Today marks the 20th anniversary of the sad day when the world lost one of its most wonderful people, Princess Diana. I was lucky enough to get to know Diana, and wanted to share a few words to celebrate her life two decades on.
Diana was an incredible woman, who simply loved people and made time for everyone. She travelled with us on Virgin Atlantic on many occasions. She made time to talk to our passengers and staff and was ever-ready with quick wit and warm humour.
She also always handwrote thank you notes, after flights or her trips to Necker Island. In fact, we have a few of her notes displayed in pride of place on Necker, right by the kettle we brew tea at many times a day.
When she took a break here in the BVI, we often played tennis together and always had very competitive games. After a great match, she was always very relaxed, opening up, spending time with the team and fellow guests, and lighting up every room she entered.
I can still picture Diana laughing with William and Harry on the beach when they were kids. She saw our little piece of paradise as an escape from the relentless press attention she received, and was in her element playing with her children like any other mum.
Like many of us, I’m sure Diana saw her children as her greatest legacy. Both William and Harry are brilliant people who do so much to support others and set a great example to young people everywhere, just as their mother did.
Diana did so much amazing work for so many causes, ranging from children’s health and wellbeing to HIV/AIDS, leprosy to landmines. But it was her unique way with people that made such a difference – she didn’t just donate to a HIV charity, she held hands with people suffering with AIDS, she stood in minefields and met with millions. She inspired so many others with her compassion and humanity.
She is greatly missed, but through her Memorial Fund, her legacy and most of all her children, the spirit of Diana will live on forever.