The princess and

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Head Speaks Out -

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

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