Princess Diana left a lasting impression on Drew Barrymore. During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the 43-year-old actress recalled the magical moment when she met the “People’s Princess” back in the early 1980s when Drew was just 7-years-old.
In a sweet segment on his ABC chatfest, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel surprised Barrymore with a throwback black and white photo of her handing Princess Diana a stuffed E.T. doll under the watchful eye of her godfather, E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial director Steven Spielberg.
Drew Barrymore played Gertie in the classic Spielberg flick, which was released in 1982 at the height of Princess Di fandom. The photo was taken at the Royal Charity Premiere of the hit movie in London, on Dec. 9, 1982. In the photo, Drew appears to be mesmerized over meeting a real-life princess.
“I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the most exciting moment for me to meet a real-life princess, the real-life princess, the People’s Princess,” Barrymore told Kimmel.
Drew, who has two young daughters, Olive, 5, and Frankie, 4, seemed very moved when talking about her personal meeting with the beloved princess just one year after her royal wedding to Prince Charles. Barrymore said Princess Diana “was and always will be the epitome of a woman that all little girls look up to.”
“She was so kind and so nice,” Drew said. “Growing up with her as a princess was just such a good example.”
You can see Drew Barrymore talking about meeting Princess Diana in the video from Jimmy Kimmel Live! below.
More than 20 years after her death, Princess Diana continues to be a role model for young women — and young men. Last fall, Diana’s son, Prince Harry, revealed that his late mother was his ideal role model.
In his speech at the Obama Foundation’s inaugural summit in Chicago last October, Prince Harry spoke passionately about his mother, who died in a car accident when he was just 12-years-old. Calling the Princess of Wales “my ideal role model,” Harry explained why he thought Diana was considered the “People’s Princess.”
“I think she had a lot in common with everybody but also she certainly listened,” Prince Harry said, according to People. “In a very, very short space of time, she was like a vacuum going around, sucking up all the information, all the criticism, all the issues, all the positives and negatives from everybody, then putting her name and her platform toward the bigger issues that had never been talked about.”
Harry went on to say that Princess Diana changed the perception that some problems can be so big that nobody wants to get involved.
“I will always look up to her … everything she did and the way she did it was having an impact, making a difference,” Prince Harry said.