SUZY

Byline: Aileen Mehle

Flash! So now it's official. The Aga Khan, 57, terminally rich, leader of 15 million Ismaili Muslims, is divorcing his beautiful British-born wife Sally, 54, also known as the Princess Salima, after 25 years of wedded bliss and very-far-from-bliss. You read here months ago that this was going to happen. The marriage has been rocky for years, primarily because the Aga Khan, first name Karim, known to the gilded international set simply as K, did exactly as he pleased, whenever he pleased. The Aga's world is a man's world, and the plan is to keep it that way.
But that's not really the Flash! The Aga, after announcing he is seeking the divorce, further made it clear that to avoid more publicity about what goes on in his private life, no more statements would be issued. Does he really think that's going to stop the gossip? When a highly visible man such as he makes this kind of move after long years of a marriage played out in the world's exalted financial and social circles, who in the world doesn't want to know why? Nine times out of 10 it boils down to that same old truism, Cherchez la femme.
Here's the real Flash! Those in the know are certain Karim is splitting with Sal because he is in love with Ariane Soldati, a good-looking, rich Egyptian widow in her 50s, and wants to marry her. Ariane, married to the late Argentine millionaire Francisco Soldati and the mother of several children, lived with her husband in Buenos Aires all during her marriage until Soldati was killed in a polo accident about two years ago. Since then, she and Karim have been seen together constantly. But one can scarcely call it love at first sight. They have known each other since they both went to school in Switzerland. Some say she wanted to marry Karim then. More than 35 years later, it looks like she's going to get her wish.

Speaking of troubled relationships, let us now turn once more to the Prince and Princess of Wales, who each day give us all the more reason to call their ridiculous carryings-on The Chuck and Di Show. When she married Charles, Diana may have picked a lemon in the garden of love--but so did he. We know all about him and his sins, but every day she looks ditsier and dumber and out of control. Granted that the cad and bounder who betrayed his five-year fling with Di in a book--for the filthiest of lucre--should be shot through the heart and then run over three times. But what in the devil was she thinking of, rolling in the hay with some slob who should have been feeding it to the horses? This on top of her telephone calls all hours of the day and night to the very married British art dealer Oliver Hoare, denied by but traced to her? Listen, Chuck and Di both need help. And lesson number one should be How Not To Self-Destruct.
Meanwhile, the word is out that Di will be visiting the U.S. this month, and that Kay Graham of the Washington Post Grahams will be giving a dinner for the princess at her Georgetown house on Oct. 21. Maybe Di thinks it's friendlier here. If she's thinking of brushing British soil from her feet, she can always settle down in Washington. Pam Harriman's house is for sale.

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