The Far East, April 1995. David Tang: "We are particularly thrilled Your Royal Highness for being here today. Your presence Ma’am is, I would think, the lottery dream of all charities and your being here today is, of course, our lottery dream and is now helping a great many people in Hong Kong living with cancer." 

In 1995, Diana made a private visit to the other side of the world to attend fund-raising dinners, one in support of the Leprosy Mission International (held at the Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon) and another, a charity dinner organized by the Bank of China for the Hong Kong Cancer Foundation. Of the Leprosy Mission reception, Judy Wade reported, "Six multimillionaires donated huge sums to drink and dine with the Princess." 

It was understood Diana raised over £100,000 for the charities during her 3-day visit. The Catherine Walker's cocktail dress Diana wore was sold for $66,300 in 1997 at the Christie's Auction. Diana first visited Hong Kong with the Prince of Wales in 1989 and again in 1992. Then Governor Chris Patten said Diana "brought sunshine into some dark corners of Hong Kong." The population of Hong Kong in 1997 was 6.3 million people. 

During her visit, Diana met with throat cancer patients at the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital. It was mentioned, "Cancer is Hong Kong's major health problem as smoking is now (in 1995) far more prevalent in the East than in the West." Outside the hospital, people could be seen waiting for over an hour to catch a glimpse of Diana. Cecilina Wann told the press, "She is the idol of many women here." 

Diana then visited the Youth Outreach Centre to meet runaway teenage girls rescued by British priest Father Peter Newberry from Triad gangs. Diana next took a helicopter ride on the Sikorski Blackhawk to Shek Kwu Chau to visit a rehabilitation center for recovering drug addicts. Diana also watched the men's final of the Salem Tennis Open in 90 degrees heat. It was reported, "Her presence at the tennis tournament raised extra money for the Red Cross. After the ceremony Diana received an enormous check for the charity."

Before her unexpected death, the 'South China Morning Post' reported in July 1997: "Princess Diana will visit Hong Kong in September (1997), the first member of the British Royal family to do so since the handover. She will arrive from Singapore to open the Bereavement Counselling and Community Education Resource Centre in Shamshuipo on September 25. Later that night she will be guest of honor at a gala dinner for the Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. About 350 people are expected to be invited to the dinner, which will include a fashion show.

"It is believed the Princess - chosen for her previous involvement in hospice work - asked to visit the bereavement center in Lai Kok Estate to meet the patients and carers before making a speech about the hospice society's work at the dinner. Details have yet to be confirmed and it was not known last night (back in July 1997) where the Princess would stay. The Mandarin Oriental was her base on her last visit in April 1995 when she supported the Cancer Fund and the Leprosy Mission and visited Youth Outreach, the Society for Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Addicts centre on Shek Kwu Chau, and Eastern Hospital. She also found time to see the final of the Salem Open tennis tournament."

Landon Jones of 'People' magazine believed, "Her impact is not brick and mortar. I mean, her impact is not the wing of the hospital that named after her or whose fund is raised in her name. Her impact is really is in the hearts of the doctors and nurses and patients who were in the hospital."

Mike Whitlam of the British Red Cross remembered, "She was incredibly charismatic. I defy anybody to say they have met her and not being bowled over by her. The charisma that she just oozes. It was one particular case where a multinational who we might've been trying to court for 6 years and not being very successful, suddenly decided they like to support us. So she really has the ability to attract ordinary people, people who are in position of authority and the media and that combination is dynamite for a charity."  

Graydon Carter of 'Vanity Fair' offered, "At 'Vanity Fair' Diana was, you know, an icon of a period in time, was an international symbol, you know the likes of which you get, you know, maybe 3 or 4 times a century. Nobody knows anything about who does and doesn't sell but when she was alive she sold."

In April 1997, Associated Press reported: "For much of its 150-year colonial era, Hong Kong society was dominated by a pecking order based on money, class and being British. Then in the 1980s, a social revolution swept Hong Kong. Wealthy Hong Kong Chinese eclipsed the Old World, British and European establishment to become the big partygoers, charity donors and fodder for gossip columns and society pages. Will the social scene change when China took over control of Hong Kong on July 1 1997?

Barrister Ong Chin Huat: "Will it be politically correct for the Chinese to be seen partying, to be gracing the social pages of (the 'Hong Kong Tatler'), to keep guzzling champagne, nibbling on caviar?" Jewelry designer Kai-Yin Lo: "I find with the Chinese influence, it's dinner for a purpose. I feel there is not so easy a spirit of communication. There is guanxi (building a network of mutually beneficial relationships), guanxi, guanxi."

In 1987, the British Governor was the socialite's most prized guest of honor. Today (in 1997) it’s Tung Chee-hwa, shipping tycoon. David Tang: "Dinner will get more boring, ironically because of capitalism and communism – both monotonous! More women are more conscious of what Mrs. Wong next door is wearing for what dinner or ball. And men are more conscious of their pecking order in terms of bank balances." Rosemary Inglis' family lived in Hong Kong for 4 generations: "It's a real reversal. If anything now (in 1997), it's the Chinese nouveaux riches who are taking over and a sprinkling of Europeans who are trying to keep up."

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