Harrods is sending its memorial of Princess Diana and Dodi to Mohamed al Fayed.
A fountain with pictures of Diana and Dodi al Fayed was built in at the London store, shortly after the couple’s death in a Paris car crash in 1997.
Ten years later a statue of the pair holding a dove, named Innocent Victims was erected nearby to complete the memorial.
Mr Al Fayed claims that Prince Philip ‘ordered’ the car crash which killed Diana and Dodi.
The shrine to his son and Diana sparked outrage among the royal family but became a popular attraction for tourists and people who wished to pay their respects.
Now, Harrods, who are under Qatari owners after the Egyptian tycoon sold the Knightsbridge store, have today announced they will be returning the memorial to the former Fulham FC owner.
In 2007, a statue of the pair holding a dove, named Innocent Victims was erected nearby to complete the memorial
A fountain with pictures of Diana and Dodi al Fayed was built in at the London store, shortly after the couple’s death in a Paris car crash in 1997
The news comes after Prince William and Harry commissioned a new statue for their mother for Kensington Palace.
Michael Ward, Managing Director at Harrods, said: ‘We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past twenty years.
‘With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr Al-Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.’
A spokeswoman for the store told MailOnline that the decision was not made for commercial reason and insisted there were no plans for the area the shrine occupies, when it is eventually returned.
Talks are ongoing between Harrods and Mr Al Fayed on the logistics of the move.
The removal could ease relation between the store and the royal family.
Mohamed al Fayed and his family observe a two-minute silence in memory of Dodi and Diana in 2009 (left) and crowds gather to pay their respects at the window tribute to Diana in 1999
In 2010, a senior courtier said: ‘I can’t see a member of the Royal Family resuming patronage while they remain in the store,
‘One of the memorials is entitled Innocent Victims, which is consistent with Mr Fayed’s bizarre claims that the Duke of Edinburgh had a hand in the deaths of the princess and his son. Obviously, this is offensive in the extreme.’
In 2000, when they ceased to be patrons, the coats of arms of Prince Philip, the Queen, the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and the Prince of Wales were removed from the four corners of the iconic shop’s Knightsbridge premises.
The memorial is an attraction for tourists, but many believe it is ‘distasteful’ and ‘tacky’.
Crowds mob Mohammed al Fayed outside Harrods to pay respects to Diana and Dodi
A bronze fountain memorial to Dodi al Fayed and Diana, Princess of Wales, sits in Harrods department store
One TripAdvisor review read: ‘We had seen this tacky memorial during previous visits in the past, to Harrods Department Store.
‘When we were there again during our most recent stay in London, we were appalled that the memorial is still in place, considering that the store has had a change of ownership.
‘The memorial or “shrine” is in poor taste and its location within an escalator shaft simply adds “insult to injury”.
‘Not worthy of a visit. In fact, it should have been removed some time ago. Commercialism gone mad!’
Another said: ‘This memorial is tacky – I don’t know many people who have seen it who thinks it’s a respectful way to honour Diana and Dodi. For a start, why is Diana in a nightie? Seems like the statue is sexualised. The memorial fountain in the park is a much more fitting memorial. Don’t bother.’