Princess Diana’s Friend Rosa Monckton Shares Never-Before-Seen Photo

The photo shows the late Princess of Wales at a rare relaxed and happy moment.

princess diana's friend shared a rare photo of her
Fox Photos / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The photo shows the late Princess of Wales at a rare relaxed and happy moment.

Princess Diana’s friend Rosa Monckton has shared a never-before-seen photo of the late Princess of Wales, enjoying a rare moment of relaxation and laughter, People is reporting.

Rosa Monckton and the late Princess, whose death was 21 years ago today, were besties for the latter part of Diana’s life. Monckton, a jewelry executive, and the Princess met through mutual friends, and their friendship bloomed to the point that Diana was named godmother to Rosa’s daughter, Domenica.

In 1995, Domenica was born with Down Syndrome. Diana was supportive the whole way through.

“[Diana] said, ‘You just have to believe in her.’ She said, ‘Believe in her, love her and I’ll be there every step of the way.’ She already had that vision of what Domenica could become, which I simply couldn’t see.”

Monckton also said that her friend came with her to Domenica’s appointments, and was always by her side.

To that end, Monckton was able to snap a shot of her friend not as a member of the Royal Family, the wife of the heir to the throne and the mother of another heir to the throne. Rather, she shot a picture of her friend just as who she was: a mom, a friend, a woman, dressed in a baggy sweatshirt and enjoying a rare moment of peace and happiness.

Moments like this were rare in Diana’s life. Hounded by the press, stifled by the constraints of life as a member of the Royal Family, and in an unhappy marriage, Diana’s true sources of joy were her two sons, William and Harry. She made every effort to give the boys as “normal” of a life as possible, taking them on public transportation, to theme parks, and so on. Though shocking at the time, the practice of raising royal children in a somewhat-normal style is one now being practiced by her son, Prince William.

So merciless was the press in hounding the Princess of Wales that they almost certainly played a role in her death, 21 years ago today. Chased by the paparazzi through the streets of Paris, a fatal car crash took the life of Diana, her companion Dodi Al Fayed, and her driver Henri Paul.

As for Rosa Monckton, she started the charity, Team Domenica, in the name of her now 23-year-old daughter. The charity helps people with developmental disabilities find employment opportunities.

“Our vision is for people with learning disabilities to be valued in the workplace, to reach their full potential and feel included as members of society.”