"SHE was very warm and caring and it was easy to relax with her."

Hazel Hare met Princess Diana during her visit to Taunton on June 2, 1993.

Hazel, a physiotherapist, was working at Taunton Opportunity Group at Northfields, Bishop's Hull, when the princess stopped to chat as she treated two babies with Down's Syndrome.

"She was interested in how we treat them," she said, after the chat. "She wanted to know what we do here. She was very warm and caring and it was easy to relax with her."

During her day-long visit, the princess took in more than just the sights, she captured the hearts of many who she met, as she took time to meet dozens of people.

Around 10,000 people lined the High Street in Taunton as she made her way to Vivary Park.

St Margaret's Hospice was also on her itinerary, where she made one particular resident happy with a simple message.

Iris Smith was celebrating her birthday that day - and was touched to find a message in her card which read: "Lots of love on your special day, from Diana".

And 20-year-old Sarah Schock, of Greenway Avenue, got the chance to have a parenthood chat as the Princess stopped to talk about her 11-week-old son, Joshua, as she passed.

"She asked if we had got our nights sorted out and I said yes," Sarah said at the time.

"She also said Joshua had nice booties."

Back at the Taunton Opportunity Group, deputy group leader Cheryl Tottle was left in no doubt of the Princess' caring nature after she got involved in the massage of three-year-old Jodie Udall, from Milverton, who suffered from cerebral palsy.

The Princess kicked off her shoes and got involved.

"She said she wouldn't mind staying on the step all day, it was so relaxing," said Mrs Tottle.

And parent Louise Steele, whose son Toby attended the centre, was also touched by her caring nature.

"She was obviously interested," she said.

"She was just like any other caring mother."

Below are a series of pictures taken by your County Gazette on June 2, 1993, when Diana came to Taunton...

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