The late Princess Diana brought her two sons to Niagara Falls in 1991


Published April 20, 2023 at 1:47 pm

Prince Harry, Princess Diana and Prince William enjoy their private Maid of the Mist ride in October 1991. (Photos: Niagara Falls Public Library)

How do you get a Maid of the Mist usually in dry-dock for the winter back out up a close-up view of Niagara Falls? You pretty much need Royal connections.

Fortunately on October 25, 1991, the late Princess Diana had lot of that. While then-husband Prince Charles stayed in Toronto for Royal Tour duties, Diana grabbed her sons William, then 9, and Harry, then 7, for a day trip to Niagara Falls.

While most of the boats were already in storage for the upcoming winter, one had been pulled back out for this special ride and with the exception of crew, the Royal Trio had the boat to themselves.

The photos of Diana, William and Harry aboard the little white boat in their blue plastic ponchos – the same ones donned by hundreds of thousands before and after them – are considered iconic memories by local historians.

The trio met the public at Table Rock to start the visit as dozens of local dignitaries and Royal fans lined the area for a glimpse. It was only second public meet-and-greet for William and the first for Harry, who were showered with gifts from the crowd.

Meanwhile, the royalty were given their first close-up view of the Horseshoe Falls but they would get even closer onboard the Maid of the Mist. This seemed to be the highlight of the day for the sons as on cue the rain stopped and the sun came out as they began their 25 minute ride to the base of the falls.

The Director of Public Relations for the Niagara Parks Commission at the time noted, “I had the pleasure of meeting them at Table Rock and escorting them around Niagara Falls for the next three hours. It was three hours of time that I would not forget.”

He described Princess Diana “first and foremost as a nice person, not pretentious, easy to talk with and always concerned about her children. She was also very obliging when I asked her if I could take a few photographs with the little pocket camera that I had with me.”

Here’s the CBC-TV news report about the Royal Day Trip to Niagara Falls that October day.

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