Few things were beyond the reach of billionaire Egyptian tycoon Mohamed Al Fayed who has died at the age of 94.
Hotels, yachts and a football club were bought with ease but he never acquired the recognition he craved.
His son Dodi's fateful relationship with princess Diana might have been the moment Fayed finally gained acceptance by the British "Establishment" elite.
Instead it marked his permanent estrangement after he insisted – without evidence – that Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip had ordered the Paris car crash in which Diana and Dodi were killed to prevent her marrying a Muslim.
Fayed lived most of his life in Britain, where for decades he was never far from the headlines.
But to his frustration he was never granted UK citizenship nor admitted into the upper echelons of British society.
Fayed will be remembered most for his outspoken and often foul-mouthed manner, his revenge on the Conservative party, his controversial purchase of the Harrods department store, and his ownership of Fulham football club and the Ritz hotel in Paris.
With a business empire encompassing shipping, property, banking, oil, retail and construction, Fayed was also a philanthropist, whose foundation helped children in the UK, Thailand and Mongolia.
He became an advisor to the Sultan of Brunei in the mid-1960s and moved to Britain in the 1970s.
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