17 APRIL 1990 THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES ATTEND THE PREMIERE OF THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER IN LONDON

17 APRIL 1990 THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES ATTEND THE PREMIERE OF THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER IN LONDON

imageThe Royal Gala Premiere for The Hunt for Red October, April 17, 1990, London. Sir Sean Connery at The Empire, Leicester Square, greeting Princess Diana.  The premiere was in aid of the Prince’s Trust and the Scottish International Education Trust Fund.
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Sean Connery defied his doctor’s orders and engaged in some small talk with Prince Charles and Princess Diana.  The 59-year-old star of James Bond thrillers and Oscar award-winner for “The Untouchables” was recovering from surgery on his vocal chords and had been ordered to maintain absolute silence.

But at the London premiere on April 17, 1990, of his new film, “The Hunt for Red October,” Connery chatted and joked with the heir to the British throne and his wife and gave the couple presents for their sons, Princes William and Harry.
image Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin starred in “The Hunt For Red October” film in which a high-ranking Russian officer hijacks a nuclear submarine and speeds towards America.

image imagePrincess Diana, Above, Receives A Posy From A 4-year-old Girl Before Attending The Premiere Of ‘The Hunt For Red October’
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16 APRIL 1984 PRINCESS DIANA ATTENDS A REHEARSAL OF THE NATIONAL CHILDREN’S ORCHESTRA WELLINGTON COLLEGE, CROWTHORNE

16 APRIL 1984 PRINCESS DIANA ATTENDS A REHEARSAL OF THE NATIONAL CHILDREN’S ORCHESTRA WELLINGTON COLLEGE, CROWTHORNE

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April 16, 1984: Princess Diana pictured above on a walkabout during her visit to watch a rehearsal of the National Children’s Orchestra at the Wellington College, Berkshire. She was presented with a small violin as a gift for Prince William.
imageThe NCO is Great Britain’s premier symphony orchestra for children. It offers children a life-changing experience with training from top professional musicians.
imageThe National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain was formed in 1978 by Vivienne Price, MBE, who saw the need for talented children aged under 14 to have their own symphony orchestra.
image                     Diana, above, with Vivienne Perry, MBE c. 1988.

Youth orchestras existed for teenagers, but younger children, if they were admitted at all, felt they did not fit in socially, however brilliant their playing.
imageIn 1983, Diana, Princess of Wales became Patron and paid several visits to their courses and concerts. Below, Diana, in blue, visiting in 1986.
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14 APRIL 1988 PRINCESS DIANA AT THE OPENING OF MALTINGS SHOPPING CENTRE ST ALBANS

14 APRIL 1988 PRINCESS DIANA AT THE OPENING OF MALTINGS SHOPPING CENTRE ST ALBANS

image image14 April 1988 Diana at St Albans: the opening of the Maltings Shopping Centre. Princess Diana with the Lord Lieutenant in the new centre’s supermarket.
image image Jane Foufas, above, who runs Black Iris Flowers in High Oaks. The florist, who is also an actress, had a part alongside Meryl Streep and Piers Brosnan in the smash hit film Mamma Mia. Jane was asked to make a flower arrangement for Princess Diana in 1988 when she came to St Albans to open The Maltings shopping centre and met her afterwards.
imageShe said: “I had a little florist shop in St Albans city centre at the time and was commissioned to do a posy for her. She came into my shop and was in there for about 10 minutes and she complemented me on my flowers.
image“She had asked for permission to come into the shop which I thought was just so sweet and then she chatted about the shop and she asked me where I got the flowers from, and asked if I had any children and when I said I did she asked how I found it being a working mum.
image“When I said it had its ups and downs she said she sympathised and that she understood what it was like being a working mum. She was so lovely, really, really lovely.”
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Meeting her former make-up artist, Barbara Daly at the opening of the Maltings Shopping Centre

Meeting her former make-up artist, Barbara Daly, at the opening of the Maltings Shopping Centre

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THE LITTLE GIRL AND THE FAIRY PRINCESS APRIL 3 1984 PRINCESS DIANA IN GLASTONBURY

THE LITTLE GIRL AND THE FAIRY PRINCESS APRIL 3 1984 PRINCESS DIANA IN GLASTONBURY

image We remember the day that Princess Diana visited Glastonbury.

The Princess was in town on April 3, 1984 to visit the FACE (Facility for Arts and Crafts Enterprise) project, before going on a walkabout in the Market Place. FACE had just moved into a new office space which was a  former supermarket building in the town centre beside the Victorian stone cross.  FACE was engaged in training schemes for individuals and small businesses that were craft and trade oriented such as glass-blowing.  It was the focus of the Princess’ visit that day.
imageDuring her visit, she revealed that photography was one of her hobbies and offered advice to a young photographer on taking pictures of babies.

She won admiration for the way she quickly put at ease the young people she talked to and it quickly became apparent that she was interested in their work.

It was Princess Diana’s first visit to Somerset, flying into Yeovilton in a fixed wing aircraft and then drove to Glastonbury in a white Rover, arriving five minutes after her scheduled arrival time.
imageSome of the town’s residents had been waiting all morning, including Susan Squires, who presented the princess with a posy of flowers. Her memories of the day are in the above article at left.
imageShe met with Anthony Horrocks, the project co-ordinator of FACE, the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, the High Sheriff of Somerset, chairman of Somerset County Council, chairman of Mendip District Council and the Mayor of Glastonbury.
imageWhen the princess visited glass engravers at work in the workshop, she admired a lidded bowl, similar to one that she was presented with towards the end of her visit.

“I cannot shake your hand, I am terrified of dropping it,” the princess told Elizabeth Dineen, who made the presentation.

As the princess left the building, she went to get into her car, but then appeared to have a change of mind and to the delight of crowds packing the Market Place, went on a mini walkabout, shaking hands and chatting with the crowd.

The Mayor of Glastonbury, Cllr John Brunsdon said that it had been a beautiful day and everything had gone extremely well.

“The princess spent an immense amount of time talking to the young people and put them immediately at ease,” he said.
image“Glastonbury should be very proud of this occasion.”

FACE project co-ordinator, Anthony Horrocks said the visit had gone off marvelously.

“The princess was so enthusiastic about everything she saw and she certainly spoke to every single trainee in the building – at least 50 of them,” he said.

Follow us on Twitter for daily dated engagements of Diana!  @princessdibooks

12 April 1996: PRINCESS DIANA AND HELENE MERCIER ARNAULT AT FESTIVAL HALL LONDON SOUTHBANK CENTRE (en français aujourd’hui)

image Lady Di, Ma Confidente
image“Après un récital que j’avais donné au Festival Hall, South Bank Center, à Londres, quelques semaines après la disparition de Madeleine, j’avais ressenti le besoin de confier ma souffrance. Diana avait su, au cours de notre conversation, trouver des mots émouvants et d’une rare justesse pour m’apaiser et me redonner une lueur d’espoir. Je crois qu’aucune femme ne m’a autant subjuguée. Spontanée, exubérante, imprévisible, touchante, elle savait se montrer d’une grande délicatesse.”
image Mais il est peu question de la vie privée d’Hélène Mercier Arnault dans Au Fil Des Notes, un livre qui devait au départ prendre la forme d’un entretien, à l’image de celui que son mari a publié également chez Plon, en 2000, sous le titre La passion créatrice.
image Peu satisfaite de la première version du manuscrit, la pianiste a décidé de changer de style, optant pour une sorte de journal intemporel au flou artistique délibéré, où il est beaucoup question de musique et très peu de sa vie parmi les gens riches et célèbres.
image La rencontre avec Lady Di
image Le livre se veut aussi un hommage à sa soeur Madeleine, de six ans son aînée, une violoniste qui l’a initiée à la musique dans la maison familiale de Mont-Royal.

