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Princess Di wanted to marry Muslim doctor: bu -

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TONY EASTLEY: Diana Princess of Wales didn't have any plans to marry Dodi Al Fayed. Instead, her
affair with him was probably her way of trying to win back the attention of a former lover, a
Muslim heart surgeon, an inquest has been told in London.

Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, says Diana considered marrying Muslim doctor Hasnat Khan, but
the two split up.

It was then, shortly before the fatal accident in Paris, that she turned to Dodi Al Fayed.

Europe correspondent Rafael Epstein has been to the inquest at London's Royal Courts of Justice for
AM.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: It's perhaps not surprising that someone who worked in the Royal household for more
than two decades would turn out well in the witness box.

The now reality TV star has a deep tan despite the chilly weather, and an impeccably crisp suit.

Sitting with his hands held together before him, his wedding ring and expensive watch prominently
displayed, he detailed how in the years leading up to her brief relationship with Dodi Al Fayed,
Diana had a far more significant affair.

It was with a Muslim man, the heart surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan. It was so significant that the former
butler says he'd asked his parish priest about the possibility of a private wedding ceremony for
the Princess and the Muslim doctor.

But they broke up in the middle of the night in a park on the Thames River, in the summer of 1997.
He didn't want their relationship made public, and it ended just weeks before the Princess died.

The former Royal footman says he knew Diana inside out, that he knew her every waking thought. He
says the doctor was:

PAUL BURRELL (voiceover): Her soul mate, the man she loved more than any other. He was a regular
fixture and fitting in the palace. But he didn't want to become a public name.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: This inquest is costing millions of dollars, and comes after two massive police
inquiries in France and Britain. It seems implausible that it will conclude their deaths were
anything more than an accident.

Paul Burrell seems about as close to the Royal Family as you can get without actually being part of
it. His wife was once Prince Philip's maid, and their children grew up alongside Princes William
and Harry in the royal nursery.

His evidence will help dismiss suggestions that the Royal Family somehow tired to kill the Princess
because the Al Fayed's are Muslims.

He was also asked about the Princess's now-famous note to him, where she said Prince Charles was
planning to have her killed in a car accident.

Paul Burrell says he just couldn't possibly see the father of her children murdering her.

More importantly, he says there were no imminent plans for Diana to get engaged to Dodi Al Fayed.

He said;

PAUL BURRELL (voiceover): I find that difficult to believe, because this was only a 30-day
relationship and the Princess had just finished a long-term relationship with someone she cared
deeply about.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: This morning, the heart surgeon Hasnat Khan will appear on British TV screens for
the first time.

He'll say the death of the woman who called him "Mr Wonderful" continues to haunt him.

He says the grief caused by the Paris car crash still makes him want to scream. He says, quote, "I
have moved on, but it all keeps coming back".

At the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, this is Rafael Epstein for AM.