As a mother of two boys herself, Princess Diana could sympathize with the woman's loss and gave her a shoulder to cry on as she comforted her despite the language barrier
Princess Diana was given the title of "The People's Princess." And rightly so because not only was she loved by everyone but she also never allowed her royal status to alienate her from the civilians. She dedicated her life to the service of the most vulnerable including people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and helping homeless youth find shelter. She also worked relentlessly to have landmines removed from all over the world after learning about mindless injuries and deaths they cause to even the nonmilitary people. In fact, just before her death, she had visited Bosnia and Angola as part of her crusade against landmines.
On this trip, she was accompanied by her friends Ken Rutherford and Jerry White. As part of her visit, she was documented making her way through a minefield in the Southern African country while wearing a visor and bomb-proof breastplate. “I’d read the statistics that Angola has the highest percentage of amputees anywhere in the world…that one person in every 333 had lost a limb, most of them through land mine explosions,” Diana told the press in Angola, which was also a part of the documentary Heart of the Matter, according to TIME. “But that hadn’t prepared me for reality.”
On the final day of her three-day trip, the princess insisted on making time to visit the Sarajevo War Cemetery where victims of the Bosnian War were buried. This was an unplanned detour that was not a part of the itinerary. Her friends were able to recall the events of when Diana was taking in the hundreds of tombstones that belonged to people who had lost their lives at war when she spotted an elderly woman weeping at what seemed to be her son's grave. "Diana didn’t speak Bosnian, and this mother didn’t know English. So, they just embraced. So intimately, so physical, so emotional, mother-to-mother," White told Entertainment Weekly.
White continued, "It was vintage Diana, reaching out, wiping the mother’s tears and cheeks. It’s the only framed photograph of Diana I still have in my home." As a mother of two boys herself, she could sympathize with the woman's loss. The woman was later recognized as Svetlana Dragon and was captured embracing Diana in grief. "Diana listened more than she spoke," White recalled. "It was intense to watch her absorb human pain. She was hyper-intuitive and fully appropriate in the face of people’s suffering." She would ask them about their life and suffering while having a candid conversation, giving the person in front, her undivided attention. She sometimes even used humor to ease their pain.
White also remembers the eerie feeling when he watched Diana at the cemetery. "Jerry, I have this feeling, this image of me in a cemetery, it’s strange," Diana had even told him. "I watched as Diana took her place among hundreds of tombstones. It was eerie, now that I reflect on it. She walked slowly, among tombstones and even yellow rose bushes," he said. White even thought that her insistence to visit the cemetery was mysterious. He stated, "After her death in Paris only weeks later, I came to wonder whether the Princess intuited her own death, her burial. I don’t know, but maybe, psychically, intuitively, Diana sensed she was going to die. It still gives me chills when I recall this powerful, unscripted, unplanned moment, somehow prescient."
When asked about why she had even chosen to visit the landmine victims in Bosnia she had said, "The media has made my life horrible, so I like to make their lives miserable by bringing them to countries they normally otherwise don't go to, to cover issues they normally don't cover."