Meeting Diana.

Talking to a friend in an email about Diana prompted me to remember the time I met her in 1988. I’m a Di-ist not a Royalist, so meeting Diana was a dream come true, it still rates right up there on my ‘I can’t believe that happened’ list.

It was January 1988, and Diana and Charles came to Wollongong to open the IPAC (Illawarra Performing Arts Centre) I got there early and cased the joint, looking for spots where Charles and Diana would have to slow down or stop their walking. I found out they were going to enter the town hall through the back door, so they would have to walk up from where they were sitting for the ceremony.

During my sniffing around I overheard a girl talking near the back door and she was telling someone that her mum was the deputy Lord Mayor, and that her mum was going to try and bring Diana over to meet her. Strait away I channelled Larry Tate and became her instant best friend. Seeing I was there early I was in the front row, and no interloper was going to get in front of me.

Sure enough after the BORING speeches were made Diana started to walk up towards us, and I was horrified to see Charles the ninny was working the crowd on OUR side!!, When Diana got closer the deputy Lord Mayor said to her, ‘Princess Diana my daughter is just over here, could you say hello?’ so bless her Jimmy Choo pumps she said ‘Of course!’ and came over to us. The best part was watching the crowd moan and hiss when she left the side opposite, Charles had to go and apologise and stay out of peoples way while they strained to look at Diana who was now on our side of the walkway.

To this day the memory is seared into my brain, she stood no more than a foot away from me talking, and honestly, for a young queen I was awe struck by her natural beauty. Her skin WAS translucent, and her eyes crystal clear blue. When it came time for me to say hello, protocol flew out the window as I said, ‘Hi Di!’ as I shook her hand, and just talked shit.

I know it’s< been said a million times before, and people would say it was just the excitement of being close to her, but she really did exude a lovely warmth, a beautiful aura, I've only felt this one other time, and that was when I met Linda McCartney, some people really do have a beauty that radiates. As soon as she moved away I after our chat, and shaking hands, I pulled a tissue out of my pocket and wiped her blue blood, DNA, royal juices onto it. I still have the soiled tissue safely tucked away. The photo's I took that day aren't that clear as it was
so bright and hot, the reflection of the late afternoon sun on the surrounding buildings hit the lens, but the heat DID mean that Diana was broiling up a lovely stream of genetic juice on her palms, which enabled me to get a good swipe onto my poised Kleenex.

Just as Diana moved past me someone behind was standing on an old wooden fruit box, and in their excitement must have been bouncing up and down on it, sure enough, the rickety old crate gave way, splintered, and broke apart. This would have been funny, except the sound of the timber splintering sounded like gunfire, Diana’s security all grabbed for their jacket pockets, and armed SWAT officers popped up from on top of the surrounding buildings (I filmed this on an old Super 8 camera).

The crowd laughed when they realised it was just the fruit box that had fallen to pieces, and security visibly relaxed, but for a few seconds it was a little hairy. I’ve met a lot of famous (and infamous) people over the years, but to this day meeting Diana remains very special.

The Royal Slaynel: Well you’ve got to give it to Wollongong, we do try, sure we couldnt offer Charles and Diana a Rolls Royce, but it does look like they at least gave the old Ford Fairlane a wash and a polish.

Diana: I snapped this photo just before Diana stopped in front of us for a chat.

The Kleenex: Below we see my forensic pride and joy, a smear of Diana’s DNA from her sweaty hand.

New Idea: Below is a photo of Diana in Wollongong that was printed in New Idea.

Leave a Reply