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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