PACKED LIVES

Nicky Lilley ran a hospital pharmacy until, three years ago, she became a full-time Princess Diana look-alike dfg
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The Independent Online
My firsT trip as Princess Diana was a shock; it was three years ago and I was paid just to sit and watch a nightly cabaret for a week on the overnight ferry between Helsinki and Stockholm. My luggage was lost on the way out so I couldn't work for three days till it turned up.

Now I travel with only an overnight bag and vanity case. I check ahead whether appearances are for day or evening and pack accordingly. Luckily Diana now has a simplified classic look. For day, I usually take a suit or a couple of shift dresses with a jacket. Mine aren't Chanel but Jaeger, Planet or other High Street clothes.

For evening I take a tiara because people think this suits the image, a pearl choker from Allders and "diamond" earrings from Butler and Wilson. I appeared on a Hollywood chat show once and they were only interested in how much my jewellery cost.

I have a pair of comfortable black high-heeled shoes that suit Diana's present image but if I'm working with the two Prince Charles lookalikes who are shorter than me, I wear low-heeled shoes like Diana used to. I don't take a handbag for myself but day and evening clutch bags are part of the Diana look. I am paranoid about getting holes in my tights and pack 10 pairs.

My vanity case is crammed with neutral lip and eye colours, plus a light foundation and, most important of all, lots of eyeliner and a shiny lip gloss. I carry curling tongs though I rely on hotel hairdriers.

I buy the latest edition of Hello when I'm travelling; it always has so many pictures of Diana that it gives me the opportunity to study her from all angles.

I often go to Germany where royal lookalikes are popular, and also to Italy and the States. The first time I went to Italy, they tried to pass me off as Diana herself, with bodyguards and a limo fleet. I felt very vulnerable and embarrassed and now check where Diana actually is before I leave for a trip so I can tell people that the real princess is in Angola or wherever.

I like travelling with the Prince Charleses and other lookalikes but mostly I am on my own. For the journey I wear anonymous clothes: a big coat, two sweaters, thermals, comfy jeans, socks and flat shoes - I feel the cold a lot. I never wear sunglasses, particularly at airports; they just say "look at me".

I'm an easy traveller, can sleep anywhere, eat and drink everything, don't suffer from jet lag and pack no lotions or potions. I don't take an alarm clock - hotels have wake-up systems. I always forget to take my camera, so I never get a picture of my stretch limo - my usual American travel prop.

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