Mohamed Al-Fayed did purchase the Ritz Paris and Le Bois as depicted on The Crown, but he did not buy Frogmore.
The Crown is an incredibly popular historical drama which has been garnering millions of views since its first season.
In the newest season of The Crown, the focus shifts slightly for one episode to Mohamed Al-Fayed, who did not buy Frogmore, but did invest in many other things, some of which were shown in this episode.
How popular is The Crown really?
The Crown’s first started airing on Netflix on 4 November 2016. More recently, the show has moved on to its fifth season, which was released in its entirety on 9 November 2022.
Since the beginning of the series, viewers and critics have all been impressed with the careful balance between historical accuracy and drama that the show has always been able to successfully achieve.
The Crown has always had particularly high ratings and by 2020, 73 million households worldwide had watched the series at some point.
This popularity has continued over the years and 1.1 million viewers, in the United Kingdom alone, tuned in to watch the premiere of the show’s most recent season.
The Crown: Did Fayed buy Frogmore
The accuracy of the storylines and the depictions of the characters on The Crown have been widely debated over the years, but recently, the story and depiction of Mohamed Al-Fayed, the father of Dodi Fayed, has intrigued fans.
In the third episode of the fifth season of The Crown, titled “Mou Mou”, audiences are introduced to Mohamed Al-Fayed as a young Egyptian boy who is enamoured with Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson on their visit in Alexandria.
This was an unusual setting for The Crown, but this change was short-lived, and the episode quickly flashes forward to 1979, when the now older Mohamed Al-Fayed has already made his fortune and is trying to solidify his standing in the British social scene.
Although Mohamed Al-Fayed never ended up buying Frogmore in this episode or in real life, he was an avid investor who purchased the Ritz Paris, as it is depicted in this episode of The Crown.
He also enters into a lease agreement with the exiled Windsor family in this episode, and these events are similar to what happened in real life.
Mohamed Al-Fayed’s apparent obsession with the British royals and culture may not be as full-fledged in real life as it was depicted to be in The Crown, but he also invested in other British entities like Harrods, Fulham FC, and several films over the years.
Mohamed Al-Fayed and the Ritz Paris
In this episode of The Crown, Mohamed Al-Fayed is shown negotiating with Monique Ritz in order to purchase the Ritz Paris.
Although this story mimics what happened in real life, one of the main reasons why Mohamed was able to purchase the Ritz Paris in 1979 was because Monique was unable to keep the hotel in good standing after her father, Charles Ritz, passed away in 1976.
Although Fayed is depicted as a respectable businessman in The Crown, especially after this prestigious purchase, in reality, he was often perceived as an outsider in the wealthier circles in Britain.
Fayed originally purchased the hotel for a reported $30 million and after over $450 million in renovations over the years, he is still the proud owner of the Ritz Paris to this day.
Did Mohamed Al-Fayed really buy Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson’s home?
One of the other Mohamed Al-Fayed purchases that is shown in this episode of The Crown, is his purchase of Le Bois, which is the French home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
This purchase also happened in real life, although it did require that Fayed take out a 50-year lease on the home in 1986.
Fayed has always been open about the fact that he purchased this home, after only meeting the Windsors once, with the intention of turning it into a museum.
However, even after having completed about $12 million in restoration work by 1990 and renaming the home to Villa Windsor, the home is still not open to the public today.
Other notable investments by Mohamed Al-Fayed
Aside from his purchases of the Ritz Paris and the Le Bois home as shown on The Crown, Mohamed Al-Fayed also made many other notable investments in things that represented the British culture which he so enjoyed.
This includes the department store, Harrods, which he then sold to Qatar Holdings in 2010 and Fulham FC, which he later resold to Shahid Khan. He also invested in other ventures like financing the film Chariots of Fire.