Although she was only four-years-old during Princess Diana’s 1992 royal visit to India, Avanti Reddy, still has fond memories of their time together. Now 28, Avanti is sharing details about that special visit. "I was the youngest girl there," she told the Daily Mail. "We performed a tribal Lambadi dance. Diana saw me sitting on the ground, picked me up and took me back stage and put me on her knee."
The People's Princess showed her maternal side with Avanti throughout the day. "She asked me what my name was, so I told her and which my school was and class," she shared. "I had a cold so she wiped my nose with her own handkerchief. She kept me with her the whole time then as she was going said, 'I don't want to leave you.'"
Diana and Prince Charles were on their royal tour of India. The Princess visited Lalapet Government High School in Hyderabad and the little girl was one of the children who performed upon her arrival. On that day, Prince William and Prince Harry's mother, gave the little girl a special title. "She was a very motherly figure, I can remember that," she said. "She said, 'I don't have a daughter, so today you are my daughter.'"
For many years after her visit, Diana kept in touch with the little girl and her family. Avanti and Diana were set to meet in the UK during a family trip in 1997, but sadly, Diana was killed in a car crash before it could happen. "I remember her funeral, it was very sad," Avanti, who was 10 when the Princess passed away, recalled. "When I got older I started to realise more about who Princess Diana was. I appreciate all the work she did for the charities and all the things she did for poor children and people with leprosy."
When it was time for Prince William to travel to Diana's beloved India with the Duchess of Cambridge in 2016, Avanti was unable to meet Diana's oldest son due to the death of her one-year-old daughter. If the future allows, she still would love the opportunity though she added: "But this time I won’t be sitting on the Prince's lap. I don't think Kate would like that."
She may have missed Will and Kate, but Avanti has plans for the next generation of royals. "It's been so long since I danced," she said. "Maybe if I go back to work in a school again, I could start a production. Maybe one day I could organize a dance for Prince George and Princess Charlotte when they grow up."