The princess and
Princess Diana visited Kent many times, mainly in connection with her charity work and always attracted huge crowds of well-wishers. Her links to the county went back to her school days at West Heath in Sevenoaks but her first official visit was in May 1983, two years after her marriage to Prince Charles.
This was to open the Cranmer House residential home in Canterbury.
In December 1985 she came to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, as patron of the National Rubella Council, where she met women who had been vaccinated against German measles.
In April 1989, Diana was in Kent for the wedding of her cousin Edward Berry to Joanna Leschallas at Cranbrook Parish Church. Her sons, Princes William and Harry, were among the five pageboys for the bride, the daughter of former High Sheriff of Kent Anthony Leschallas.
In September that year Princess Di made an unscheduled visit to Canterbury when her helicopter was diverted from Dover because of fog. It landed on Victoria Recreation Ground, next to Canterbury High School, as pupils came out to cheer her arrival. The Princess then travelled by car to Dover to visit HM Customs and Excise and then on to Deal Centre for the Retired.
She was back in Kent the following year. In March 1990, as president of Barnardo’s, she visited two projects in Tunbridge Wells to help families and children – the Ravensdale day care centre and the Chilston Mediation and Family Service Project. As patron of Turning Point, the Princess also visited the Canterbury Alcohol Project in Whitstable Road.
During a visit in October 1990, she dropped in to St Augustine’s Hospital at Chartham, again in her role with Turning Point, officially opened Tenterden Leisure Centre and visited perfume manufacturer Quest International in Ashford.
On the same day in October 1992, Diana opened the Heart of Kent Hospice in Aylesford and the Paula Carr Diabetes Centre at William Harvey Hospital, Ashford. She was presented with a bouquet of roses by Janet Carr,
Diana had a hug for Gladys File, a patient at the Heart of Kent Hospice, Aylesford