ROYAL STYLE: The Lady Di lookalikes wait to greet Prince Charles in Wellington in 1981. From left, Karen Dumble, Margo McAldon, Gina Kremer, Joanne Dean and Belinda Wood.
Gina de Borst and Belinda Wood were among five Wellington women handpicked to pose for a Diana lookalike photo before her marriage to Prince Charles 30 years ago – and to meet the prince in person during his visit to Wellington New Zealand in 1981.
Mrs de Borst – who was 21-year-old Gina Kremer at the time – was shopping at Kirkcaldies & Stains during her lunch break when the British press approached her to be photographed with the other women.
“They said ‘your hair is perfect’, and they were looking to show that with the style Diana had, you could create different looks.”
Until only a few years ago, she had kept the blouse the women were given to wear in the photo.
In return for posing for the picture, Mrs de Borst and the others met Prince Charles when he toured New Zealand just months before his wedding.
She had thought of the photo call as a good opportunity to meet the prince, and the image was later printed around the world.
The resemblance to a royal did not stop at Mrs de Borst, with her 22-year-old son Karl bearing a resemblance to Prince William.
The family would be watching Wills’ wedding and Mrs de Borst could not wait to see what the bride, Kate Middleton, would be wearing.
After meeting Prince Charles, Mrs de Borst had taken a special interest in the royal couple and she hoped their son would be happy with Ms Middleton.
Belinda Wood was an apprentice at Kirks’ hair salon where the idea for the photo took shape.
She was asked to be in the photo because her long hair would be easy to cut and style. “It didn’t worry me, it was quite exciting.”
The British press treated the group to champagne at a hotel while they waited to be made up.
Once the transformation was complete, Miss Wood recalls heading to Lower Hutt to meet Prince Charles. Each woman carried a single red rose, and the prince asked all of them a little about who they were.