Aha — I’m pleased to present a story from Ven Rao, one of the SkyTrain attendants lucky enough to staff the train Princess Diana was on in 1986!
One of my fondest Skytrain memories was when I was one of the STAs selected to ride the train when Lady Diana and Prince Charles visited our city in 1986 or thereabouts. It was a wonderful experience to see royalty closeup and the fond memory still lingers on due to Diana’s death.
There were several STAs selected to ride each car. It was one of those anxious moments when we waited at Patterson inbound hoping our train will run without any problems. That morning, I am not sure of the exact date, the Royal couple officially opened a children’s playground at Central Park near Swangard Stadium, and following that they rode our SkyTrain. The very moment as they were coming up the escalator, we could hear all the clicking of the cameras by the news media people.
Once on the platform they were greeted by the then President of BC Transit Mr. Stu Hodgson. Indeed it was a moving experience to see the young royalty from closeup. We were given the protocol not to extend our hand, unless they extend to do the handshake. I recall Prince Charles was dressed in a suit and tie, while Diana was wearing a pearl white dress. Flowers that were given to Diana during the ceremony at the park were left on the train, we all shared and took them home. I remember taking a yellow rose and giving it to my wife.
Thanks to Jennifer Siddon from SkyTrain for passing along Ven’s story and the additional photos of Charles and Diana above. You can also see a couple more photos below of the prince and princess at Expo sent along by Jennifer, although this time they’re not at a SkyTrain station!