During the royal tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1983, Princess Diana and Prince Charles were pelted by ‘famous Maori rioter’ as they entered Wellington from the airport, archive files show.
- Prince Charles and Diana’s first official journey was a tour of Australia and New Zealand
- Files say royal couple showed ‘great charm and tact’ during 1983 visit
- allegedly mooned by protesters as they drove into Wellington from the airport
Prince Charles and Princess Diana were attacked by a protester as they drove into Wellington from the airport during their 1983 tour of Australia and New Zealand, archive files have revealed.
The Prince and Princess of Wales embarked on their first official royal tour after welcoming son Prince William, now 38, which was one of three visits to Australia made by Diana, then 22, with her husband, before their divorce. in 1996.
She died tragically a year later, on August 31, 1997, at the age of 36, after being involved in a fatal car accident in Paris.
The pair reportedly showed “great charm and tact” on their first official trip in 1983 – including when Princess Diana “defused” what could have been a “slightly embarrassing incident” when a Republican protester waved her a “Eureka” flag. tried to hand over during a visit to the new Parliament House in the Australian capital Canberra.
However, as reported by the Subway, another ‘confidential’ document written by the then New Zealand High Commissioner, Sir Richard Stratton, to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, pointed to a more unusual occurrence.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana were attacked by a protester during their royal tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1983, archive files show. Pictured, with baby Prince William as they arrive at Alice Spring Airport at the start of their Australia and New Zealand tour on March 20, 1983
The Princess of Wales and Prince Charles waved to residents and spectators at Bentley Hockey Stadium in Perth during a royal visit to Australia with Prince Charles on 7 April 1983
It says: ‘The professional, mainly white, protesters made little impression. A well-known Maori rioter presented his naked – and hideous! – soil (allegedly the worst Maori insult, but I have my doubts!) for Their Royal Highnesses as they drove into Wellington from the airport.”
According to a report by Fashion in November, the monarchy was concerned about how Diana would handle the high-pressure tour.
“The Queen is ‘terribly concerned’ for the tour because of Diana’s youth and apparent shyness,” Press Association royal correspondent Grania Forbes wrote at the time.
But they needn’t have worried, with files recently released under the Freedom of Information Act seemingly suggesting that Princess Diana gained fans and charmed the country during the visit.
Diana, dressed in a peach-colored dress with a white collar designed by Bellville Sassoon and a peach-colored bow hat with a marabou plume designed by John Boyd, is greeted by the public during a walk on March 25, 1983 in Canberra
The Prince of Wales holds the hand of Diana, Princess of Wales, during their first trip together to Australia on March 29
Welcome Return: Diana later returned to Australia for a royal tour after marrying Charles and welcoming son Prince William (left). Pictured after arriving in Australia in March 1983
On tour: The royal couple first visited Australia together in March 1983, and according to a November report from Vogue, the monarchy was concerned about how Diana would handle the high-pressure tour. Together in the picture in Uluru in March 1981
Sir Richard remarked: ‘New Zealanders especially wanted to see the Princess of Wales, and they did, especially in the numerous walk-abouts.
‘Princess Diana’s dress and homely (in the best English sense) gestures to children and Prince Charles’ witty speeches were particularly acclaimed.
A debriefing after the royal tour noted: ‘There is no doubt that this royal visit has been a personal triumph for the Prince and Princess of Wales, both individually and together.
In the process, it has provided striking evidence of the depth and warmth of the feelings Australians have for their royal family, and of their loyalty to the crown.”
The documents are kept in National Archive files and a Freedom of Information release from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.