31 MARCH 1991 EASTER PARADE: THE ROYAL FAMILY ATTEND EASTER SERVICES AT ST. GEORGE’S CHAPEL , WINDSOR

31 MARCH 1991 EASTER PARADE: THE ROYAL FAMILY ATTEND EASTER SERVICES AT ST. GEORGE’S CHAPEL , WINDSOR

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For their Traditional Easter Sunday church service, the Royal Family, during their stay at Windsor Castle, always worship at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. After taking sherry with the Dean of Windsor, they walk back through the lower ward to their private apartments in the castle. This particular Easter Sunday the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of York both wore pink outfits. Princess Diana wore a pink wool coat-dress by Catherine Walker and a matching hat with pink netting & a large bow at the back.

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St George's Chapel Quire

St George’s Chapel Quire, Windsor. The carved stalls are for the Monarch and Knights of the Garter.

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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