A meeting between Sri Chinmoy and Princess Diana Kensington Palace, London, May 21st, 1997

Arriving at the Palace:

At ten minutes to two on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 21st, 1997, Sri Chinmoy and Mrs. Bhavani Torpy, one of his London assistants, arrive at Kensington Palace at the invitation of Princess Diana. The policeman at the gate makes a telephone call to the secretary, and the secretary confirms, “Yes, they are expected.”

Sri Chinmoy and Mrs. Torpy are greeted downstairs very kindly and compassionately by a nice young man, about 30 years old, who is one of Princess Diana’s assistants, and he asks them to come upstairs where the interview will take place. Sri Chinmoy wants to wait downstairs, but the assistant insists that they come upstairs. He offers them tea, coffee and orange juice. Mrs. Torpy asks for water, but Sri Chinmoy declines his kind offer. Then the assistant asks if he can take their coats. Sri Chinmoy says he prefers to keep his, but Mrs. Torpy asks him to take her coat.

The assistant says, “Do not forget to take it with you. We have hundreds of coats, umbrellas and other things that people leave here. After seeing the Princess, they go into another world and they forget to take their things back. So do not forget to remind me so you can take back your coat on your way out.”

The Palace comprises many very small, historic apartments that are joined together. The rooms in the main building are small, except for the room where the Princess gives interviews. All the rooms are very simply decorated. When Sri Chinmoy enters the interview room, the assistant asks him to sit on one sofa. Next to Sri Chinmoy a pillow has been placed where the Princess is to sit beside him, and Mrs. Torpy is seated on a sofa facing the first one.

Sri Chinmoy notices that the room is flooded with pictures of Princess Diana and her children. A group of photographs in plain, wooden frames stands on the table beside him. Besides the photographs, the room is decorated very simply and elegantly. A beautiful, white rug with large red roses is on the floor. On two walls are canvas paintings by Michelangelo framed very beautifully. There are books on the table, mostly art books.

In one of the adjoining rooms upstairs there is a long clothes rack with about a hundred gowns in blue, green, red and other colours. At the suggestion of her son, Prince William, the Princess is planning to auction them to raise funds for charity.