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Oliver Hoare dead: Princess Diana's former lover dies aged 73 in France

Mirror logo Mirror 11/9/2018 Danya Bazaraa
a person standing posing for the camera: Oliver Hoare © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Oliver Hoare

Princess Diana's former lover Oliver Hoare has died aged 73 after a long battle with cancer.

The art dealer, who Diana became 'obsessed' with in 1992, died at home in France.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Credits: REX/Shutterstock A married father-of-three, he was a close friend of Prince Charles.

It's thought he began an affair with Diana in 1992, after her dad Earl Spencer passed away.

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Hoare was 16 years older than Princess Diana.

A former bodyguard said he had once spotted him "semi-naked behind a potted bay tree in a Kensington Palace corridor, smoking a cigar".

a man standing next to a woman: Princess Diana with Oliver Hoare at Ascot race meeting © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Princess Diana with Oliver Hoare at Ascot race meeting

Hoare was allegedly discovered by the Princess’ former royal protection officer, Ken Wharfe.

But he never publicly admitted to the affair.

a group of people in uniform: Princess Diana with Oliver Hoare during Ascot Week on the 17th June 1986. © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Princess Diana with Oliver Hoare during Ascot Week on the 17th June 1986. His affair with the princess ended when his French born wife Diane threatened divorce, according to reports.

Princess Diana had become infatuated with Hoare and once told her confidante, Lady Bowker, she dreamed of living in Italy with him, according to the Daily Mail.

After the affair cooled off, Diana reportedly admitted in a 1995 Panorama interview she'd called him sometimes, over a period of up to nine months, but not in an obsessive manner.

a person wearing a military uniform standing in front of a crowd © Credits: REX/Shutterstock Hoare began as an art history student at the Sorbonne.

Later he became an Islamic art specialist and is believed to have sold Sheik Saud Al Thani of Qatar artworks worth more than £20million.

Princess Diana only married once but rumours of romantic affairs have remained rife well beyond her death.

a man in a suit standing in front of a building: Oliver Hoare Leaving His London Home This Morning © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Oliver Hoare Leaving His London Home This Morning Diana admitted to also having an affair with military man James Hewitt while she was married to Charles.

It lasted five years and ended around 1992.

a man wearing a suit and tie © Credits: REX/Shutterstock He has since said: "I think she was quite easy to fall in love with really…"

In another affair, Dodi Fayed broke off his engagement with an American model to be with Diana.

a man wearing a suit and tie © Credits: REX/Shutterstock They went public in July 1997, spending nine days together on holiday along the French and Italian Riviera on his family yacht.

They were pictured together at the Ritz the night they died.

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