The love story of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, marked by their tragic deaths in a Paris car crash on August 31, 1997, was more profound than many realized. Contrary to public perception of their relationship being a brief summer romance, close sources and documented evidence suggest that Diana and Dodi were deeply in love and planning a future together.

Their relationship began a decade earlier than their romance bloomed. The couple first met in 1986 at a polo match and maintained a friendship over the years. Hollywood screenwriter Jim Hart, who knew Dodi, noted that Fayed had always held Diana in high regard. According to Diana's confidante, Rosa Mockton, the Princess of Wales saw her time with Dodi as "bliss," an experience of watching TV and hanging out "like teenagers."

The couple's relationship deepened quickly, with Dodi reportedly planning to propose to Diana. They were seen ring shopping at Repossi in Monte Carlo in August 1997, and according to the store's owner, Alberto Repossi, they had a specific ring in mind. However, their plans were cut short by the tragic accident following their departure from the Ritz hotel in Paris.

The narrative of their final day together, as pieced together from various sources, including a British inquest and the official French police report, paints a picture of a couple eagerly anticipating their future together. They spent their last day enjoying activities and even stopped at Villa Windsor, a property suggested as a potential future home.

The severity of their relationship was further highlighted when Dodi purchased an engagement ring from the Dis-moi Oui collection at Repossi. The couple's final moments, captured by CCTV footage at the Ritz, showed them in a relaxed and affectionate demeanor. They tried to avoid the paparazzi, leading to the ill-fated decision to leave from the hotel's back exit.

Their driver, Henri Paul, who was intoxicated, assured them a swift escape, but tragically, the journey ended in the fatal crash in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel. The aftermath of the crash was a global shock, and speculations about its cause have persisted, with some theories suggesting a camera flash might have blinded the driver.

The loss was deeply personal for Mohamed al-Fayed, Dodi's father, who had envisioned a future for his son with Diana. The world mourned the "People's Princess," left to ponder what could have been for the couple who, in their final hours, seemed poised to embark on a new chapter together.