Au tournant de la quarantaine, affligée par une bipolarité mal soignée et aggravée par la consommation de haschich, Madeleine a mis fin à ses jours en se jetant en bas d’un édifice. C’était en 1996 et Hélène Mercier affirme que le chagrin et la culpabilité causés par la mort de Mado ont failli avoir raison de sa carrière. «J’ai perdu le goût pour la musique. Je pleurais des journées entières et je suis passée à un cheveu d’abandonner complètement le piano», raconte-t-elle.
image Celle qui l’a sauvée du déluge n’est nulle autre que Lady Di. À la fin d’un concert qu’elle donnait à Londres et auquel assistait Lady Di, Hélène Mercier s’est spontanément confiée à la princesse. «C’était la première fois que je parlais du suicide de ma soeur à quelqu’un à l’extérieur de ma famille et par sa douceur, sa chaleur et sa compassion, Lady Di m’a redonné espoir.»
imageL’histoire est touchante et Hélène Mercier la raconte avec une belle émotion, mais impossible de ne pas y voir une complaisance un brin démagogique, sans doute encouragée par les faiseurs d’image qui la conseillent. Car il n’est pas donné à tout le monde d’avoir eu la chance d’être consolé par Lady Di. Hélène Mercier concède que le charisme de la princesse est ce qui l’a poussée à se confier à elle. Mais lorsque je lui demande si elle en aurait fait autant auprès de Carla Bruni, elle esquive la question.
image Chose certaine, rien n’obligeait Hélène Mercier à s’astreindre au délicat exercice de la confession publique. Rien non plus ne l’oblige, 20 soirs par année, à quitter le confort plus que douillet de son hôtel particulier à Paris pour aller jouer du Beethoven ou du Schubert dans des villes étrangères et des salles mal chauffées.

«Mon piano est mon compagnon depuis que j’ai l’âge de 6 ans. Cesser de jouer et renoncer à ma carrière, ce serait passer à côté de moi-même. Ce n’est pas mon genre», dit-elle avec une détermination de fer au fond des yeux.

N.B.

Diana and Helene Mercier Arnault were friends.  Ms. Mercier is a concert pianist and Diana attended her recital with her sister, Sarah, on the evening of April 12, 1996 at Festival Hall in London.  Ms. Mercier is the wife of Bernard Arnault, Chairman of LVMH, who is one of the wealthiest men in France. She recounts above how compassionate and consoling Diana was when her sister, Madeleine, committed suicide in 1996. She also talks about her career, her music and her life. She is originally from Montreal, Canada.

10 APRIL 1986 A SUCCESSFUL SOLO VISIT: PRINCESS DIANA DOES A DOUBLE DATE IN PORTSMOUTH

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On her way, below, to Southsea’s Sea Life Centre where she picked up a hermit crab.  The newspaper reported that she had landed in a helicopter on Southsea Common in a not so smooth landing in force nine gales.  It was a very cold day and she thanked the people waiting to see her for enduring the wait in the cold weather. image

Wearing a Caroline Charles bright red coat and black muff

Wearing a Caroline Charles bright red coat and black muff

That same day she was also invited to attend a children’s tea party benefit on behalf of St. Michael’s Church in Basingstoke. The party was in the church hall and the crowds lined the streets to meet her when she emerged from the church.
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9 APRIL 1985 PRINCE CHARLES AND PRINCESS DIANA VISIT THE HTV STUDIOS AT CULVERHOUSE CROSS IN CARDIFF WALES

9 APRIL 1985 PRINCE CHARLES AND PRINCESS DIANA VISIT THE HTV STUDIOS AT CULVERHOUSE CROSS IN CARDIFF WALES

image imageimageCulverhouse Cross HTV Studios on the outskirts of Cardiff, Wales became operational during the summer of 1984 following 2 years of construction. The first transmission from the new facility was at the end of July 1984 and the total construction cost of the new building was £15 million. The entire construction process was filmed by HTV during each phase and at one point a time capsule was buried at the site but no one remembered in the end where it had been buried!
imageThe foundation stone had been laid by Lord Harlech, who was Chairman of HTV, on November 8th 1982.
imageHTV (Harlech TV) Cymru Wales was originally based in Pontcanna, Cardiff, and moved to Culverhouse Cross on the outskirts of the city in 1984. In 2014, and now part of ITV since their buy-out in 2004, they moved to a new state-of-the-art building in Cardiff Bay where they said its presence in Wales would be strengthened.

On 9 April 1985 Charles and Diana visited the centre and unveiled a commemorative plaque.

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They arrived via helicopter on The Queen’s Flight and landed at the helipad on site at Culverhouse Cross Studios.

image imageThey were ushered in the front door and met by managing director, Huw Davies, other HTV executives and visitors. One eager little boy thrust a bouquet of roses in Diana’s hand immediately as she walked toward the crowd inside.
imageimage Mr. Davies gave them a tour of the facilities and showed them the TV studios during a break in filming of a game show. They visited the actual set and met the gameshow hosts, producers, crew and contestants.image imageimage

The Prince and Princess of Wales are shown round the new studios by HTV managing director, Huw Davies

The Prince and Princess of Wales are shown around the new studios by HTV managing director, Huw Davies

imageimageimage image image image The official opening of the studios was celebrated with an opening night programme called “Success.” It was a variety type programme with Welsh-American crooner Jack Jones topping the line-up of stars.
image imageThe special program was broadcast featuring music, dance and live satellite linkups with Paris, San Francisco and Toyko. Arfon Haines Davies, Elinor Jones and Alan Rustad were the hosts for the evening.
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Elinor Jones, above.
image The all glass curtain wall in the front of the building housed the transmission area and was added to the front of Culverhouse Cross around 1988. The new transmission area coincided with the launch of the new Night Club broadcast. This entire upgrade cost an extra £3 million.
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Sir Tom Jones performed there in 1987.

Sir Tom Jones performed there in 1987 and was mobbed by fans.

At the time Culverhouse Cross was one of the most modern TV studio complexes in Europe and was a showpiece in the area.
imageIn 2014, the former HTV Studios at Culverhouse Cross were demolished to make way for a housing development.
imageA model home, above, for the new housing development at Culverhouse Cross.  The developers, Bellway Homes Wales and West Ltd. were given approval earlier in the year to build 243 such homes on the site.
imageThe plan sparked controversy with opponents saying that the Culverhouse Studios site should continue as an important hub for media and associated companies. There were fears the project could lead to more than 400 job losses in the Vale and rob the area of a “vibrant media centre”. But, Vale council planners recommended approval of the scheme saying that the new homes would be a “significant benefit” in providing much needed private and affordable housing in the area.
image imageOn 14th February 2014 ITV Cymru Wales took possession of its new, state of the art offices at 3 Assembly Square in Cardiff Bay, accommodating 100 staff and covering 1,050 square metres. The new facility includes a news studio, production & sound galleries and editing suites, as well as voice-over & dubbing suites.
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9 APRIL 1985 THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES ATTEND THE HEREFORD CATHEDRAL CEREMONY TO LAUNCH THEIR £1 MILLION RESTORATION APPEAL

9 APRIL 1985 THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES ATTEND THE HEREFORD CATHEDRAL CEREMONY TO LAUNCH THEIR £1 MILLION RESTORATION APPEAL

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The current Hereford Cathedral, located at Hereford in England, dates from 1079. Its most famous treasure is Mappa Mundi, a mediaeval map of the world dating from the 13th century. The cathedral is a Grade I listed building.

The Mappa Mundi

The Mappa Mundi

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image The Prince and Princess of Wales attend the launch of the Cathedral’s £1 million restoration appeal on April 9, 1985.
imageimage During the service Prince Charles was presented with an architectural ball flower, seen above, dating from the 14th century, as a memento of the occasion. He also read a scripture lesson before the 1,800 specially invited guests.
They were also presented with a baby rabbit at the end of their visit as an Easter present for Prince Harry.
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image The cathedral is dedicated to two patron saints, namely Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Ethelbert the King. The latter was beheaded by Offa, King of Mercia in the year 792. Offa had consented to give his daughter to Ethelbert in marriage: why he changed his mind and deprived him of his head historians do not know, although tradition is at no loss to supply him with an adequate motive. The execution, or murder, is said to have taken place at Sutton, four miles (6 km) from Hereford, with Ethelbert’s body brought to the site of the modern cathedral by ‘a pious monk’. At Ethelbert’s tomb miracles were said to have occurred, and in the next century (about 830) Milfrid, a Mercian nobleman, was so moved by the tales of these marvels as to rebuild in stone the little church which stood there and to dedicate it to the sainted king.

