Twenty years ago today. I will never forget the day that Princess Diana died. The radio station where I was a presenter had arranged a huge roadshow event at Silverstone, with top bands and singers due to perform. Because I made an early start from home I didn’t catch any news before I left and it wasn’t until I was en route that I switched on the car radio and heard about Diana’s death. Obviously, the station cancelled the event.
I had met ‘the People’s Princess’ twice. Once, at the end of a sponsored wheelchair push from Edinburgh to London by three young paraplegics raising money for the International Spinal Research Trust. Diana was the patron of the charity and greeted the three wheelchair users on arrival at their final destination. I was there as PR executive for the chain Crest Hotels, having arranged free hotel accommodation along the route for the three wheelchair users.
To my surprise, Princess Diana subsequently invited me to a special reception at Kensington Palace for all those who had been involved. She chatted to everyone there and we also saw her being a normal mum: at one stage Diana had to chide the two young princes for being boisterous. On both occasions, Diana charmed everyone she met.
Escaping the world
The Princess of Wales lived her life under a spotlight – sometimes of her own making. But in the spring of 1996 she found sanctuary during a weekend’s stay at the Mallorca hotel known today as Belmond La Residencia in Deià, where her framed letter of thanks to the hotel still hangs on the wall in the reception area.
Quite a few changes have happened at the hotel since Diana stayed and she’d probably love it even more now; especially as the hotel added some new suites this year – with a high degree of privacy.
Here are some of my photos of this beautiful hotel – a place where any girl can feel like a princess.
©Jan Edwards 2017