The remains of Dodi Fayed, who died in the car crash in Paris that killed the Princess of Wales, have been secretly exhumed and re-buried on his father's country estate.
Mr Fayed's grave at Brookwood Cemetery near Woking, Surrey, was opened in the middle of Wednesday night with private security guards standing by. The coffin was removed by undertakers and taken 25 miles to his home at Oxted, Surrey, accompanied Mohammed Al Fayed.
There, Dodi Fayed was buried in a new grave in the 500-acre grounds, close to his father's mansion, while the family awaits the results of an application to build an elaborate tomb.
The exhumation follows permission obtained by Mr Fayed from the Home Office for his son's remains to be moved. Michael Cole, the spokesman for Mr Fayed, confirmed yesterday that the transfer had taken place. "The coffin was moved during the evening ... completed in privacy, and the coffin reinterred in a tranquil and beautiful part of the estate," he said.
Dodi Fayed had been buried in a plot at Brookwood specially selected by his father. A garden of remembrance was landscaped around the grave where Dodi had lain for the traditional 40 days of Muslim mourning, which ended last Thursday.
A simple headstone bearing just the name Dodi was erected and bodyguards living in a camper van had kept a round-the-clock watch. The grave had become a place of pilgrimage and Mr Cole said that Mr Fayed had visited his son's grave most nights.
An application by Mr Fayed to build an elaborate burial chamber that will become the family's personal "pyramid" on his estate is to be considered by the planning committee of Tandridge District Council early next month. The architect-designed walk-in vault covers an area 12-metres square sunk one-and-a-half metres below ground. It will have four entrances with huge oak doors reinforced with wrought iron topped by an opaque dome.
The leaded roof will surrounded with ornate wooden carvings and granite outer walls bearing inscriptions from the Koran. Inside it will have cylindrical pillars from floor to ceiling and will contain eight burial chambers. The walls are to be lined with mosaic and oak pergolas planted with shrubs and vines. Mr Cole said yesterday that the structure would not be visible from any public highway, and would not be open to the public.
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