Wearing blue wool three quarter length coat suit  by Bellville Sassoon

Wearing a blue wool three quarter length coat suit by Bellville Sassoon

image Prince Charles, long an architectural restoration advocate, became involved in he restoration appeal in 1985. The actual appeal was to have started in 1984 as restoration work on the cathedral was urgent and the church clergy had proposed selling some special artifacts in its collection to get the work started. However, the Hereford Diocesan Community Trust kick-started the appeal with a donation of £25,000. In 1985, The Prince and Princess of Wales donated the signed portrait of themselves below to the cathedral to auction it for restoration funds.
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The Prince of Wales became Patron of the Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust in 2004, although His Royal Highness had supported the Trust on a number of occasions since it was founded in the mid 1990s. The Prince of Wales first visited the cathedral in the 1980s.
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imageIn August 2000, the Prince of Wales dipped into his purse to again show he is a true friend of Hereford Cathedral by splashing out thousands of pounds on its restoration.

And in gratitude the Royal patron is to receive gifts from the city to beautify his gardens.

The substantial donation was announced by Prince Charles during a reception attended by governors and sponsors of the Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust at Highgrove House.
imageThe money, from the Duke of Cornwall’s Benevolent Fund, will go towards the repair of the Stanbury Chapel Roof.  The perpendicular chapel was erected by Bishop Stanbury’s executors in 1496. It features a richly-groined vault and two stained windows on the north side depicting scenes from the bishop’s life.

As a thank-you to Prince Charles, the cathedral’s perpetual trust has donated a quantity of redundant stone for use as landscape features in Highgrove’s gardens.

In addition, a number of the trust’s ‘Perpetually Yours’ climbing roses have been planted throughout the estate.
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Over the years, Prince Charles has been a regular visitor to Hereford Cathedral and has played a pivotal role in the restoration process since the inception of the trust in 1996.

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8 APRIL 1986 PRINCESS DIANA OPENS THE HARRIS BIRTHRIGHT RESEARCH CENTRE FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE IN SHEFFIELD

8 APRIL 1986 PRINCESS DIANA OPENS THE HARRIS BIRTHRIGHT RESEARCH CENTRE FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE IN SHEFFIELD

imagePrincess Diana opens Sheffield’s Harris Birthright Research Centre for IVF Reproductive Medicine at the Jessop Hospital.

The Harris Birthright Research Centre for IVF Reproductive Medicine in Sheffield, set up in 1986, worked on unexplained fertility. The centre was the biggest stimulus to reproductive medicine the UK had seen and focused on male infertility as well as female infertility which was relatively unusual at the time. Diana returned in 1991 to learn more about then recent breakthroughs in infertility research.

Her return visit  July  16, 1991

Her return visit on July 16, 1991

Founded in 1964, the name was changed to “Birthright” in 1972. Birthright and The National Fund for Childbirth Research reflects the national activities of the charity both in terms of fundraising and research. In April 1975, Birthright agreed to work in partnership with The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to improve women’s health. Birthright then broadened its scope to include all aspects of obstetrics and gynaecology. The name was changed to Wellbeing in 2007.

imageimageimage In 1984, Professor Ian D. Cooke applied to Birthright, a national Charity, of which the late Diana, Princess of Wales was Patron, to fund his research.
imageThe Department obtained a grant of £500,000 over 5 years setting up the Harris Birthright Research Unit for IVF Reproductive Medicine with a research clinic to investigate various unexplained aspects of infertility, hormone deficiencies, erratic follicle growth and related infertility problems. About 200 patients were treated in the first year.
imageIn 1984, Sir Philip Harris and his wife, Pauline, seen below, invested in a total of 5 research centres around the UK as a way of better utilizing his donation to Birthright. The idea was that after the initial investment in the centres they would start to generate more money,  therefore promoting the growth of whole areas of research.  In total, Lord Harris invested £1.5 million, but the money generated since and the women and babies helped by the research are far greater than this sum.
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image On the same day, she also paid a visit to the Lodge Moor Hospital Spinal Injuries Unit in Sheffield which also had a sports hall for the disabled at the time.  Diana toured the unit and met numerous patients and staff.

When she visited with patient and paraplegic power lifter Brian Stones, he asked her what she did for exercise.  “I swim 20 lengths a day and go dancing,” she replied.
image image imageBelow, in the sports hall of the hospital, Diana smiles as she gets a fencing lesson with patient Cyril Thomas, paraplegic champion of the foil and epee (sword) who had been injured in a mining accident 30 years prior.

The Lodge Moor Hospital was closed in 1994.
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7 APRIL 1992 PRINCESS DIANA ATTENDS A PERFORMANCE AT ST. STEPHEN WALBROOK CHURCH IN LONDON OF THE BLACK VOICES SINGING GROUP FROM BIRMINGHAM

imagePrincess Diana meets with members of the famous a Cappella “Black Voices” after a concert in St. Stephen Walbrook Church on April 7, 1992.
imageAs Chairman of The Arts Council, Lord Palumbo Acted As Honorary Impressario On April 7, 1992 When Princess Diana Headed His Guests At A Recital By The Black Voices Five Sensational Ladies From Birmingham.
imagePrincess Diana Meeting Members Of Black Voices at St. Stephen Walbrook London; The Princess Is Pictured Speaking With Carol Pemberton, MBE, The Musical Director of the group.

Receiving an MBE from Prince William

Carol Pemberton Receiving an MBE from Prince William in 2014.

They have been invited to perform all over the world for people as venerated as the Pope and Nelson Mandela and icons of music such as Ray Charles and Nina Simone.

“Meeting Ray Charles at the Colosseum in Rome and performing with him was a stand out moment. Similarly with Nina Simone,” recalls Carol.

“I think the biggest concert we have done was outdoors, singing for Pope John Paul in Italy. There were just people everywhere. We had to address them in Italian and sing in front of this immense crowd. That was just ‘Wow!’ We met him afterwards and he gave us all rosary beads, even though we are not Catholic, and said he cried when he heard us, we were so moving.

“We sang for Princess Diana at a private chapel in London after her Dad died.
image imageSince the early nineties, the Black Voices collective, made up of five black female singers from Birmingham, England, has built the reputation to be one of the best a cappella female ensembles of the world, testified by more than 200 tours around the world over 25 years, a dozen of albums and an impressive curriculum.  Not only did they share the stage with worldwide stars such as Ray Charles, Nina Simone and Wynton Marsalis, but they performed for Nelson Mandela, the Royal family, Princess Diana, the G8 Summit, various presidents and first ministers, even for the Pope. Black Voices is more specifically known in England for their own radio and TV shows on the BBC.

Unlike traditional gospel ensembles with a negro spirituals repertoire, the music of Black Voices, though deeply rooted in negro spirituals, is more widely representative of Black music in general, taking their inspiration from blues, jazz, reggae, African songs and Caribbean Calypso. In this perspective, far beyond their exceptional musical quality and emotional impact, Black Voices asserts itself as a unique vocal ensemble of an original repertoire and a genuine and assertive artistic personality.  The Birmingham Post.
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7 APRIL 1992 PRINCESS DIANA AND THE PRINCES “HOOKED” ON THE HOOK FILM PREMIERE AT THE ODEON IN LONDON

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The Princess of Wales took her two sons with her on the evening of April 7, 1992 to the premiere of Steven Spieberg’s “Hook” to aid the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital of which Diana is Patron. They met the full line-up of stars that evening, including Robin Williams who played Peter Pan and Dustin Hoffman who played Captain Hook. William and Harry sat on either side of the Princess during the performance and munched on chocolate ‘pieces of eight,’ returning afterwards to Kensington Palace exhausted.

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image Diana wore a black and white silk assymetrical dinner gown by Catherine Walker.  The bodice was decorated in ripples of small lace flowers.

