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Monday March 04, 2024

Why did Princess Diana have a strong connection with Pakistan?

PM Imran and his then-wife Jemima Khan were known to be quite close friends with Princess Diana

By Web Desk
November 29, 2020

Princess Diana and her love for Pakistan had been the subject of multiple headlines back in the day as the late royal visited the country multiple times before she passed away.

The late Princess of Wales visited the country three times—once in 1991 and later in 1996 and 1997—due to her friendship with the current Prime Minister Imran Khan.

PM Imran and his then-wife Jemima Khan were known to be quite close friends with the People’s Princess who made special trips to Pakistan just to help the former Pakistan team captain raise funds for his cancer hospital, Shaukat Khanam.

Apart from her friendship with Khan and his then-wife, Diana had also contemplated moving to the country after marrying Pakistani cardiologist Hasnat Khan—whom she was linked to for a while before her death.

Jemima had spoken about the consideration during an earlier interview with Vanity Fair in 2013.

“Diana went to Pakistan to help raise funds for Imran’s hospital, but both times she also went to meet his family secretly to discuss the possibility of marriage to Hasnat,” she told the portal.

Dr Hasnat was also a distant cousin of Khan which helped flourish their friendship even more.

Let’s take a look back at her visits to Pakistan:

Princess Diana was gifted a special shawl with which she covered her head at Lahore's Badshahi Mosque
The Princess of Wales was said to have taken a walk through Lahore during one of her visits
Diana during her visit to the detox center in Lahore
Princess Diana visited the Norpoor Family Welfare Center in Islamabad 
Diana also visited the Khyber Pass and other remote Northern regions of Pakistan
Princess Diana strikes a pose with these two adorable Pakistani girls in ethnic wea
Di wears a special feathered Chitrali cap during her visit up north
Princess Diana greeted by Jemima Khan [now Goldsmith] at the airport in 1996
Imran Khan at the airport in 1996 to welcome Princess Diana in 1996--her second trip
Jemima and Diana head to a restaurant in Lahore later that evening
Princess Diana with Imran Khan and Jemima Khan at Shaukat Khanam Hospital in Lahore for a fundraiser 
Princess Diana with Imran Khan and his father Ikramullah Khan Niazi
Diana poses with two cancer patients at the hospital
Diana also posed with this adorable child during the variety show at the hospital
This is from Diana's final visit to the country in 1997. Jemima Khan is seen holding her and Imran Khan's son Sulaiman.