Wednesday 24 January 2018

'Don't ever lose the accent' - Princess Diana's words to Irish fan set for photo exhibition

Diana collection
Diana collection

Sorcha O'Connor

An Irish nurse who snapped Princess Diana at numerous events during her time training in London will see her pictures displayed in an exhibition.

A selection of 24 photographs taken by Michelle Rogers Dunican from her collection of more than 400 shots of Diana will be hung in the Gallic Kitchen at Bramley in Abbeyleix, Co Laois, in a free-of-charge two-week exhibition.

The exhibition of photos dating from 1990 to 1997 will be given a grand opening by Viscount de Vesci this evening at 7.30pm.

He is a resident of Abbeyleix and a relative of the British royal family, who once shared a flat with Diana's older sister, Sarah.

Michelle said her interest in Diana began with one of the most historic moments of the 1980s, the wedding of Diana to Prince Charles.

"My mum, who is English, had a great interest in it and bought me a book on the royal wedding, and that started my interest in Diana from 1981 on," Michelle told the Herald.

"I was 12 when she got married and I had no real interest in the royal family. It was her, and the whole razzmatazz about her."

Michelle crossed paths with Diana 37 times during her time in London, the first time still a vivid memory for her.

Diana Michelle
Diana Michelle

"In 1988, I went to London to do my nurse training and Diana was going to a theatre down the road from me in Bromley," she said. "I saw her going into the theatre.

"I waited for three hours till she came out of the theatre, and she came over.

"She shook hands and said a few words. I couldn't believe it, I was amazed."

The last ever photo she took of Diana is included in the display, as well as two taken on the princess's 30th birthday, in which her engagement ring, now worn by Kate Middleton, is very visible.

Michelle explained the main appeal was getting the opportunity to speak to the "charismatic" princess.

"One day, as she was walking, we asked her something about William and Harry, and she looked back at me and said, 'Don't ever lose the accent'."

Herald

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