6 APRIL 1989 PRINCESS DIANA DRESSES FOR THE NAVAL OCCASION AS SHE ATTENDS THE ANNUAL PASSING OUT PARADE AT BRITANNIA ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE DARTMOUTH

6 APRIL 1989 PRINCESS DIANA DRESSES FOR THE NAVAL OCCASION AS SHE ATTENDS THE ANNUAL PASSING OUT PARADE AT BRITANNIA ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE DARTMOUTH

image The Princess of Wales suited her dress to the occasion when she arrived at the annual passing-out parade at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. she was dresses in a bright red Catherine Walker military inspired coat dress with naval style striped collar and a Philip Sommerville red straw tricorn hat with a gross grain bow and long ribbon trim at the back.
image imageCrowds of friends and parents gathered in gloomy weather for the occasion at the historic naval college in Devon which has trained generations of officers and ratings, including her husband, Prince Charles. But the skies brightened as she inspected the immaculate ranks of officers and ratings.
imageimageimageThe Princess was representing the Queen and was there to present the Queen’s Sword for 1989 to Sub-Lieutenant Louis Wilson-Chalon, 22, who was top officer under training in the past year. Afterwards he said, “To be selected as one from 500 in the year is quite something, and it means a great deal to both myself and my family. Today has been very nerve-racking for me but it is also very enjoyable and I’m very proud. It was a lot of hard work to get here, but I am looking forward now to a good career in the Navy.”
image imageimageStacy Sheppard, daughter of Band Sergeant Leslie Sheppard, presented the princess with a bouquet of flowers, after she planted a tree to commemorate her visit.
image imageShe was also quite taken with the mascot puppy as seen in the photos below.
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5 APRIL 1984 A NILE STREET POTTERY WELCOME AS PRINCESS DIANA VISITS THE ROYAL DOULTON POTTERIES AT STOKE-ON-TRENT

5 APRIL 1984 A NILE STREET POTTERY WELCOME AS PRINCESS DIANA VISITS THE ROYAL DOULTON POTTERIES AT STOKE-ON-TRENT

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Royal Doulton Magazine 1997 Their Princess Diana Tribute Issue which is rare.

Royal Doulton Magazine 1997 Their Princess Diana Tribute Issue which is rare.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ROYAL-DOULTON-POTTERIES-VISIT-PRINCESS-DIANA-BOOKLET-APRIL-1984-/221572329981?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3396bd71fd

5 APRIL 1990 THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES ATTEND THE STATE BANQUET GIVEN BY INDIAN PRESIDENT SRI RAMASWAMI VENKATARAMAN

5 APRIL 1990 THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES ATTEND THE STATE BANQUET GIVEN BY INDIAN PRESIDENT SRI RAMASWAMI VENKATARAMAN

imageTHE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES ARRIVE AT THE STATE BANQUET GIVEN BY INDIAN PRESIDENT SRI RAMASWAMI VENKATARAMAN AT ST JAMES COURT HOTEL, IN LONDON 5 APRIL 1990
imagePresident Sri Ramaswamy Venkataraman and his wife, Shrimali Venkataraman, paid a State Visit to the United Kingdom from 3-6 April 1990. On the evening of April 5, 1990, The President held a banquet for the Queen at the St James Court Hotel (now the Crown Plaza) in Buckingham Gate.
image“It was a night to remember,” recalls Sam Bhadha, then the hotel’s general manager, who had the “Tata family’s personal gold cutlery” flown in from India, along with “80 dozen mangoes, 80 dozen pomegranates, 60 dozen chickoos and 60 dozen custard apples”.
imageThe Duke of Edinburgh turned to Satish Arora, one of the chefs who had come from the Taj group in India, and declared: “The dosa (fermented crepe made of rice flour and black lentils) was excellent — are you from south India?”

Sam, now resident in New York as executive vice-president of the Highgate Hotels group that includes the Radisson Lexington, is reckoned by the Bollywood fraternity and Indian tycoons to be the best hotelier in the world.
imageimageimageThat night, he says, “the Queen, Charles and Diana looking very beautiful, the Gloucesters, Princess Margaret were all there — the biggest gathering of royals at one banquet — plus Margaret Thatcher.

Ravi Shankar played the sitar in the courtyard.”

Princess Diana meets Ravi Shakar

Princess Diana meets Ravi Shankar

Catherine Walker pink duchesse satin gown with shawl collar and cuff in white raw silk.

Catherine Walker pink duchesse satin gown with shawl collar and cuffs in white raw silk.

Bhadha remembers: “Prince Charles had a dosa stuffed with lobster but ‘Why is yours different?’, he asked the president, who cut half of his vegetarian dosa, stuffed with wild mushrooms, and passed it to Prince Charles. We whipped Prince Charles’s plate away and ordered him a fresh dosa — it caused chaos in the kitchens.”

Programme and Menu from the night of the State Banquet

Programme and Menu from the night of the State Banquet

The Queen and Prince Philip have made state visits to India in 1961, 1983 and in 1997.
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The Telegraph of Calcutta

4 APRIL 1989 PRINCESS DIANA ATTENDS THE HELP THE AGED INDUSTRY & COMMERCE LUNCHEON AT CLARIDGES IN LONDON

4 APRIL 1989 PRINCESS DIANA ATTENDS THE HELP THE AGED INDUSTRY & COMMERCE LUNCHEON AT CLARIDGES IN LONDON

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Tuesday, April 4, 1989: Diana attends the Help The Aged Industry and Commerce Committee Luncheon at Claridges in London in her capacity as Patron.
image imageThe Help the Aged Committee on Industry and Commerce was tasked with engaging large brand advertisers and marketing companies to respond to the ageing population with meaningful and effective advertising.  Marketing to an ageing population has its own special problems, but the Help the Aged spokesman, Mervyn Kohler, had hoped to persuade advertisers at the meeting to explore the commercial opportunities that were available.
imageThe Royal Teeth: It was just the Friday before the luncheon that she had had dental surgery but she told the crowd outside that she was feeling fine.
imageDiana had slipped out of a London hospital on Saturday, April 1, 1989 eluding the crowd of photographers outside, and hurried home to Kensington Palace to recuperate from the removal of four wisdom teeth. The day after the surgery at the King Edward VII Hospital, Diana left by a side exit and sent her dresser, Evelyn Dagley, to the front door laden with suitcases and bouquets.
imageHer personal dental surgeon, John Simons, handled the 90-minute operation, which was such big news that it was announced ahead of the special programme for the 100th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower on the BBC midday television news.
image Prince Charles took their sons Prince William and Prince Harry to Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Friday, March 31, 1989 for a brief holiday while Diana recuperated.  He is pictured below arriving at Aberdeen Station in Scotland.
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3 APRIL 1982: “AND THEY’RE OFF!”  PRINCESS DIANA AND PRINCE CHARLES SHOW THEIR EXCITEMENT AT THE FAMOUS GRAND NATIONALS; THE AINTREE RACECOURSE IN MERSEYSIDE!

3 APRIL 1982: “AND THEY’RE OFF!” PRINCESS DIANA AND PRINCE CHARLES SHOW THEIR EXCITEMENT AT THE FAMOUS GRAND NATIONALS; THE AINTREE RACECOURSE IN MERSEYSIDE!

image When you venture to the Aintree Racecourse in Merseyside make sure you have your best country brogues and hat.  And, your binoculars! image

Watching the race from the 'Canal Turn' near the Beecher's Brook Jump

Watching the race from the Canal Turn near the Becher’s Brook Jump

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imageThe Grand Nationals at the Aintree Racecourse in Merseyside are the holy grail of steeplechase and in the equestrian world it is a race not to be missed!  The first race at Aintree was run in 1839 and the National 10 years later.  All fences are covered in spruce and it is run on soft ground making it all the more challenging. Prince Charles’ great-great grandfather, Edward VII, won the Grand National in 1900 with his horse Ambush II.

