"KENSINGTON PALACE. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from The Princess of Wales.
Well, 1995 was certainly a bit of a year for Diana, Wills and Harry! Learning to rollerblade was a definite highpoint, and although still a bit wobbly on the Himmelmann turns at speeds over 40mph on that tricky bit near the Peter Pan statue where you meet the people with the model boats coming from the Round Pond, Diana is certainly feeling the benefit, although she sometimes wonders if the same can be said for her long-suffering but always-available tutors with the knee pads and helmets, those two really hunky guys, Lords Wyatt of Weeford and St John of Fawsley!
Seriously, though, the year got off to a splendid start when Diana was privileged to present a Royal Humane Society certificate to that nice Finnish music student who played a bit of a part in her dramatic rescue of that poor tramp from the canal in Regent's Park when she telephoned for help on her mobile and Lassie, was it, dived in, dragged him out and gave him the kiss of life. Sadly, Diana has now lost touch with the tramp, a Mr O'Donoghue, who made a miraculous recovery and disappeared suddenly from hospital after one of of her many unscheduled visits to his bedside. (Anyone looking for a fuller account of the rescue should consult Diana's Christmas Card Circular from last year, pp1-3.)
After that, life settled into its rhythms and seasons. Diana has made many official visits all over the place and been really rewarded by the cheer and happiness she has brought into the lives of ordinary people. There was one chap Diana particularly remembers in Washington, Henry, glasses, accent, who, though unable to raise his eyes to meet hers, smiled non-stop throughout their dinner together. To Henrys everywhere, Diana would like to say a big "thank you" for letting her into their lives, however briefly.
In addition to her official duties, of course, Diana has carried out numerous private engagements, some of which have been rather less private than they should have been, thanks to the usual attentions of "The Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press". It's getting to the stage where Diana would feel lost without them!
The Harbour Club, has, as ever, proved a great sanctuary and refuge. As Diana's therapist friend Susie always says, there is nothing like a few vigorous bench presses for clearing the mind and articulating concerns, particularly before lunch. And it was at the Harbour Club, in March, during a conversation with her masseur, Bashir, that Diana began to ponder the wisdom of addressing the nation directly about the matters that really concerned her.
Through the months of agonising about whether or not to "go public", Diana was sustained by many, many friends. But here a special mention must go to her faithful partner on the wooden horse and parallel bars, Wallace Arnold, the fittest man in clubland. For it was dear Wallace who, one fateful day in September, completed a lift and jerk, took his pipe from his mouth, and drew on all his literary leanings to come up with that wonderful idea for Diana's role in life, The Queen of Hearts. Diana would like to thank him, and everyone who bothered to watch her unburden her heart. Excuse her a second.
To thank everyone, that is, except Nicholas Soames, who will not be receiving this message this year, and who would profit from both a visit to the Harbour Club and Susie. Among others also not receiving this will be Will Carling, who would also profit from a visit to Susie, not to mention this really fabulous woman in Buckhurst Hill who reads entrails and could tell him he would do much better to concentrate on his outside break.
What else to say? Wills has started at his new school near Slough and Harry is at last showing signs of growing into that sports jacket which his father has insisted on him wearing for the last two years. Argentina was fun, though not as good as the musical. But Diana must close now, because an important message has just arrived from the Queen."
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