With her tragic passing nearly 20 years ago, Princess Diana left behind three loves, her sons — Princes William and Harry — and Dr. Hasnat Khan. While the late Princess of Wales’s death is forever connected to Dodi Fayed, whom she dated the summer leading up to her accident, it was Hasnat Khan who was the true "love of her life.” Prince Charles’s former wife first met the British-Pakistani heart surgeon while visiting her friend Oonagh Toffolo’s husband at Royal Brompton Hospital two years prior to her 1996 divorce from the Queen’s son. “She was truly taken with somebody who was so pure of purpose,” Vanity Fair journalist Sarah Ellison said in ABC NEWS’s The Last 100 Days of Diana TV special. “He was healing people. He wasn't remotely interested in her fame. He obviously wasn't all that interested in his own appearance. He sort of had a paunch. He ate Kentucky Fried Chicken. I mean, it's definitely this sort of aggressive kind of normalcy.”

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VER GALERÍA Dr. Hasnat Khan was reportedly the "love" of Princess Diana's life Photo: Getty Images

Despite the Princess’s affection and her doing his “ironing,” the cardiac surgeon did not want to step into the spotlight with the royal mom-of-two, who visited his family in Pakistan. Tina Brown, the author of The Diana Chronicles, said, “I think Hasnat was very much in love with Diana but had really reached the end of his tether because Diana pushed him and pushed him and pushed him to go public and say ‘We’re a couple,’ and he wouldn’t. He didn’t want to.” Diana’s butler Paul Burrell recalled, “Hasnat said to me, ‘I don't want to be known as just Mr. Diana. I want my world. I want to be a surgeon,’” noting, “This is where their two worlds collided.”

The couple split during the summer of 1997, while Diana entered a relationship with the son of Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed, Dodi Fayed, who also perished in the Paris car accident with the British royal on August 31, 1997. On the night of her death, the Princess’s former lover, Hasnat, tried to ring her though ultimately couldn’t get through because she had changed her number. Diana’s butler said, “Does the world realize her romance with Dodi was only 30 days from beginning to end. Not two years, as was the one with Hasnat. Hasnat Khan was the love of her life.”

VER GALERÍA The Princess of Wales vacationed with boyfriend Dodi Fayed the summer leading up to her death Photo:  Michel Dufour/WireImage

Years after Diana’s passing, the cardiac surgeon went on to marry the daughter of a noble Afghan family, Hadia Sher Ali. The pair tied the knot in May of 2006, though their marriage was short-lived with them filing for divorce in 2008. During an inquest into Diana’s death, Hasnat told police that his main concern with marrying the late Princess of Wales would be his life turning into “hell because of who she was.” He explained, “I knew I would not be able to live a normal life and if we ever had children together, I would not be able to take them anywhere or do normal things with them. Anyone could approach me, in the pub, on the train, anywhere.” Though had Diana not died on that fateful summer night, the doctor said, “It is impossible to tell whether we would have got together again, but depending on what would have happened between her and Dodi, it could have been a possibility in the long run.”

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