priceless.

Soon after his banishment from Punjab, Duleep was placed under the tutelage of Queen Victoria. The young former maharaja without his own empire lived closely under the royal eye and subsequently married an illegitimate half German girl called Bamba Muller who had a Jewish background. Over the course of many coming years, this dutiful wife bore six children to the Maharaja. Their relationship that started with much affection could not last forever. During her final years, she lived practically separated from her husband and had sole responsibility of the children. It was in 1887 that Bamba died in pain after being completely disserted and left all alone by Duleep, who by then was immersed in a torrid love affair with an English woman, Ada Douglas Wetherill. This late life scandal liberated the Sikh maharaja in many ways and would define him more than any other accomplishment in life.

The stateless Maharaja is likely to have met Ada for the first time in 1884 in London where she worked as a chambermaid in a hotel. The 46 year-old Duleep immediately fell in love with a 16 year-old girl. And so it often happens that those who patronize also dictate life. The Queen, who earlier admired and acted as proxy mother to Duleep, became extremely uncomfortable and bitter about him having a young English mistress. She ordered to put a cut upon the luxuries and comforts available to him. It had little impact. Ada’s mannerisms and charms blinded Duleep to such a level that a moment came when he was no longer reluctant to openly establish his claim on her. Soon, the time came when the son of Ranjit Singh decided to revolt against her majesty and made an attempt to travel back to Lahore to regain the lost empire. The journey proved unsuccessful and the hapless Maharaja was compelled to turn back from midway. This time he returned to Paris where Ms. Wetherill was already waiting for him. Duleep’s obsession with Ada frowned the English Crown even more and so the intelligence agencies were tasked to observe them closely. They did follow the lovers everywhere and reported that it is because of her that the former maharaja is hatching plans to become ‘sovereign of the Sikh nation’, again. There was of course some real credence to these spy reports. From the French capital, Duleep went on to Russia along with Ada in his attempt to convince Czar to design an invasion plan from the northern side of subcontinent and militarily help him to recapture his lost Punjab. The Czarist Autocrats were not impressed and deemed the idea both impractical and ridiculous. After this failure, both of them found themselves stranded in Russian territory. The threat to their lives became apparent and subzero temperatures made living even more difficult. It was during such chilling December that Ada gave birth to a girl in an ordinary hotel of Moscow. By now, Duleep was so much involved in Ada that he wrote to his son from Bamba that they should all consider him dead. The former maharaja’s love would not stop here. He lost much of his wealth but was not willing to abandon Ada in exchange for anything else. When they managed to return to France, Ada was expecting second child from him. At this point, the Maharaja asked her hand to legitimize their relationship. They finally married in May 1889, only a few attended. Duleep’s feelings for Ada were fiery but soon after the wedding, a health crisis struck him severely. The illness was prolonged. So much so that even Ada got fed up of him and the British intelligence reported that “the young wife was incapable of being a good nurse and takes delight in lavishly spending away her husband’s royal riches.” Once again, the frail and helpless Maharaja was found surrendering before the Queen and apologized for not coming up to the royal expectations. Just few years after his wedding to the girl he loved, the last maharaja of Lahore died in Paris with no one – not even Ada – by his side.

The only daughter of Duleep to have returned to Lahore was Princess Sutherland from Maharani Bamba Muller. The Princess named ‘Gulzar’ as her house in Lahore and married Dr. Sutherland who was the then Principal of King Edward Medical College, a prestigious medical seat. She died in 1957 and is buried in a Christian Graveyard on Jail Road. Many iconic stories of love continue to emerge in the erstwhile former kingdom of the maharaja. Some turn successful while others do not. It is said that differences of all sorts vanish in sincere relationships and that selfless love is not accepted by most. Duleep was known as the Black Prince of Perthshire. The only prominent legacy he left was his pronounced love for an ordinary girl, a sentiment more precious to him than all the kohinoors of the world.

Such is life and such is love!

The writer is a lawyer based in Lahore and can be reached at khsyedaliraza@gmail.com

See more at: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/05/31/comment/columns/when-the-maharaja-met-ada/#sthash.WxcWpV8m.dpuf

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh in brief

 When the women of England are enfranchised I shall pay my taxes willingly. If I am not a fit person for the purposes of representation, why should I be a fit person for taxation?

Princess Sophia Jindan Alexdrowna Duleep Singh was the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. He had been deposed from his throne at the age of 11 and exiled to Britain two years later. He became a great favourite of the royal family and Sophia was brought up among the British aristocracy. Queen Victoria was her godmother.

She could have had an easy life and could have spent her time enjoying luxury, including foreign travel. However, the princess decided to become involved in the movement for Women’s Suffrage (being allowed to vote). She attended meetings and joined in demonstrations, including the famous Black Monday demonstration when the Suffragettes clashed with the police and many were injured. She joined the Women’s Tax Resistance League, this led her into court, twice, having the bailiffs visit her house and take her belongings. She also went out on the streets, giving out leaflets, alongside her fellow suffragettes.

After the war she joined the Suffragette Fellowship led by Mrs Pankhurst. Sophia was a very active campaigner. After Mrs Pankhurst’s death in 1928, she was appointed President of the Committee. The princess remained a member of the Suffragette Fellowship to the end of her life.



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