A Brief encounter with Princess Diana

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It was on a Wednesday morning on the 30th September 1992, then HRH Princess of Wales visited Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro. I was then working in Accident and Emergency. On my way to the canteen through the basement, I noticed strange, people in  uniform checking bins, clinical waste and sewers.Since it was unusual, I asked one of them what was going on and I was told that Princess Diana was visiting the hospital and they are just doing the security checking. I have never been a fan of monarchy and naturally I forgot all about the conversation. I started to work, but I could nod avoid noticing well dressed female staff. In Royal Cornwall Hospital, the well designed A&E area has four  cubicles on either side with a wide middle area. In between the first and second cubicle on the left, there is a passage into the resuscitation room. Usually patients are seen again, in the cubicles after the necessary investigations. I noticed that my male patient with injury to the left foot was back from X ray, and was waiting in the left nearside cubicle. I moved into the cubicle, started to view the X ray on the view box. Suddenly everyone paused, looking towards the entrance, as Princess entered the room with her 15-20 entourage. I thought, she would walk up to the far side and turn into resuscitation room. But my guessing did not work, as she crossed the passage and walked towards me and the patient. Suddenly, my complacency turned into apprehension when faced with the Princess and the heavy built entourage. There she was in front of me with the height of fashion, glamour and style. In fact she was an embodiment of beauty, the creator has ever made. I could not recollect the particular dress or jewellery she had worn at that moment, because my lack of composure.  Suddenly she asked in her characteristic soft voice and bending posture, what had happened to him. I explained to her that the patient fell off a ladder and injured his left foot, and unfortunately the X ray showed a fracture of one of the bones in the foot. She was inquisitive like a medical student to know the exact site of the fracture. I showed the exact site of the fracture on the X ray on the view box . Then she wanted to know how I was going to manage the fracture. I told her that a walking plaster cast had to be applied to the leg for six weeks. Then she commented that the patient could not play football for quite a while and gave him a unique smile. She then turned back and moved towards the resuscitation room with the entourage. During that brief encounter, I found the Princess warm, relaxed,charming and humorous person. She brightened our day and added a new chapter to our book of memories especially when we lost her so prematurely.

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