Diana’s awakening


Princess Diana of Wales talks with Mother Teresa's second-in-charge, sister Lynne Frederick during her 45-minute visit to the home of the 81-year-old Nobel laureate in Calcutta on February 15, 1992.
AFP PHOTO / RAVEENDRAN
Princess Diana of Wales talks with Mother Teresa's second-in-charge, sister Lynne Frederick during her 45-minute visit to the home of the 81-year-old Nobel laureate in Calcutta on February 15, 1992. AFP PHOTO / RAVEENDRAN

By Amit Roy

PAUL BURRELL, 59, former butler to Diana, Princess of Wales, has re­vealed the contents of a handwrit­ten note she sent him after visiting Mother Teresa’s home, Nirmal Hri­day, in Kolkata in February 1992, enclosing a prayer.

I was there with her at the time and can confirm she was moved to tears, as were all members of the accompanying British press party.

But I didn’t know about the letter in which the vulnerable princess, whose marriage to Prince Charles was in its last stages, wrote: “Today, something very profound touched my life. I went to Mother Teresa’s home and found the direction I’ve been searching for all these years.

“The sisters sang to me, a deeply spiritual experience and I soared to such heights in my spirit. The light shone from within these ladies, saints for want of a better word, such love came from their eyes and their touch was full of warmth.

“I was then taken by Sister Fed­erica to the chapel to pray with the novices and sisters. They sang the Lord’s Prayers and with our shoes off we prayed together on our knees.”

I was very nearly barred from go­ing inside by a local police inspec­tor who blocked my path: “Shudu (only) British press.”

Seeing my predicament, one of the photographers, a burly six-foot­er, reached out, grabbed me by the collar and yanked me in with the words: “He’s with us.”

Mother Teresa was detained in Rome because of illness, but later met Diana and formed a close bond with her. Diana was killed in a car crash, aged 36, in a Paris tunnel on August 31, 1997. Mother Teresa passed away five days later, aged 87, in Kolkata.