"She was asking about being married when one person is Muslim and another is Protestant," shared Hussein.
Princess Diana never had the best relationship with the press. She was constantly hounded by the media who scrutinized every aspect of her life, especially after her split from the father of her children, Prince Charles.
Before her tragic death in 1997 at age 36, people wanted to know who she was with after her divorce. While she was very private with her life, there was one person she turned to for help, and that is none other than photographer Anwar Hussein.
According to PEOPLE, Princess Diana approached him on a flight in the mid-1990s.
"All the lights were dimmed on the flight, and she came and whispered, 'Can I have a chat?'" he recalls in this week's issue. "She knew that I was married to an English girl, Caroline. She wanted to know about Islam. She was asking about being married when one person is Muslim and another is Protestant."
He continues, "She was interested because of what she was going through with [her then-boyfriend] Dr. Hasnat Khan. She didn't mention him, but she assumed I knew it. I think she was wondering how the family would react to him and things like that."
After she called it quits with Prince Charles, Diana embarked on an intense romance with distinguished Pakistani surgeon and cardiologist, Hasnat Khan. "She had wanted to marry him," royal biographer Judy Wade previously told PEOPLE. "She had this vision that together they could bridge east and west, crossing creeds and continents. They could save lives and make it a better world."
But, unfortunately, Khan was unable to deal with the constant attention on him from the media, and soon their relationship fizzled out. Eventually, Diana went on to meet Dodi Al Fayed, who was with her the night she died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
Over the years, Diana and Hussein forged a close bond, with the royal often talking to him at public events, during plane travel, and at media receptions. "The story of Diana unfolded in front of us," he says. "I saw every side of Diana. She was a genuine, good human being."
Currently, Hussein's work of the late Princess—from the "Shy Di" in 1980 to the confident icon she became before her tragic death—is currently being exhibited at Princess Diana: Accredited Access, a "walk-through documentary" currently open in Chicago and Los Angeles, with New York City next on the list of cities.
Adds Cliff Skelliter, the exhibition's curator: "The personal relationship between a princess and a photographer who's with them all the time—they've got a closeness but also a distance in order to get a really interesting take."
Diana, despite having confessed to feeling "awkward" when posing for photographers, was also a masterful subject, says Hussein. "She had a canny way of showing her mood—whether she was happy or unhappy," he said.
If only Diana had ended up marrying Khan, her life would have been different. But, as they say, no one can change or know what the future holds in store for you.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Daily Express