imagePrince Charles and Princess Diana were there on April 3, 1982 for this thrilling race on the 4 mile 3 1/2 furlong course complete with 30 fences on two circuits.   Not an easy feat to accomplish.
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image image imageThey had stayed in Merseyside the night before at the Earl of Derby’s grand ancestral pile, Knowsley Hall, and they watched the race get underway from the balcony above the Earl’s private box.  They were joined by Judy Gaselee, the wife of Nick Gaselee, Prince Charles’ horse trainer and racing confidante.
image imageFor Diana, the Liverpool Echo, below, reported it was her last public engagement before giving birth to Prince William in June 1982. The Liverpool Echo provides a great account below: imageWhat happened that day? Let’s recount the action of that historic race! image BBC Commentator Peter O’Sullevan from Ireland describes the climax of the 1982 National: “And it’s 48 year old Dick Saunders on Grittar from Hard Outlook. Grittar strides into the final furlong and is already being acclaimed as the National Hero of 1982. Frank Gilman’s Grittar strides up to the line to win it in fantastic style… Grittar wins the National!” It was an historic win in the racing world this particular year. The Grand Nationals are racing’s jewel. This was a tough race. image image The 1982 Sun Grand National was the 136th renewal of the world-famous horse race that took place at the Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, Merseyside, England, on 3 April 1982.  An estimated crowd of 85,000 attended. imageThe race was won by 7/1 favourite Grittar, ridden to a 15-length victory by amateur Dick Saunders, who at the age of 48 became, and remains, the oldest jockey to have won the Grand National. Grittar won in a time of 9 minutes and 12.6 seconds winning a prize of £52,507 for his owner.  Nine year old Grittar was owned and trained by Frank H Gilman and ridden by amateur jockey Dick Saunders. Saunders and Grittar were making their debut in the race. imageSaunders retired after the race and became chairman of the Aintree stewards. Grittar finished fifth in the next year’s National and 10th in 1984. The horse retired to his owner’s Leicestershire base and died aged 25 in 1998. imageThe race became famous on a wider scale as a retirement cue from the saddle for Northampton farmer Dick Saunders.  He passed away in January 2002 at the age of 68 from cancer. image Though still an amateur, Saunders was on a par with most professionals. The pair also finished sixth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup won by Silver Buck in that momentous season. imageSteve Marshall was the man who worked as assistant trainer and head lad to Frank Gilman, the owner, at the tiny village of Morcott.  Marshall drove the horse-box home from Liverpool that night and celebrated at The White Horse into the wee small hours.

Grittar with the famous diamond patch on his forehead

Grittar with the famous diamond patch on his forehead.

He recalled: “The next day we even took Grittar into the pub after the landlord took the snooker table out!” “One paper took a photograph of Grittar with a pint of Guinness”. Oh no!! image

Grittar; first shoe past the post. Memorial plaque to the beloved horse, Grittar.

Grittar; first shoe past the post. Memorial plaque to the beloved horse, Grittar.

imageThe race was also notable for being the first in which a female jockey, Geraldine Rees, completed the course. She rode Cheers to eighth and last place. Miss Rees said that Cheers was ”stone cold” as they came toward the end. ”I was determined to finish,” she said. ”I could hear everyone shouting, ‘Go on, go on!’ but he had almost nothing left. He just managed to get over the last two fences. Coming up to the finish line, he was absolutely exhausted, and so was I.” imageAt the end of the race, Prince Charles continued on to Knowsley to tour the Kirkby Sports Centre complex. Diana wore a deep wine red wool mohair coat with matching hat and a blue, ruffle collar maternity dress by The Chelsea Design Group, Catherine Walker’s company at the time. imageimageimageimageimageimage imageimage image

2 APRIL 1982 THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES OPEN THE PAGODA OF THE HUNDRED HARMONIES IN LIVERPOOL

2 APRIL 1982 THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES OPEN THE PAGODA OF THE HUNDRED HARMONIES IN LIVERPOOL

Ceremonial Arch Entrance to the Chinese Community on Henry Street in Liverpool

Ceremonial Arch Entrance to the Chinese Community on Henry Street in Liverpool

The Pagoda of The Hundred Harmonies Centre was established with an inner cities partnership urban grant in 1982 to serve the chinese people and the local community in Liverpool as a focal point for chinese social and cultural affairs.  Founded in 1976 by Brian Tai-Shen Wang from Taiwan, below, it was intended to increase understanding of the self-contained chinese community within Liverpool and promote their arts, music and culture.
imageMr Wang also founded the Tai-Shen Theatre Group which managed the centre for many years. Liverpool has the oldest Chinese community in Europe and there is much pride in the history of this community.

The community celebrated the Royal Wedding in 1981

The community celebrated the Royal Wedding in 1981

The Prince and Princess of Wales opened the newly renovated £228,000 pagoda style building during their visit to Liverpool on April 2, 1982 and were greeted by Mr. Wang and the Lord Lieutenant of Leeds.
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An enthusiastic crowd of over 1,000 people singing and waving bunches of spring daffodils was awaiting them.
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imageimage imageOne eager child, Colin Griffiths, above, could not wait to meet the Princess; he wiggled through the security cordon to quickly give her a big kiss and plant a big bouquet of daffodils in her hand.

During the lunchtime visit, Mr. Wang guided them around the centre.
image Diana is awed by the large ceremonial golden dragon as she begins to paint its eye.
imageAmong the crowd inside, they viewed the spectacular ceremonial golden dragon, above, and a Chinese inscription on the outer wall of the building which proclaimed: “This community will strive for prosperity, harmony, and the aspiration for future multi-racial integration and understanding of all peoples.”

On the menu for lunch was a sumptuous 7 course banquet of chinese delicacies including chicken with cashews, lemon chicken, duckling, chinese dumplings and sweet and sour fish.
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After lunch, they were treated to a Chinese Cabaret of traditional dance and music orchestrated by Mr Li Kui Hsuing who founded the original chinese orchestra in Liverpool and is originally from China.
imageimageDiana chatted with the young performers after the show and they were all smiles as they met her in this wonderful, rare, photo below.
imageAlthough Prince Charles unveiled a special plaque in Chinese and English commemorating their visit, there was no official ribbon cutting ceremony. The Chinese custom of painting the eyes on the dragon was the official opening event and both the Prince and Princess took turns painting the eyes as Mr. Wang and the crowd watched in enjoyment. imageimageimageimage

Diana then stepped back and plugged in the electric dragon as the eyes lit up to everyone’s delight!  The dragon was eventually mounted on top of the new building.
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Today the centre, above, is known as The Pagoda Chinese Youth and Community Centre and is a thriving part of Liverpool’s downtown area and the community at large.
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The Prince and Princess spent the night in Merseyside as the guests of the Earl of Derby at his ancestral home, Knowsley Hall, pictured above.  It was the first time that the Prince had been there publicly and the Liverpool Echo reported the very next day that he was delighted to be staying there.
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Fashion note: Diana is wearing a raspberry pink wool maternity coat by Bellville Sassoon and the matching hat trimmed in velvet is by John Boyd. The hat has a wonderful large velvet bow under the brim on the side. Her blue maternity dress was by The Chelsea Design Group of London, owned by Catherine Walker.

Liverpool Echo 1982, 1997

HM QUEEN ELIZABETH II CELEBRATES MAUNDY THURSDAY AT SHEFFIELD CATHEDRAL TODAY

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Maundy Thursday in 1991 – Westminster Abbey

Every Easter, Her Majesty presents a gift of ‘Maundy money’ to pensioners in a cathedral or abbey within the UK, as part of the Royal Maundy Service. The service is a way of recognising the unsung heroes and honouring the elderly for their services to the community.

The tradition of the Royal Maundy service can be traced back to the 13th century, when not only the Monarch, but also a few senior members of the Royal Family would give money, food and clothing to the poor on Maundy Thursday. The King or Queen would even wash the feet of the recipients, a practice that was done away with after the reign of King James II.

Maundy Thursday marks the day of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. ‘Mandatum’, the Latin word for command from which Maundy Thursday derives its name, refers to Christ’s command to love one another.

Throughout their history, Maundy coins have been are struck in sterling silver, with only a few exceptions; once during reign of King Henry VIII, because of the King’s debasement of the coinage, and once again in 1920, when the coins were made of 50% silver – a change which was reversed by the Coinage Act of 1946. Today, the coins are of sterling silver, and are in the same form as they have been since 1670.
Conventionally, the number of Maundy coins and the number of people who receive the money coincides with The Sovereign’s age, a practice which was adopted sometime in the 15th century. As Her Majesty is turning 89 this year, she will present 89 men and 89 women with Maundy coins worth 89p.

