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She played with children sitting on the floor of the hospital: what was the memory of Princess Diana's only visit to Russia



In 1995, the Princess of Wales came to Moscow for several days - this is the only visit of the “English rose” to Russia. Life restored the chronicle of Lady Dee's brief stay in the city.

Photo: video frame YouTube / AP Archive

On June 15, the plane with Diana landed in gray and rainy Moscow. As soon as the Princess of Wales left the Sheremetyevo airport, camera flashes lit up her face. Ignoring the journalists who shouted her name (everyone wanted the princess to look into his lens), she walked to the waiting dark green “Range Rover” and immediately went to the Government House (DP), where she had an appointment ...

As a philanthropist, Princess Diana was interested in the social policy of Russia, so in the PD she met with the deputy Yuri Yarov, who was in charge of the social block in the government of Viktor Chernomyrdin, and the Minister of Social Protection Lyudmila Bezlepkina. After the meeting, Bezlepkina said in an interview with reporters: “She (Diana) puts the question as if coming from abroad for one day, even a princess, would solve all our problems. And I think that we should solve them first of all ourselves ”.

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And in the evening the Range Rover, which had already become known to the Moscow public in one day, appeared at the entrance to the Bolshoi Theater. Princess Diana in a beautiful beige dress decorated with beads emerged from it to the applause of the gathered onlookers. In the theater, the royal was placed in a place corresponding to her status - in the royal box, into which she also entered to applause. It is worth noting that applause accompanied the Princess of Wales throughout her trip.

That evening they showed "Sylphide", but the audience's attention was riveted not on the ballet dancers, but on Lady Dee. During the performance, the princess was distracted from the ballet by talking, but she did it with a smile, which always harmoniously complemented her image.

The next day, Diana visited the Tushino Children's Hospital, which she helped even before her arrival in Moscow: she donated new equipment to the clinic. In the institution, the princess was literally clung to by medical officials from the Ministry of Health, along with the leadership of the hospital itself. Everyone wanted to be as close to Lady Di as possible, therefore, not remembering the protocol, they filled the narrow corridors and chambers of the hospital to the cramped and without. Diana understood everything and just smiled. During the speeches, the princess looked sullenly at the officials who spoke a language she did not know, and always smiled in response when the speaker looked at her.

“A very calm and persistent woman. I went to the trauma department, and there were children after road and railway accidents, and she saw all the wounds. Even the persons accompanying her fainted, and Princess Diana calmly walked through the ward, ”recalls Viktor Shein, deputy chief physician for surgery at the Tushino hospital.

Unexpectedly for everyone, the formal atmosphere was defused by a young patient - the boy ran up to Lady Di with her portrait in his hands and asked for an autograph in good English. Diana talked cordially with the “protocol breaker” for about five minutes and all the time wrote something on her photo. The officials who were standing nearby also tried to smile happily, but it was noticeable how they were strained by what was happening.

During her visit to the hospital, the princess also violated the protocol of the meeting: she ignored the offices of the chiefs of the clinic - she walked past them, because she was in a hurry to the wards of small patients and the playroom. Diana persistently asked her translator to explain in detail everything that the children were telling her. In the playroom, Lady Dee surprised everyone: she sat down on her knees in front of the kids and began to play with them. The nannies and the administration were horrified: the royal is sitting on the floor! And Lady Dee had fun and was happy with her children.

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The culmination of the program of the visit of the Princess of Wales to Tushino Hospital was a master class for medical students on swaddling dummy babies brought by Diana from England. Students did not delve into the intricacies of wrapping fake children in swaddling clothes, but were constantly amazed at the similarity of dolls to people. The young men gently stroked the surface of the unfamiliar material, while the medical girls tried to quietly kiss the obedient smiling baby.

Next on the agenda was a visit to Primary High School No. 751, where the Princess of Wales inaugurated a branch of the Waverly House Foundation for Children with Disabilities. Then Lady Dee was allowed to relax a bit: a sightseeing tour of the Kremlin was arranged for her. It is very symbolic that the princess also visited the Armory, a treasury with precious objects from the Russian tsars. Diana listened very attentively to the guide and looked at the exhibits. She especially liked the imperial carriages, decorated with gilding and expensive fabrics.

The princess's Moscow trip ended at the British Embassy. Alexander Yakovlev, Chairman of the Russian Party of Social Democracy, solemnly presented Lady Di with the International Leonardo Prize. This public award is given to philanthropists and individuals who have made a personal contribution to the development of humanitarian work.

On September 1, 1997, the world community responded to the terrible news - Diana died. Russian President Boris Yeltsin visited one of the Moscow schools that day. After the solemn ceremony, he gave interviews to journalists who asked about his reaction to what had happened. Boris Yeltsin stressed that Lady Di was loved and loved not only in England, but also in other countries, in particular in Russia. The Kommersant newspaper at the time compared the death of Princess Diana to the assassination of President Kennedy.

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