ON THIS DAY: 1997: Princess Diana's surprise visit to local psychic - just weeks before her tragic death

It was a moment that left locals buzzing - but little did anyone realise the tragic events that would unfold just weeks later after Princess Diana made a flying visit to our region in the summer of 1997.

Sunday, 13th August 2017, 9:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:39 pm
Diana, Princess of Wales flew in to visit psychic Rita Rogers.

It was on this day 20 years ago that Diana and Dodi Fayed flew in by helicopter for a one hour visit to renowned psychic Rita Rogers - setting tongues wagging and sparking a media frenzy.

Of course, just over a fortnight later, the pair would be making headlines again in one of the most shocking news stories of recent times, both dying in a tragic car crash in a tunnel in the middle of Paris.

Before then in the summer of 1997, the pair travelled in a Harrods helicopter to Lower Pilsley, near Chesterfield for the appointment with Rita, who had been personally suggested to the Princess by the Duchess of York.

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The couple visited Rita at her Derbyshire home.

Details of what was said at the meeting at Rita's Derbyshire semi weren't made public - but plenty of villagers spotted the pair dashing to the chopper, which landed in a field behind the home of the clairvoyant before it flew back to London.

Diana and Dodi were spotted by brother and sister Sam, ten and Emma Radford, 11 and their school age pals Andrew Pickering, Tiffany Renshaw and Richard Smith.

They were with neighbours who flocked out of their homes to see the helicopter circle and then land.

Quoted at the time in The Star, Nicj Warren, boyfriend of Emma and Sam's mum Ruth Radford, said: "We were amazed when the kids came running back saying it was Di and Dodi.

Diana was tragically killed just a few weeks after the visit.

"Andrew delivers newspapers so he was confident it was Dodi - he's seen his photographs in all the papers. And everybody recognised Diana."

"They shouted 'can we take your photograph Diana' but she covered her face up and asked them to go away. Obviously she didn't want to be seen. It was a very secret visit."

How we reported the visit in 1997.
The couple visited Rita at her Derbyshire home.
Diana was tragically killed just a few weeks after the visit.
How we reported the visit in 1997.