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Date added: 30 August 2017

Diana in Swindon 

We look back on the Princess's visits to town - both official & unofficial
 
Although Princess Diana only made two 'official' visits to Swindon during her time as HRH in the 1980s, living nearby in Tetbury did mean Swindon was convenient for two things 'unofficial' - the train & the cinema.
 
For over 10 years while still married to Prince Charles, Diana was often seen enjoying films at Cineworld in West Swindon, the closest - and probably most discreet - multiplex to Highgrove. It was popular too with Prince William & Harry when they were teenagers living with their father in the 90s.

In fact, it was Prince William that caused the then Princess of Wales to make her last recorded visit here in June 1991, when she made an 'unofficial' dash to PMH (Princess Margaret Hospital) from London to see her son after he had been accidently hit on the head by a golf club. An injury that later required surgery at Great Ormond Street.
 
It was the same year Diana was also seen with her boys (then 9 & 6) at the big annual fun fair in Faringdon Road, one of their first 'public' outings together.
 
But for the lucky people who actually got the chance to see, meet & talk to her during her only two official engagements here, the years 1985 & 1989 will live long in the memory.

 
Diana, Princess of Wales in Swindon
 
Diana, Princess of Wales in Swindon
 
Diana, Princess of Wales in Swindon
 
Diana, Princess of Wales in Swindon
pictures calyx
 
The first was on 25 February 1985, when Her Royal Highness (a title that was controversially removed when she divorced Charles in 1996) visited Cheney Manor to open the Taurus Skills Workshop for young people. See video below.
 
There she was greeted by hundreds of wellwishers & photographers, who had waited patiently to get a glimpse of her on one of her first official engagements since Prince Harry was born 5 months earlier.
 
 
It would then be 4 years until her second and last royal visit on 26 April 1989. 
 
This time is was a mixture of business & pleasure for the 28-year-old Princess, who after opening the Great Western Business Centre in Station Road then moved on to officially open the new Delta Tennis Centre in West Swindon.

Diana, Princess of Wales in Swindon
 
calyx
 
Always a tennis fan and a regular at Wimbledon, Diana overran on her visit after staying on to meet junior players and enjoy tea with members.
 
Thanks to Richard Wintle and the brilliant Calyx Archive for these pictures.
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