13 SEPTEMBER 1997, Page 31

Sir: Mohamed Al Fayed is a remarkable man but Stephen

Glover (Media studies, 6 September) attributes powers to him that I would never claim if he thinks Mr Al Fayed is capable of making any two people devel- op an affection for one another, particular- ly two people of such star quality as Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed.

It is not true that 'he nurtured the rela- tionship having thrown them together in the hope that it would flourish'. Dodi Fayed joined the private holiday of the Fayed family, the Princess and her sons, but he had known the Princess for years as a friend. Dodi was no more of a playboy than Mr Glover. He made his own living and did so by doing the things he liked. What is wrong with that? Dodi will live on in my memory for his courtesy, good humour and unfailing good manners — hardly playboy character- istics — and I believe those were the quali- ties that attracted the Princess, not any- thing anyone else said or did.

The Princess told me the family holiday was the best she and her sons had ever had. Mrs Al Fayed remembers it was laughter from morning until night but, a Finn her- self, she recalls a Finnish saying: 'After too much laughter, tears.'

So it has been, but please do not make grief harder to bear by misrepresenting Mr Al Fayed's motives. He never wanted any- thing from Princess Diana. The whole fami- ly loved her and wished her only happiness after years of difficulty.

Michael Cole

Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1