Princess Diana met the little girl when she was only 4 years old. The girl, who grew up to be a teacher, still remembers the day she got to spend with the princess.
There are people from across the world who have met Princess Diana and will have a story or two about how beautiful her soul is. For instance, the People's Princess hugged a woman at a cemetery during her trip to Bosnia in 1997. She had visited as part of her anti-landmine advocacy work. The woman had been at the Sarajevo War Cemetery where victims of the Bosnian War were buried and Lady Diana had insisted to visit, as per The Sun UK.
There, she had embraced a mother, who had lost her son in the war, sympathizing with the pain of losing a child. On another tour, when she visited India in 1992, she met a little girl to whom she became a mother for a day. During her tour of the Indian state of Hyderabad, she met 4-year-old Baby Avanti Reddy, who captured the princess' heart during her visit to Lalapet Government High School. She was pictured having the child on her knee at the time and it had become one of the most famous images from her visit to India, according to Daily Mail.
The little girl had danced for her and the princess, who loved dance, was smitten. The mother-of-two had refused to let the little girl go and they stayed in touch later. They had corresponded by mail. The princess loved her two sons, William and Harry, to bits but she always wanted a daughter.
Her confidante, former butler Paul Burrell, had told Closer Weekly, "Princess Diana always wanted more children. She felt that two were not enough. She would’ve had an army of children running through the corridors of Kensington Palace. And of course, She always wanted a girl." As per CheatSheet, he also added during a documentary on her, "Having another baby girl in the family would have made everything for Diana. She was robbed of the opportunity of loving her grandchildren–especially Charlotte. She would have loved Kate, too."
Her desire for a daughter would have prompted her to shower love on the Indian girl she met all those years ago. The girl still remembers the princess and has a copy of their photo together. Now, 31 years old, she told Daily Mail, "I was the youngest girl there. We performed a tribal Lambadi dance. Diana saw me sitting on the ground, picked me up, and took me back to stage, and put me on her knee. She asked me what my name was, so I told her and which my school was and class. I had a cold so she wiped my nose with her own handkerchief. She kept me with her the whole time then as she was going said, 'I don't want to leave you'. She was a very motherly figure, I can remember that. She said 'I don't have a daughter, so today you are my daughter.'"
Just like Diana, who used to be a teacher and loved dance, Reddy grew up to be a pre-primary teacher and still loves to dance. In fact, she was born into a family that loves dance. Another person who was present during the meeting between the princess and the little girl, former Director of School Education for Hyderabad, Pronoti Suhasini Kavoori, 60, also spoke about the incident.
"Avanti was very bold – she was not conscious of who was watching. When I saw her dance so confidently, I knew that she should be at the front. Diana came down from the stage and spent time with the children. Then she said she was taking the girl [Avanti] back to the UK, carried her to the stage, and sat her on her lap. All my bosses were worried, saying, 'We'll carry her,' but she wouldn't allow them near her," said Kavoori.
The little dancer grew up loving the art form as her mother, Japamala Rani, 58, was a dance teacher, who also happened to have choreographed her performance during the royal visit. Reddy now keeps the photograph of the princess and her safely along with the letter.