|Prince Charles and Princess Di on their Auckland tour in 1983|
The pics on the left are pics that I took when they were on their NZ tour with baby Prince William back in 1983 when I was in my final year as a senior in high school at Nga Tapuwae College.
At that time, we didn't have a Head boy or Head girl as many seniors didn't stay at school (most got jobs etc.) and there were only 12 or so of us and therefore I was chosen to represent the school at this most important occasion. At the time I didn't really realise the enormous interest that the world would have on Princess Di but I am grateful that I got the chance to meet with her.
I remember my form teacher who also happened to be the Deputy principal reminding me to hold onto the Royal seal on the envelope and the actual invitation to attend this auspicious occasion and I did, but now don't know what happened to it.
I remember buying a dress especially for the occasion and shoes and we were all to assemble at Government House (I think) where my dad had dropped me off. I remember meeting another girl from a private Maori girls school called Queen Victoria girls school and we hit it off and kept in contact for a while afterwards
At the Government House, the royal couple came out and Prince William played on a mat outside the house as a photo opportunity for official cameras then the couple proceeded to walk around and shake hands with the public. I happened to also shake her hand when standing in a row waiting for her to come and around and also got a couple of shots as they walked past.
However, I do remember running around to get a second hand shake from her and she didn't look too pleased so I decided to let that go and watched from afar.
As the years went past, I couldn't help but read so much about this most famous woman that I barely met and how her life was laid bare for all to read and speculate on and it was so sad to find out that she died in such a manner that didn't seem to befit her at all.
I wrote a poem about our short encounter in my poetry collection. I will show an extract of it..
When royalty dies
"When the Princess of people died
it was 1997 and I was at an educational meeting when a
late arrival announced the news
I couldn't believe it!
I remembered in 1983 how we had met in my last year
of high school
I bravely touched your-oh-so-soft-hand and watched
them take photos of you, your son
and husband at Government house.
I drove home that day to tell my family
then later watched TV as the whole world
mourned their loss."