The Queen has distributed Maundy money in all but four years of her reign. While the service originally took place in London, it was decided, soon after Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne, that it should take place in different parts of the country every year. Today, the service is being held at Sheffield Cathedral.

1 APRIL 1986 PRINCE CHARLES AND PRINCESS DIANA OPEN HEATHROW’S NEW TERMINAL 4

1 APRIL 1986 PRINCE CHARLES AND PRINCESS DIANA OPEN HEATHROW’S NEW TERMINAL 4

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Twenty-nine years ago today, Heathrow’s Terminal 4 was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales. They arrived by underground tube train at Heathrow Terminal 4 to perform the opening ceremony. They travelled on the new underground train link between Hatton Cross and Terminal 4.  Adding the extra 3 miles to the Piccadilly Line cost £26 million.

The new terminal cost £200 million and was built on the south side of the airport.  Prince Charles struggled to cut the tape because his arm was in a sling from a recent gardening accident while planting a tree at Highgrove House. Diana helped him do the honors by steadying the scissors and cutting the ribbon together.

The new terminal design did not seem to please the Prince too much. He complained of having to trudge yards through corridors and on escalators. He was jovial, however, when presented with ‘Harry Heathrow’ a toy bear.  He stuffed it in his sling to take home to the boys as they departed.

During the tour, Diana joked with royal photographer Arthur Edwards to keep his eyes off her legs when she was told that riding the escalator in a skirt with a split up the back would create a photo opportunity for the photographers at the bottom. Luckily, airport officials hastily decided to ban the photographers from the foot of the escalators and a risqué photo was avoided. But her detectives took no chances; they got close behind her as she glided up and away.
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30 MARCH 1982 PRINCE CHARLES AND PRINCESS DIANA VISIT ST GEMMA’S HOSPICE IN LEEDS, YORKSHIRE

30 MARCH 1982 PRINCE CHARLES AND PRINCESS DIANA VISIT ST GEMMA’S HOSPICE IN LEEDS, YORKSHIRE

imageThirty-three years ago today, The Prince and Princess of Wales officially opened a new £2 million extension at St. Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds. Specialising in the relief of cancer patients, St. Gemma’s is the largest hospice in Yorkshire.

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They arrived via rail into Leeds. They were welcomed by the Lord Lieutenant of Leeds, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Leeds.
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Arriving in the Royal Limousine at the Hospice, The Prince and Prince were welcomed by Sister Mary Sloan, the Matron, civic dignitaries, clergy, Friends of the Hospice and the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk. Princess Diana was presented with a bouquet of flowers by little Claire Spence.
imageimage image image Still only 20 at the time the time and six months pregnant, Diana appeared nervous and uncertain as she started the engagement.

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image The Prince gave a speech and spoke of the Hospice’s trials in raising funds for the addition and of the great compassion he felt for the patients and the work of the hospice. He joked about how difficult it was to locate the hospice by car.  The Bishop of Leeds also spoke, welcomed them to St. Gemma’s and offered a prayer.

imageimageimage They were then accompanied by Sister Mary, Dr Bruce Symonds, Professor Richards and Canon Lyons to see patients on each ward and also in the Day Hospice. Every patient was greeted. Diana received several gifts including a white newborn baby jacket, a matching maternity bed jacket and red & blue baby bottle covers.

image Edwin Wilson, above, beat the press when the Princess told him that her baby was due on July 1st, her birthday.  He stated that he “couldn’t believe his ears” and was “pleased as punch” to hear the news. A truly magic moment for Edwin.

On 10 June 1980, Prince Charles’ second cousin, Princess Alexandra, laid the foundation stone for the new wing watched by Sr Cecily Mary, Sr Olivia, Sr Wilfreda and Sr Seraphine.
imageimage image image Opened in 1978, St Gemma’s is the largest hospice in Yorkshire and one of the largest in England. A school of the same name had been on the site since 1949 and was run by the Sisters of the Cross and Passion. They decided to close the school in the 1970’s and converted it to a community hospice in 1977 upon hearing the need for such comprehensive care locally on a Radio 4 Programme at the time.
image Since the school had been called St Gemma’s it was decided to keep this name as it seemed a proper name for the new work of a hospice.  On 12 March 1978 the new 9-bed unit was dedicated and opened its doors to the first patients a month later on 12 April.

image 1982 saw further expansion in bedspace when a new building was formally opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales on 30 March 1982.
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Princess Diana returned on September 12, 1991 to open the newly built Prout Conference Centre.
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In 1982, Princess Diana mingled with patients as did Prince Charles, and they chatted with them at their bedside.
imageimageimage image The Prince of Wales also unveiled a new plaque after he spoke and they both signed the visitor’s book of St. Gemma’s as well as the local civic register book, witnessed by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Patrick Cotty.
image They signed a photo of themselves which was promptly put on display for all to see and which was later hung over the official opening plaque.  They were eventually applauded by all present in the Norfolk Room.
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They left the building with the Reverend Mother Wilfreda leading the way.
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Outside a large group of children had assembled and as they left the hospice, the Princess was engulfed with children offering her bouquets of flowers.
imageimageimage The Princess was soon overwhelmed with flowers and she even passed on a large panda bear to one of her staff to handle. The staff lined up along the path outside St. Gemma’s at the end of the visit to say good-bye.
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The Prince and Princess of Wales were then driven to Roundhay Park so Charles could leave for York to tour the Jovik Viking Museum associated with the then Coppergate Dig at the University of York.
image Diana was surrounded by crowds and received several baby gifts once again.
image The Princess returned to London via rail. At the Leeds train station, she was again swamped with flower bouquets from well-wishers as she proceeded to the train.  Her staff were trying to collect all of them before they departed.
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There was a note of sadness, however, that hung over the day. Patient Mary Lees, who wrote a poem called, “Be Still” for Their Royal Highnesses and with whom the Princess chatted for a bit at her bedside, died within hours of the visit.
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It was, however, a day etched in the memory of all those present.

Fashion note: Diana wore an emerald green wool maternity coat with velvet abstract appliqué designs by Bellville Sassoon. Her matching boater style hat with velvet bow at back was by John Boyd. Her burgundy leather low heeled shoes with matching clutch were by Alexander Gabbay of Ivory.

29 MARCH 1988: AMAZEMENT IN THE MARKET TOWN OF BRIGG AS PRINCESS DIANA VISITS!

29 MARCH 1988: AMAZEMENT IN THE MARKET TOWN OF BRIGG AS PRINCESS DIANA VISITS!

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Brigg will never forget their royal visitor!
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The first visit was in March 1988 when she launched the Brigg Regeneration Project and called in at Falcon Cycles to mark the completion of a £1 million expansion project before going on to open the New Enterprise Centre at Grimsby.
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She visited again in 1991, having opened Glanford’s Tourist Information Centre at the Buttercross, the Princess endeared herself to the hearts of the people of Brigg and the surrounding area by walking around the Market Place for a chat with many of the hundreds of people who had turned out to greet her.
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image The Princess’s high-profile visit to the Falcon Cycles in 1988 was labelled the most memorable and proud day in the company’s long history.
image Managing director Norman Court – obviously a proud and happy man – made the statement as the Princess unveiled a plaque at the factory towards the end of her visit.
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He also gave her assurances to take back to her husband (Prince Charles) on the safety of the paint sprays she had seen and briefly used herself in the Falcon paint area.  Mr Court, who guided the Princess throughout the biggest part of her tour, outlined the history of the company to an audience of VIPs and guests.
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It was a company which had seen many changes since its establishment back in 1880. He said it was only a few years since Falcon had been going through difficult times – but they had passed.  And for that he paid particular tribute to Bill Cross, chairman of Falcon’s parent company, Elswick, and its chief executive, David Cross.  “The company has been built up through their faith in the workforce,” he added.
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The Princess’s down-to-earth qualities made her a real winner with the staff at Falcon Cycles. Workers who watched the Princess as she slowly progressed around the factory were impressed not only by her beauty but by her natural charm.  They lined the route as she made a Royal progression through the processes of cycle manufacturing.
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Stephen Molloy, of the warehouse at Brigg, and Glenn Boden, from Scunthorpe, were two of the lucky men who had the opportunity to speak to one of the world’s most glamorous women.  Stephen was amazed the Princess was “just like anyone else”.

