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Her surgeon boyfriend also, reluctantly, returns to the limelight.
This is in contrast with the suffocating secrecy surrounding their affair.
The film — the first to deal directly with the last two years of her life — is the latest example of Hollywood’s recent love affair with all things royal (think Peter Morgan’s brilliantly observed 2006 film The Queen, and 2010’s The King’s Speech).
In the past, films about Diana have been low-budget, made-for-television affairs that have had scant critical recognition.
She was in secret discussions with Tony Blair, then leader of the opposition, about becoming a roving ambassador; her divorce was finalised on July 4 1996; and she had a new sense of purpose, symbolised by her decision to sell her collection of gowns at a charity auction in New York.
After meeting Dr Khan’s parents, Diana was talking about marriage, children and a new life together in Australia, South Africa or Pakistan.
Her romance coincided with a time when her life was beginning to make sense.
As the man she described as “Mr Wonderful” absorbed the implications of life in the media spotlight, he started to have serious doubts, especially when the press began contacting former girlfriends and professors from his medical school.
Debbie Frank, her friend and astrologer, recalls: “He wasn’t at all interested in being a celebrity and would get annoyed if things came out in the press about them, and he would blame her.” Diffident and unassuming, he would prefer to sip a pint of Guinness in his local pub, the Anglesea Arms in South Kensington, than appear on the front pages.
She kept his picture by her bedside, read the Koran each night and introduced Dr Khan to her children.
As she dreamt of becoming plain Mrs Khan, she talked, too, of having a “beautiful brown daughter” whom she would call Allegra, a name suggested by her friend Annabel Goldsmith.