20 years since Diana, Princess of Wales, met psychic Rita in Derbyshire

Diana, Princess of Wales, and Rita Rogers.
Diana, Princess of Wales, and Rita Rogers.
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It is 20 years since Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed flew by helicopter to the Derbyshire village of Lower Pilsley where they met psychic Rita Rogers

The hardly unobtrusive arrival caused tongues to wag and a press corps to arrive on the doorstep of Rita's home.

It gave away a secret the medium had kept for almost four years.

Having been introduced by a mutual friend Rita refused to name, the princess had been driven from London to visit her twice before.

And in the ensuing years, she had telephoned Rita regularly.

Speaking to us in 2003, Rita said: "She rang at least once a week to see how I was as well as for readings.

"I still feel her around me.

"She's happy and she's proud of her boys.

"The crash was an accident - and no, she wasn't pregnant as people have said.

"She was very fond of Dodi.

"She rang me at 4pm, nine hours before the crash, to tell me she was in Paris and Dodi had gone to get the ring.

"But I know she was still very fond of Charles."

Diana bought Rita the Van Cleef and Arpels perfume 'First'.

Rita said: "She was the same age as one of my daughters and I was a bit of a mother figure for her.

"She used to tell me 'as soon as I hear your voice, Rita, it calms me down'."

In her article at the time, reporter Jo Davison said: "Sitting in front of Britain's most famous medium, on an interview granted to promote sales of her new book, I can quite see what Diana meant.

"There's nothing scary about her at all - a woman who adamantly refused to accept cash for her readings and has always shunned the title of fortune-teller, she IS motherly and calm.

"She's also a great listener with a big, black bouffant hairdo worthy of an 80's American soap.

"But she doesn't so much look at you as look into you, a feeling which is almost hypnotic."

So what was it that she told Diana that so impressed her boyfriend he had to fly them both to Derbyshire for a meeting?

Rita revealed: "I'd told her she would meet a man of foreign descent with the initial D on water - and that the man would be connected with the film industry.

"Not long after, she rang me one days and said 'Rita, guess where I am? I'm on a boat with a man I've just met called Dodi Fayed'."

Dodi, apparently, had been so amazed by the prediction, he wanted to meet Rita in the flesh.

Jo added in her report: "For a woman born into a poor Nottinghamshire family, granddaughter of a Romany seer later to become a widow struggling to raise four little girls, it must have been pretty impressive.

"But Rita takes most things in her stride - even the helicopter arrival of the most pursued couple in the world.

"She says she told Dodi to avoid France and not to change his limo driver for fear of an accident in a tunnel - words she says were proved after the fatal Paris crash by a journalist who interviewed one of Dodi's friends.

"She says she still can't understand why she didn't know Diana would be in the same accident.

"The Romany gift she says she never wanted and which still can cause her great distress failed her on that occasion."

Rita told Jo: "In that last phone call to me, I told her I wanted her to come home straight away, rather than in the dark.

"She told me she was going for the dinner at the Ritz, that she would be careful and would ring me when she got back home.

"She said she was looking forward to seeing her boys.

"I woke up at 1am for some reason and saw on the TV that Dodi had died in a car crash.

"I rang her mobile, but only got her voicemail...

"I have helped to save so many lives in the past by giving warnings in time.

"I don't understand why I couldn't save hers."