Princess Diana, one of the world’s most famous and photographed women, has attended glamorous galas and toured the world – but her evenings were also spent eating beans on toast and watching EastEnders, revealed a former British Red Cross employee.

Edith Conn, 72, met the Princess of Wales at a British Red Cross event in 1991 at the Manchester Art Gallery, where Diana spoke of her love of home comforts.

As The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex prepare to honor their mother with a statue on what would have been her 60th birthday, Ms Conn, who was president of the Grand Humanitarian Charity branch Manchester, remembered meeting the princess.

Ms Conn said: “She told me how much she cared about the Red Cross and the wonderful work we do. And then we just really had a chat.

Edith said Princess Diana told her how much she cared about the Red Cross and spoke about their work.  Pictured: Edith and Princess Diana

Edith said Princess Diana told her how much she cared about the Red Cross and spoke about their work. Pictured: Edith and Princess Diana

Eileen, who remembers everyone being excited, said they were fortunate enough to have Princess Diana (pictured) involved in their work before her tragic death

Eileen, who remembers everyone being excited, said they were fortunate enough to have Princess Diana (pictured) involved in their work before her tragic death

“She was so approachable because she was so relaxed. When someone is relaxed, you relax with them, and it just made the experience better.

She added: “I said” Ma’am, what are you doing now? Do you have a place to be?

“And to my surprise, she said, ‘I’m coming home tonight. I’m having beans on toast and watching EastEnders!’ I thought that was so funny.

Eileen Nicol, now 87, was president of the Activenture holiday camp run by the British Red Cross for disabled children in Sussex and met Diana in 1985.

Eileen Nichol wrote a diary entry (pictured) about Princess Diana's visit to Activenture in Sussex dated July 30, 1985

Eileen Nichol wrote a diary entry (pictured) about Princess Diana’s visit to Activenture in Sussex dated July 30, 1985

Edith Conn, now 72, received a letter from the Princess of Wales in 1993 (pictured), after asking the palace for a photo to put in a Red Cross brochure

Edith Conn, now 72, received a letter from the Princess of Wales in 1993 (pictured), after asking the palace for a photo to put in a Red Cross brochure

A diary entry written by Ms Nicol, which was published by the charity, revealed the princess’s affection for young people and how Diana, then a member of the royal family for only four years, confessed to hating wearing a hat.

She wrote her account of meeting Diana in 1985, describing her as “charming” and “full of compassion”.

Still a supporter of the Red Cross, Eileen published her diary with a letter the royal sent in 1993 to mark Diana’s 60th birthday today.

The British Red Cross has released two documents to mark Princess Diana's 60th birthday.  Pictured: Diana visiting Sussex in 1985

The British Red Cross has released two documents to mark Princess Diana’s 60th birthday. Pictured: Diana visiting Sussex in 1985

Eileen said Princess Diana got down to the ground to talk to each child and asked them not to wear a hat in the rain.  Pictured: Diana visiting Sussex in 1985

Eileen said Princess Diana got down to the ground to talk to each child and asked them not to wear a hat in the rain. Pictured: Diana visiting Sussex in 1985

The entry, dated July 30, 1985, reads: “[The Princess] was lovely. She has so much compassion for children.

“She spoke to each of them and got down to the floor to look at a collage and talk to the little ones.

“It rained, but that didn’t seem to matter.

“She asked me how I got away without wearing a hat. She hates hers. She wanted to know how to raise the money for the holidays. She had certainly done her homework.

Speaking about the visit today, Eileen added, “I remember everyone was very excited. She was talking to all of us and she spoke so well.

“The kids loved her, and she loved the kids. She told me that she would like to have my job. It was truly a wonderful day.

When asked why she thought her impact and her charity legacy was important to remember, Eileen added, “Her impact has been global. She is known in every country, for her compassion, her smile and her love of children.

“We were very lucky to have involved her in our work before she sadly passed away.”

Along with the entry, the Red Cross also released a letter from the Princess of Wales written in 1993 that was also published to show how much humanitarianism and helping others meant to her.

Along with the entry, the Red Cross also released a letter from the Princess of Wales written in 1993 that was also published to show how much humanitarianism and helping others meant to her.  Edith Conn, now 72 and president of the Greater Manchester branch of the British Red Cross, met Diana, Princess of Wales, as she represented the British Red Cross at an event at the Manchester Art Gallery in 1991.

Along with the entry, the Red Cross also released a letter from the Princess of Wales written in 1993 that was also published to show how much humanitarianism and helping others meant to her. Edith Conn, now 72 and president of the Greater Manchester branch of the British Red Cross, met Diana, Princess of Wales, as she represented the British Red Cross at an event at the Manchester Art Gallery in 1991.

The letter was sent to Edith a few years later, after she wrote to the palace asking for a photo to put in a Red Cross brochure promoting the annual charity ball.

In return, she received such a personal and heartwarming letter. He said: “As the patron of the Youth Red Cross, I have had many opportunities to see for myself the work of the British Red Cross in this country and abroad. I have always been greatly encouraged by the splendid efforts of volunteers and staff to come to the aid of those who need it most.

“The work of the British Red Cross is just as important today as it ever was. Growing demands for resources and ever-changing needs at home and abroad mean that the Red Cross must strive to increase the level of its volunteer income. This is why your support today is so important.

“I wish you all a pleasant evening. Your generous help will allow the Greater Manchester branch to provide even more help to those in need. With all my thanks, Diana, October 1993 ‘.

“Having met her two years earlier, this letter did not surprise me,” Edith said.

The Princess of Wales with a landmine survivor in Angola 1997

The Princess of Wales with a landmine survivor in Angola 1997

Asked about her thoughts on continuing Diana’s legacy to the British Red Cross and charity in general, Edith said: “I think her legacy is one we should keep because of her humanity.

“She was ahead of her time. His work to eliminate landmines and the stigma around HIV / AIDS would resonate with young people today because young people are, I believe, much more aware of these kinds of atrocities and the damage that comes with them. ‘

Princess Diana became patron of the Youth Red Cross in 1983. She was also particularly interested in the work of the Red Cross abroad. Some of Diana’s most notable humanitarian work involved landmines.

She visited Angola in January 1997, a trip organized and supported by the British Red Cross. Diana’s visit to Angola drew unprecedented attention to the issue of landmines and sparked international debate.

British Red Cross curator Mehzebin Adam said: “Throughout her life, Princess Diana has been a dedicated humanitarian and advocate for causes in the UK and abroad.

“From connecting with young people in her role as patron of the Youth Red Cross, to campaigning against landmines, she has been one of our most dedicated supporters, using her public profile to make change. positive.

“The impact of her work not only remembers what would have been her 60th birthday, but continues to have a lasting impact today.”

To learn more about Princess Diana’s involvement in the Red Cross and help us continue her legacy by supporting our vital work, visit: redcross.org.uk/princess-diana



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