Mohamed Al Fayed, the Egyptian billionaire, former owner of Harrods, and father of Dodi Fayed, has died at the age of 94, according to reports.

He was buried after Friday prayers following a service at Regent’s Park Mosque in London, reported Al Jazeera Egypt. His death is believed to have come exactly 26 years after that of his eldest son, Dodi, and Princess Diana.

Al Shorouk newspaper reported that Ashraf Haider, a member of his family, wrote: “My wife’s grandfather, the Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed, has died. We belong to God and to Him we shall return.”

In the 1990s, Al Fayed was one of the richest people in the world, with an impressive list of businesses and property to his name. As the owner of luxury department store Harrods and his involvement with high-profile charities brought him into the same circles as the royal family, including Princess Diana.

His eldest son, Dodi, was friends with the royal for about a decade before romance blossomed during a yacht holiday in the south of France. However they were denied the opportunity to spend their lives together, dying side-by-side in a car crash in Paris.

Following the news of his passing, we look back at Al Fayed’s life, and his rise to glory.

In the past few decades, Mr Al Fayed sold off several of his high-profile businesses. Back in 2010, he sold Harrods to Qatar for a staggering $2.4billion. While he said he would never part ways with his beloved department store, it was a row over dividends and pension funds which finally showed him it was time to say goodbye.

Speaking to the Evening Standard at the time, he said: “Of course it makes me sad … you can go ask everyone, people don’t want me to go. But first of all I can’t take this. I am 77 years old, right. I have children, I have grandchildren, you know … I have done it. And time for me now to rest. And enjoy.”

Three years later, in 2013, he also said goodbye to Fulham Football Club, which he sold to billionaire Shahid Khan for $300m. However he remained the proud owner of the famous Ritz Paris Hotel, regarded by many as the most beautiful in the world. In 2016 it underwent a massive refurbishment.

Earlier this year, his wealth was estimated at $2billion (roughly £1.58million), ranking at number 1,493 globally. And in May last year, Forbes listed his wealth at $1.9billion – which is about £1.6billion.

While it’s unknown where they first met, Princess Diana and Al Fayed’s circles would have crossed regularly as he sponsored many of the charities she was involved with. Their unlikely friendship features heavily in season five of The Crown, showing Mr Al Fayed, played by Salim Daw, growing closer to the royals.

In the summer of 1997, the year after Charles and Diana were finally able to officially divorce following their five year separation, Al Fayed invited Diana and her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, to join his family on his yacht in the south of France.

The 208ft superyacht was the perfect setting for family time, with photos from the time showing the loving mum playing with her sons on the deck. The boat, which has now changed hands, has nine staterooms and can hold 18 people as well as a crew of 26. Dripping in luxury, it boasted a jacuzzi, office, formal dining room and a swim platform.

And it was during this trip that Diana grew close to Al Fayed’s oldest son, 42-year-old film producer Dodi. Pictures of the couple cuddling and kissing on the top deck went around the world, while Diana was photographed sunbathing, jumping into a speedboat and sitting on the stern in a contemplative mood.

They were among the last pictures of the Princess, who told her friend Rosa Monckton in a phone call from the yacht that her time there was “bliss”.

Speaking on the 20th anniversary of the crash, a friend told The Sun that Dodi’s apartment remains the same as it did at the time of his death.

They told the newspaper: “He often spends hours on end sitting with Dodi. After 20 years he still misses him terribly. And when he is in London he will take time out to visit Dodi’s apartment. Not one thing inside has changed since Dodi died. He will not allow anyone to move anything.

“The apartment is cleaned but it is still exactly the same as when Dodi and Diana used to spend time there.”

Credit: Mirror