The People's Princess 20 years on

It is 20 years today since Diana, Princess of Wales, died.

Thursday, 31st August 2017, 9:56 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:09 pm
Princess Diana meets Barnardos workers at Chatsworth House in July 1986.

The princess, arguably the most famous woman in the world, lost her life aged 36 on August 31, 1997, following a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris, France.

As these pictures from our archives show, the princess visited Derbyshire on a number of occasions and was always met by adoring crowds.

She regularly consulted Derbyshire psychic, Rita Rogers, and classed her as such a good friend that she even bought her a bath.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Princess Diana at Whittington Hall Hospital, Chesterfield, in June 1993.

Speaking to us in 2001, Rita said: “I loved her to bits and still do – she was a very big believer in my work.

“Diana and I shared the same star sign – cancer.

“She said, ‘us cancers have got to stick together because we’re a breed of our own’.

“And when she came to visit, she loved coffee and bananas.

Princess Diana with the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire in 1986.

“I know she’s very happy now and extremely proud of her boys. She is very happy and I think it’s important for the public to know that.

“I feel she’s doing as good a job as she did down here.”

In 1997, the princess and Dodi Fayed – her boyfriend who also died in the crash – arrived at Rita’s home in Lower Pilsley in a Harrods helicopter.

Rita spoke of another time when the princess asked her: “If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?”

Princess Diana visits Riddings May 1992

Rita replied: “I said a bath.

“I suffer from osteoporosis and hadn’t had a bath in five years – I had to have showers.

“Diana said, ‘consider it done’.

“Within a week, I had a beautiful bath installed with a chair to lower me in.

Princess Diana greets crowds in Ilkeston during her visit to officialy open Ilkeston Community Hospital in December 1987.

“Diana was a very warm person.”

Grassmoor’s Paul Burrell, the former butler to the princess, described her as an ‘incredible, unique and inspirational woman’.

Princess Diana in Youlgrave in March 1990.
Princess Diana in Chesterfield in November 1981.
Princess Diana in Chesterfield in November 1981.
Princess Diana in Chesterfield in November 1981.
Princess Diana at Whittington Hall Hospital, Chesterfield, in June 1993.
Princess Diana with the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire in 1986.
Princess Diana visits Riddings May 1992
Princess Diana greets crowds in Ilkeston during her visit to officialy open Ilkeston Community Hospital in December 1987.
Princess Diana in Youlgrave in March 1990.
Princess Diana in Chesterfield in November 1981.
Princess Diana in Chesterfield in November 1981.
Princess Diana in Chesterfield in November 1981.