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He revealed: “She was really down-to-earth. She was telling us about the days when she used to ride around London on her own bike.”

Having watched her on TV, Glenn added: “She is far better when you see her for real.”

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She planted an ornamental pear tree close to the towpath of the Old River Ancholme – and it is still there 27 years later!
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She was also given a special cake to commemorate her visit.
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And a very special souvenir was handed over to the Princess by clerk Diana Parker.
Her hobby was lace-making and she made a plaque with a cycle, made of lace. The Princess remarked the craftswoman who made it must have fantastic eyesight.

image The Princess returned home with special presents for the country’s most famous youngsters, Princes Harry and William. For workers at the Brigg factory built a very special pair of cycles specially for the youngest members of the royal family.  The Scunthorpe Telegraph suggested, in a special Royal souvenir supplement: “Princes William and Harry are sure to get hours of fun out of their new bikes.”

They were a variation on one of Falcon’s largest ranges, its mountain cycle.

Features included gold anodised handlebars, stem and seat pillar, gold chain, black pedals and rims, and a suede saddle. Extra toughness was provided by Reynolds 501 extra-strength tubing, and the bikes were finished with gold transfers.
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29 MARCH 1992 DIANA’S FATHER, THE 8th EARL SPENCER DIES

29 MARCH 1992 DIANA’S FATHER, THE 8th EARL SPENCER DIES

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A Sad Princess Of Wales Dressed In Black Left The Austrian Ski Resort Of Lech on Monday, March 30, 1992 With Her Husband To Travel Home Following The Sudden Death Of Her Father Earl Spencer on March 29, 1992.
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The Princess Wearing Black Trousers Jumper And Jacket Walked Alone Down The Steps Of The Arlberg Hotel Looking Down Not Acknowledging Waiting Press And Photographers
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The Princess Is Said To Be Devastated By Earl Spencer’s Heart Attack Which Came As He Was Making An Apparently Trouble-free Recovery From A Bout Of Pneumonia at the Humana Wellington Hospital in London. The Earl’s death was announced while the princess was on holiday with her family in Lech, Austria. The Earl was 68 years old.

The Arlberg hotel 29 March 1992 when she first knew of his death

The Arlberg hotel 29 March 1992 when she first knew of his death

The Princess of Wales and her husband, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, were in Austria with their two sons on a skiing vacation when the death was announced. The couple returned to London on Monday March 30, 1992 and the children are to remain in Austria until later in the week, Buckingham Palace said.
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The Princess of Wales and her older son, 9-year-old Prince William, visited the Earl at the hospital the day before she left for Austria.
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Earl Spencer and Raine Spencer at Althorp c.1989

Earl Spencer and Raine Spencer at Althorp c.1989

29 MARCH 1985 PRINCESS DIANA AND HER FATHER EARL SPENCER OPEN A NEW DAY CARE UNIT AT THE CYNTHIA SPENCER HOSPICE IN NORTHAMPTON

image29 MARCH 1985: Princess Diana and her Father attended the opening of an extension to a cancer care hospice named after her late grandmother, Countess Cynthia Spencer who died of cancer at the age of 75 at Althorp in 1972.

Diana's Grandmother, Countess Cynthia Spencer

Diana’s Grandmother, Countess Cynthia Spencer

Her stepmother, Raine, also attended.  She and her Father shared the platform as she spoke to the people assembled at the hospice for the opening. She admitted that she was nervous with him there but they both wished the hospice the best of possible success with its new unit.  They later greeted patients in the wards and met the crowds waiting outside.

Diana greeting children at the opening of a new day care centre at the Cynthia Spencer Hospice at the Manfield Health Centre in Northampton

Diana greeting children 29 March 1985 at the opening of a new day care unit at the Cynthia Spencer Hospice, part of the Manfield Health Centre in Northampton

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Cynthia Spencer Hospice owes its origin to the formation of a Northampton committee which was set up in 1972 to provide cancer relief in Northamptonshire and to raise funds for continuing care. Under the inspired leadership of the late Dr Ben Jolles, by the end of 1975 the committee had raised enough funds to build an in-patient facility of 25 beds which was then opened by the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in May 1976.
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At the time Cynthia Spencer Hospice was one of the first modern hospices in the country. The 7th Earl Spencer agreed to be Patron of the committee, and Cynthia Spencer House (as it was then called) was named after his late wife, Countess Cynthia Spencer DCVO, OBE.

Diana's Grandfather John, the 7th Earl Spencer

Diana’s Grandfather John, the 7th Earl Spencer

The Cynthia Spencer House Trust was later set up to provide continued support for the unit, and in the next decade it led to a fundraising campaign to build a day unit which was opened by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, on 29 March 1985.
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In 1990, the Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice were formed, to raise funds to support the hospice patients as well as to raise the profile of the Hospice in the local community.  During that time, it soon became clear that the facilities at the Hospice fell well below those needed to provide a modern and acceptable standard of care. The sale of part of the land on which the hospice stood created a unique opportunity to develop new facilities.

Diana's brother, the current Earl Spencer became a Patron in 1989 and continues his support to this day

Diana’s brother, the current Earl Spencer became a Patron in 1989 and continues to this day using Althorp for fundraising events.

The allocation of money from the sale of the land however fell short of the £10 million total project cost so a fundraising campaign for the balance of £1.5 million was launched. The people of Northamptonshire took the campaign to their hearts and generously donated the required amount and the new hospice building as we know it today was opened in 2005.
image The two charities merged in April 2014 to become the Cynthia Spencer Hospice Charity.

Diana's sister-in-law, Karen, now Countess Spencer, visiting the Hospice in 2014

Diana’s sister-in-law, Karen, now Countess Spencer, visiting the Hospice in 2014

28 MARCH 1997 PRINCESS DIANA LUNCHES WITH RAINE SPENCER HER STEPMOTHER AT THE CONNAUGHT GRILL IN LONDON

28 MARCH 1997 PRINCESS DIANA LUNCHES WITH RAINE SPENCER HER STEPMOTHER AT THE CONNAUGHT GRILL IN LONDON

image In her biography “The Diana Chronicles,”  author Tina Brown claims that by 1993 – and after the painful end of her own unhappy marriage – Diana had “finally made her peace” with her stepmother, Inviting her for “a weepy reconciliation lunch” at Kensington Palace. Thereafter, they lunched together regularly at the Connaught Grill in London.
image To her immense credit, Raine never sought to capitalise on this rapprochement. In fact she never spoke of their relationship until ten years after Diana’s death when she as called to give evidence at her inquest in 2007.
image She spoke then of those cosy meetings, of their shared interest in horoscopes and Diana’s belief that the stars would eventually deliver true love to her.
image “Being a stepmother is a very difficult role, almost unwinnable,” Raine said. “The only hope is that you will achieve a certain friendship, but it ended with me loving my stepdaughter very much.” For her part, Diana told her stepmother that unlike almost everyone else she came into contact with, Raine had “no hidden agenda.”

OUR DRESS A DAY PROFILE TODAY IS THE BELLVILLE SASSOON NAVY BLUE SAILOR SUIT

OUR DRESS A DAY PROFILE TODAY IS THE BELLVILLE SASSOON NAVY BLUE SAILOR SUIT

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David Sassoon described the dress in his fashion book as a demure navy sailor suit. He said, “Diana’s style at the time was quixotic, constantly changing and evolving. As her fashion confidence grew, she put her own stamp on contemporary chic.”
image“Diana chose a demure, navy sailor suit from our ready-to-wear collection for her first official photograph with the Queen after the engagement was announced. It sparked a trend for sailor collars.”
image The suit was a navy blue virgin wool with a jacket that tied to form a peplum at the waist. The sailor blouse underneath was white with navy blue stripe edging on the wide rectangular collar. It was decorated with a red satin bow at the ‘V’ neckline. The skirt fell modestly just below the knee and had a split pleat in the front.
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She accessorized it on 27 March 1981 with a single strand of pearls and ivory hosiery with navy blue d’Orsay pumps with a cut-out design. Sassoon described her as a new brand of Royalty, one that appealed and seemed relevant to people not usually interested in such things.

