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Princess Diana has posthumously entered the interfaith relations debate a decade after her death. The inquest into her death heard that her mother called her a “whore” for “sleeping with Muslim men.” Frances Shand Kydd made the comment when she discovered her daughter was in a serious relationship with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan. The pair did not speak again before Diana died two months later, according to her butler Paul Burrell.

Mr Burrell told the High Court that the princess had held up the phone as they sat together on the sofa of her Kensington Palace apartment so that he could hear her mother’s rant.
He said Mrs Shand Kydd, who died in 2004, was a ‘formidable lady’ who often expressed herself ‘in extremely forceful terms about Diana’s consorts, especially if they were Muslim’.
Asked to describe what he had heard on that particular day, he hesitated.
It was only when the coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, interjected, saying: ‘This is relevant’, that Mr Burrell replied: ‘Well, she called the princess a whore and she said that she was messing around with f****** Muslim men and she was disgraceful. She said some very nasty things.’
Mohamed Al Fayed’s barrister, Michael Mansfield, asked: ‘It was shortly after one of these telephone calls that the princess decided she did not want to talk to her mother again?’

It’s easy to dismiss this story as tabloid fodder in what has seemed like a decade-long train of tabloid gosspi. Yet another boyfriend we’ve never heard about from Diana? But I suspect if this story penetrates the public consciousness she could become a powerful symbol to future generations of women in interfaith relationship. What better representative than Diana?! When a mother criticizes a daughter for dating a Muslim, she can reply, “But the Princess of Wales did it…”

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