STORY: Mohamed al-Fayed, who formerly owned Harrods department store and whose son was killed alongside Princess Diana in a 1997 car crash, has died at the age of 94 on Wednesday.
Around but never fully accepted by the British establishment, Al-Fayed was known as a flamboyant and wildly outspoken tycoon.
Born in Egypt, he built his family’s fortune in real estate, shipping and construction.
He moved to Britain in the 1970s, and in 1985 sparked one of the country’s most bitter business feuds trying to take over Harrods. After a quarter of century of ownership, he sold the department store to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.
Al-Fayed had also owned other establishment symbols, such as Fulham FC and the Ritz hotel in Paris.
Al-Fayed would later become obsessed by the belief that Princess Diana’s death was orchestrated by the royal family, a conspiracy theory that was unsupported by any evidence.
His own son Dodi, who was dating Diana at the time, died alongside the royal when their car crashed in Paris as they tried to outrun paparazzi.
Al-Fayed would finally give up legal attempts to show they were murdered, when a jury said the couple were unlawfully killed by their chauffeur’s driving.