The jacket buttons are noticeable in this photo.

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27 MARCH 1981: “MAY I KISS THE HAND OF MY FUTURE QUEEN?” NICK HARDY ASKS – LADY DIANA IN CHELTENHAM

27 MARCH 1981: “MAY I KISS THE HAND OF MY FUTURE QUEEN?” NICK HARDY ASKS – LADY DIANA IN CHELTENHAM

image In a helicopter piloted by Prince Charles, he and Lady Diana paid an official visit to Cheltenham on the morning of March 27, 1981 to tour the headquarters of the Cheltenham Police, the force that was responsible for their security while in residence at Highgrove House.
imageimage They toured the building, met the police force and even had a short visit with the police horses and dogs.
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image In the cheering crowd as Lady Diana was shaking hands, a schoolboy from Dean Close School stepped forward from his group of mates and presented Lady Diana with a single daffodil and asked her if he might kiss her hand. “May I kiss the hand of my Future Queen?”  Nicholas Hardy asked her, and with those famous words he was catapulted to worldwide fame, proving that chivalry was not yet dead.  Lady Diana, rather taken aback, smiled, and replied “I don’t know about that.” But, by that time, Nick had taken her hand and kissed it. Lady Diana took a couple of steps away and told him “You will never live this down” as all his fellow pupils in line sniggered.
image Nick said it was a spur of the moment event and by the time he had her attention and then her hand he was “buzzing.” The daffodil he gave her came from the school garden and he was able to be at the front of the crowd because he was a School Prefect. His Mother tells of how proud she was of him in the article!

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He spent the rest of his day in the headmaster’s office doing press interviews. The article above from 1998 tells his whole story from that day and he was interviewed again at the time of publication when he was 35. Nick became a music scholar, actor and violinist and still talks endearingly about Diana and the day he won fame with that famous kiss and those now infamous words of homage.  He also became the first person to kiss her hand in public.  His photo from 1998 is at the far bottom right of the newspaper article pictured above.

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27 MARCH 1981 THE QUEEN AND HER PRIVY COUNCIL GIVE THEIR APPROVAL FOR THE MARRIAGE OF PRINCE CHARLES AND LADY DIANA SPENCER

27 MARCH 1981 THE QUEEN AND HER PRIVY COUNCIL GIVE THEIR APPROVAL FOR THE MARRIAGE OF PRINCE CHARLES AND LADY DIANA SPENCER

image HRH Prince Charles, his fiancé Lady Diana Spencer, and HM Queen Elizabeth II pose for pictures together for the first time at Buckingham Palace on the afternoon of March 27, 1981. The Prince and Queen Elizabeth attended a Privy Council meeting that day which gave him permission to marry.  They posed for pictures after the meeting, although Lady Diana did not attend it. The press commented that day that she towered over not only the diminutive sovereign but her future husband as well.

Diana is wearing a virgin wool navy blue sailor style suit with wide white collar and red satin bow by Bellville Sassoon.

Diana is wearing a Bellville Sassoon virgin wool navy blue sailor style suit with a wide white collar that has a navy stripe detail at the edge and a red satin bow.  She is also wearing a single strand of pearls and ivory hosiery.

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Instrument of Consent of Marriage complete with the Great Seal of the Realm at bottom for HRH Prince Charles & Lady Diana Spencer.

Prince Charles was legally bound to seek approval for his marriage by the terms set forth in the Royal Marriages Act of 1772. This is an act of the Parliament of Great Britain, which is now in force in a number of Commonwealth realms and prescribes the conditions under which members of the Royal Family may contract a valid marriage, in order to guard against marriages that could diminish the status of the royal house.

The “instrument of consent” shown above for Charles and Diana, originally dates back to the 18th century. Under the Royal Marriages Act, all descendants of the monarch must ask permission to wed. The law was passed at the request of King George III, who was outraged when he learned that his younger brother, the Duke of Cumberland, had secretly married Lady Anne Horton, a widow of a “commoner.”

First ever photo of a Privy Council taken on 27 March 1981 after consent was given to Prince Charles' marriage

First ever photo of a Privy Council taken on 27 March 1981 after consent was given to Prince Charles’ marriage . The consent was to be set out in the marriage license and in the subsequent register of the marriage, and thus entered in the books of the Privy Council. Any marriage contracted without the consent of the monarch was to be null and void.

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THE RARE COLLECTABLE TODAY IS FROM NEW ZEALAND:  THE DAY I MET A PRINCESS

THE RARE COLLECTABLE TODAY IS FROM NEW ZEALAND: THE DAY I MET A PRINCESS

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image THE DAY I MET A PRINCESS

THIS WONDERFULLY HAND-ILLUSTRATED (almost Watercolor type illustrations) BOOK IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY OF AN ABORIGINAL GIRL, SUSAN TANE, WHO MET DIANA ON THE ROYAL TOUR TO NEW ZEALAND IN 1983.

WHILE ESSENTIALLY A CHILDREN’S BOOK, THE HAND ILLUSTRATIONS ARE INTRIGUING AND THE STORY IS OF THE GIRL’S EXCITEMENT IN MEETING A REAL LIVE PRINCESS.

THE STORY INSPIRES US ALL AS IF WE TOO, HAD MET DIANA. THIS LUCKY YOUNG GIRL REALLY DID.

THE BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO IS ORIGINAL AND IS PART OF THE BOOK.

26 MARCH 1985 PRINCESS DIANA SHIMMERS IN BRUCE OLDFIELD AT HIS LONDON FASHION SOIREE IN AID OF BARNARDO’S

26 MARCH 1985 PRINCESS DIANA SHIMMERS IN BRUCE OLDFIELD AT HIS LONDON FASHION SOIREE IN AID OF BARNARDO’S

image image While bopping on the dance floor at London’s Grosvenor House ballroom with Superman Christopher Reeve, the Princess of Wales was heard to remark that some of the men she’d been dancing with seemed a bit reluctant to put their hands on her bare back.

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Not so for her first dancing partner of the evening, Bruce Oldfield, who had designed the fortuny pleated, open-back, Odeon draped gown of sun rays in silver and gold lame.  Oldfield, who is one of the 23-year-old Princess’ favorite designers, hosted the gala evening as a benefit for Dr. Barnardo’s, the orphanage in which he was reared. It was the Princess’ first official appearance as president of Dr. Barnardo’s, and she dazzled the 900 guests as she posed for pictures with Joan Collins.
imageimage DAZZLING: Princess Diana upstaged the soap opera queen Joan Collins. Di glided in, looking as if she had just stepped off the set of Dallas or Dynasty. Her backless gown in shimmering silver flattered her fabulous figure. And, Dynasty star Joan, in a slinky white number with a diamond encrusted bodice was outshone when they shook hands.  Oldfield had designed both dresses.
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Other guests who paid 100 pounds each for the privilege of saying they had rubbed shoulders with the Princess of Wales on the dance floor–and they did–including ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, Charlotte Rampling and David Frost.

imageWhen Diana heard that Joan Collins, Shirley Bassey and Charlotte Rampling were going to be at the party, she said to me: ‘Bruce, just make me glamorous!’

image image It was 1985 and the party was a gala night for Barnardo’s, the children’s charity. She was the new President and I was a former Barnardo’s boy. She occasionally called me ‘Oily Oldfield’ because in those very deferential days, I’d learnt all the royal etiquette and perhaps overdid it from time to time – I always called her ‘Ma’am’ never ‘Diana’. The Palace thought we were a great fit: me, the mixed-race orphan boy done-good, and her, the beautiful young Princess.
image She was very mischievous. At one point on the night, she pinched my backside to make me keep the speech short, and she’d smuggled in a packet of Benson & Hedges cigarettes in her bag for me, even though it was against royal protocol to smoke before the Loyal toast.
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Although bought up in very elevated circumstances, the Princess always found the formality of her position a little embarrassing; that was why she always did that mock self-deprecating, winking thing – her playful side.   Bruce Oldfield, May 2011, Speaking On his Friendship with Diana.

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