Letter: The Fayeds, like the Windsors and Spencers, deserve peace

Share
Henry Porter accuses me of "shameless opportunism" on the day of the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed, both of whom I knew and admired ("The outsider...", 7 September).

Allow me to answer this serious charge. During a live TV interview I was asked what Dodi's father was doing in Paris. I replied that Mr Al Fayed was trying to make arrangements to bring his son to Britain for burial because although he was denied a British passport, he considered Britain his home and wanted his son to be near him. That was a simple statement of fact and explanation. Indeed, Dodi was buried later that day near the family home in Surrey.

What is opportunism is the commissioning of the London editor of a magazine which is in a libel action with Mr Al Fayed - Vanity Fair - to write a profile of him. This is compounded by a number of errors.

The House of Lords appeal by the Home Office in Mr Al Fayed's naturalisation case does not come up "next month" but at the end of February.

It is not true that the refusal of a passport "ate at his soul". It is true that Mr Al Fayed would like to share the citizenship of his four British children but overwhelmingly, it is a matter of commercial convenience; without an EC passport he repeatedly has to obtain visas for business trips in Europe.

Mr Al Fayed does not want "to conquer and kick ass" - an expression he would never use although accused of using "perplexing" language by Mr Porter - and the suggestion that he contributed to Dodi's "wooing of Diana" is inane. He is a remarkable man but his powers do not extend to making those exceptional, star-bright people fall in love with each other, which appears to be what happened.

I have never said that "Dodi had renounced his life as a producer" and I challenge Mr Porter to provide contradictory evidence; nor did I disclose information about the ring Dodi bought for the Princess; the information apparently came from a London insurance broking house requested to cover it.

Yes, Mr Al Fayed will respond to the outcome of the inquiry in France if required and will do so as he acted throughout, with dignity and restraint in the face of heartbreaking circumstances. His interest is only in establishing the truth of what happened that night.

With regard to the article about me ("Silky voice..."), it is a matter of deep and everlasting regret to me that details of my private conversation about the Queen's Christmas broadcast in 1987 were leaked by two people who were present, Andrew Morton of the Daily Star and Ashley Walton of the Daily Express but I did not deliberately make the disclosures.

Michael Cole

Harrods, London SW1

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Recruitment Genius: Transport Administrator / Planner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Associate - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Law Costs - London City

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: Every privatised corner of the NHS would be taken back into public ownership

Philip Pullman
 

Errors & Omissions: Magna Carta, sexing bishops and ministerial aides

John Rentoul
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee