PEI

Islanders remember Princess Diana, 20 years after her death

Two P.E.I. residents are among the scores of people around the world mourning the death of Princess Diana 20 years ago.

'I never get tired to see or watch anything about her'

In this Tuesday Sept. 24, 1996 photo, Britain's Diana, Princess of Wales, arrives for dinner in Washington. It has been 20 years since the death of Princess Diana in a car crash in Paris and the outpouring of grief that followed the death of the 'people's princess.' (Denis Paquin/Associated Press)

Two P.E.I. residents are among the scores of people around the word mourning the death of Princess Diana 20 years ago. 

Paul Stetson, who served in the RCMP for 31 years, says he has fond memories of meeting the princess when he was assigned to work as one of her bodyguards during a royal visit to the Island in April 1983. 

"Our job was to keep them safe and secure," he said of guarding Diana and her then-husband Prince Charles. 

Stetson said many people wanted to get up close and shake hands with them, making the bodyguards' job a little tougher.

Retired RCMP officer Paul Stetson worked as one of Princess Diana's bodyguards during her 1983 visit with Prince Charles. (Submitted)
 

"Most people mean no harm, but you really don't know when you're standing beside them who just wants to shake their hand or who want to do them harm." 

Stetson said he considers his role during that visit a highlight of his career. 

'Special person'

"Lady Diana was such a special person...and having been able to serve as VIP security with someone of that stature was quite an honour." 

Stetson said while he had very little interaction with the couple, both were very polite. 

Horatio Toledo, president of the P.E.I. chapter of the Royal Commonwealth Society, says people will never forget Princess Diana. (Submitted)

Horatio Toledo, president of the P.E.I. chapter of the Royal Commonwealth Society said Diana's approach to being a member of the Royal Family changed the family for the better. 

"She became more personal with the charities she was supporting," he said. 

Toledo said he also believes people will always be interested in her story because of its tragic ending. 

He added he remembers the day of the fatal accident, saying he was shocked to learn what had happened. 

"It was very tragic," he said. "No one likes to see a young life being wasted so early with a tragic accident like that." 

Toledo said he has found himself watching the footage from that event. 

"I never get tired to see or watch anything about her." 

With files from Sarah MacMillin

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