Princess Diana’s secret gift to cancer patient: Unseen letters reveal generous donation
PRINCESS Diana sent a patient suffering Aids and cancer £580 so he could visit Lourdes, unseen letters have revealed. The exchange of correspondence between Diana and a friend of Vincent Hickey show the warmth and generosity the so-called ‘People’s Princess’ showed to those less fortunate than her.
In July 1996, just a year before her death in a car crash in Paris, Margaret Bendon wrote to Diana seeking help on behalf of Mr Hickey, who had aids and bowel cancer.
Her personal assistant wrote back saying the Princess was considering the request before a second letter six days later was sent with an enclosed cheque.
A third letter by Diana was sent after Mr Hickey and friend Miss Bendon had been to the spiritual sanctuary in France.
She wrote of how delighted she was to be able to help.
Diana put Miss Bendon at ease by reassuring her she knew the request had been a genuine one.
She wrote: “…you need not have worried about proving your request was genuine!
“I was delighted to be able to help and so glad that he (Vincent) was well enough to travel.
“I am sure that the benefit from such an experience goes a very long way to bring this comfort and to be able to play a part in providing it has given me great pleasure.”
A copy of the Coutts & Co cheque shows it was paid from the account of ‘His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales Office’.
Diana was renowned for her work with aids victims. She raised the world-wide profile of the disease by opening the UK’s first purpose built HIV/Aids unit in London and meeting and shaking hands with victims like Mr Hickey.
…you need not have worried about proving your request was genuine! I was delighted to be able to help and so glad that he (Vincent) was well enough to travel.
The letters on Kensington Palace headed paper, have now been put up for auction by a collector of 20th century autographs.
They are being sold by Henry Aldridge and Son of Devizes, Wilts, for an estimated £3,000.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: “These include the finest content letters of Lady Diana known to exist.
“They demonstrate the empathy and generosity Diana was able to show to some of the most vulnerable people in society.”
The letters are being sold on February 24.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK
Tags: Prince William, Prince George, Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, Royals