Twenty years ago, 19-year-old Princess Shamsa was snatched from a street in Cambridge. Shamsa and her two friends had visited a bar. A car pulled up with four armed men who were Dubai nationals from Sheikh Mohammed, ruler of Dubai's personal staff. After being ordered into the car, Shamsa was driven to a property in Newmarket and flown to Dubai by private jet the next day.
This event in August 2000 probed questions about the behavior of one of the U.K.'s most distinguished royal visitors.
A princess aged 11, Al Jalila, was being set up for a forced marriage to the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman.
In 2018, Bin Salman allegedly commanded the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Princess Haya, the wife of Dubai Emir Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, fled to London upon learning alarming details about the case of a princess who tried to flee and was captured in 2018.
She reportedly fled to a $107 million townhouse in Kensington Palace Gardens.
Haya's departure is seemingly connected to the alleged fate of two of Sheik Mohammed's daughters by one of his other wives.
One of the daughters, Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, 34, had endeavored to escape Dubai in 2018 riding a boat registered in the U.S. and piloted by a French American captain.
Latifa was seized off the coast of India by commandos and forcibly returned home.
Haya's flight to Britain provoked a diplomatic crisis with regard to her husband, Sheikh Mohammed, over his family's treatment of women. The crisis arose between Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
She spent months mapping her escape to London upon discovery that her husband had lied about imprisoning and torturing Latifa.
Sheikh Mohammed, 69, turned to Instagram and posted a furious poem accusing an unidentified woman of "treachery and betrayal."
Recently, after an 8-month legal battle, the British High Court has issued a ruling in the child custody case between Sheikh Mohammed and his estranged wife, Princess Haya. The judgment found that the ruler of Dubai had waged a campaign of intimidation against Haya and abducted two of his daughters.
This was after Sheikh Mohammed launched a last-ditch bid at the Supreme Court to keep the details of his custody battle with his estranged wife confidential. He applied for permission to appeal at the highest court of the land to try to prevent the publication of two judgments consisting of information of his relationship with his youngest wife.
Haya resisted her husband's legal action with a counter-claim seeking a forced marriage protection order in respect of their daughter, alleging that the sheikh was trying to marry her off to MBS, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
Haya married the billionaire racehorse owner in 2004, becoming his sixth and 'junior wife.' Last year, Haya filed for a divorce in the U.K., saying the planned nuptials were a key reason why she ran away.