Travels with Princess Diana

Joining the firm, or the royal family, doesn't mean that a royal member should obey the protocols only, but also take in mind the main duties that should be practiced as well. Each member of the royal family owns a busy schedual. The queen herself has more than 300 official duties every year. Among them are her official tours abroad. Diana, Princess of Wales, had a similar busy schedual too. She didn't only accompany her husband, the Prince of Wales, on official visits, but also represented her country through her talented ambassador skills.

Princess Diana visited many countries for several reasons. After their marriage, Charles and Diana were always invited by leaders and royalties for state visits. However, when Princess Diana started traveling alone after her separation, her main objective was to focus on charity works. For this purpose, she visited Aids and Cancer research centers around the world, fought against hunger in Africa, helped the poor and needy in Asia and attended charity events to raise funds for children causes in Europe.

Diana leaves Eastleigh Airport on her first trip abroad UK in 1981

Diana's first official tour abroad was in the 1st of August 1981, when she left Eastleigh Airport in Southampton with her husband for the honeymoon. Vacationing in Scotland is a royal tradition. The royal family spend the winter holidays at Balmoral Castle. However, Princess Diana never liked staying at Balmoral because she thought it was very cold out there and that the caslte was always dark.

Two years later, the Prince and Princess of Wales made their first official tour to Australia and New Zealand in early 1983. Baby Prince William, who was only one year old, accompanied his parents in this four weeks long tour. Princess Diana insisted to take William with her instead of leaving him with the nannies back home. After visiting Australia, Charles and Diana made a visit to New Zealand; where the met with the country's native people, famously known as The Maoris; who honored the couple with a traditional boat tour and gifts representing their civilization.

In 1985, the Prince and Princess of Wales made two major state visits. The first state visit was to the United States of America, where the couple met with The Regans, and the second visit was to the Republic of Italy. During their visit to Rome in August of that year, the Waleses attended a private meeting with the late Pop, John Paul II, in the Vatican. In 1986, the Prince and Princess made several state visits, including Japan, Indonesia, and Spain; where the couple were warmely greeted by the students of arts and music in the University of Salamanca. Charles and Diana were close friends to King Juan Carlos and his family. The couple used to spend their summer vacation in Majorica, a favorite royal destination. In 1987, Charles and Diana were invited to visit Germany and France to attend Cannes's Film Festival. A year later, the royal couple were invited to visit the Arabian Gulf States; where they met with the British citizens, visited Schools of British Scots in the region and joined members of the royal families in state dinners and desert picnics. 

Since 1991, Princess Diana made solo visits around the world to focus on her charity works. During her visit to Brazil, Diana visited the orphanage and an Aids Treatment Centre for children. In Pakistan, Diana helped the needy families in Lahore, met with Islamic scholars and students. In 1992, both Charles and Diana arranged for separate public engagements, however, they attended number of occasions and traveled abroad to represent The Queen in several state visits.

Diana poses for a press photo call in front of Egypt's Pyramids

That year, the prince and princess traveled to India and South Korea. Princess Diana also made a short visit to Egypt, where she visited local schools and treatment centres for handicapped children in Cairo. Diana was invited to stay at the British Ambassador's villa. During her stay, she also visited historical sights such as the Pyramids, Luxor and Karnak temples. She was accompanied by Dr. Zaki Hawas, a famous Egyptian arecaologist.

After her separation in 1993, Princess Diana became a VIP Member of the British Red Cross, and had the privilage to work with them in several humanitarian and charitable campaigns. Her first mission was to fight hunger and poverty in Africa and Asia, and raise funds to help the poor families and sick children. She traveled to Zimbabwe, Nepal and Pakistan.

In 1997, Princess Diana worked tirelessly in one particular campaign with the British Red Cross. That was ban the use of land mines and raise funds to help war victims in Angola and Bosnia. To highlight this critical cause, the Princess produced and hosted a reality programme recording every visit to affected villages, hospitals, graveyards and mine fields, in a daily basis, in collaboration with the BBC. She also arranged to meet the NATO troops.

Princess Diana's last tour was to Paris, where she spent a private holiday with Dodi Al Fayed, an Egyptian Film Producer. The princess's plan was to stay in paris for two nights and then return home to arrange for a summer holiday with her sons, but she was tragically lost in a fatal car crash the night before her departure.

Reference: Diana: An Extraordinary Life, a tribute magazine in 26 issues. Published in 1997.