The Queen's former press secretary Dickie Arbiter has shared his fondest memories of Princess Diana on her 20th death anniversary. The royal aide, who first met Diana three days before her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981, praised her for being a "brilliant parent" and an appreciative boss. "I worked with Diana for about five years very closely, I first met her over a cup of tea with her and the Prince of Wales three days before the wedding, so I pretty much knew her," he said.
"She was good, she was good at her job, a brilliant parent, Charles was a brilliant parent," Dickie added. "But I suppose I remember the personal touch – she gave me a 50th birthday party in her apartment. A lunch with party poppers and helium balloons in 1990, she pulled out all the stops. There was a birthday cake in the shape of the old brick phone, on top was inscribed in icing 'You're never alone when Dickie's got his phone' because I always had a mobile phone wherever we went."
Dickie and Diana pictured in March 1990
The TV commentator also spoke about Diana's legacy and how her influence has lived on with fans but most notably, with her two sons Princes William and Harry. "Diana's legacy is William and Harry. That's it, they're carrying on her work," he said. "She was a brilliant parent, Charles was a brilliant parent. They got the best of both worlds, the high street from Diana and they got the countryside and environment from their dad. So they're well-rounded, well capable of doing what is required of them, and they are her legacy, they're carrying on her work."
"She was good at her job, a brilliant parent," said the royal aide
In the lead-up to Diana's death anniversary, William, 35, and Harry, 32, have been remembering their late mother. Vowing to make a difference and continue her good work, Harry said on BBC documentary Diana, 7 Days: "All I want to do is fill the holes that my mother has left, and between myself and William, and everyone else who's in those privileged positions, to try and make a difference. And that's what it's about for us. To try and make a difference."
William also spoke about the outpouring of grief he saw on the streets of London. "What was very peculiar but obviously very touching was everybody crying. The wailing and crying and people wanting to touch us… I was 15 and Harry was 12. It was like nothing you can really describe, it was very unusual. There were shouting and literally wailing at us, throwing flowers, yelling, sobbing, breaking down, people fainted, collapsed."