GENERATIONAL MIX: Archbishop Tutu and his daughter Thandeka with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and baby Archie, during their meeting at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation on Wednesday. Picture: Benny Gool/Supplied

Cape Town - A picture capturing the meeting between Princess Diana and President Nelson Mandela was one that was seen around the world. 

This iconic image was recently gifted to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their visit to Cape Town courtesy of the photographer who captured the moment.

The picture reportedly caught the attention of Prince Harry during his last visit to the country back in 2015. The image was captured in March 1997, five months prior to Princess Diana's death.

Harry was 12 at the time.

On the third day of the royal SA visit Desmond & Leah Legacy Foundation CEO, Piyushi Kotecha and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s eldest daughter, Thandeka, presented Harry and Meghan with a basket of gifts.

Kotecha also presented Prince Harry with a pair of framed photographs of his mother’s meeting with Madiba, in Cape Town in 1997 – one for Harry and the other for his brother, the Duke of Cambridge. 

The photographs were donated to the foundation by photojournalist, Benny Gool.

Upon hearing the news of the gift, we went into the newspaper archives, housed on micro-film at the National Library of South Africa Cape Town Campus, in the Company's Gardens to find the story that accompanied the image.

An image of late Princess Diana the Mother of Prince Harry, and former President Nelson Mandela. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

The story was written by political correspondent, Clive Sawyer at the time of it's publication on Monday, March 17 1997. The story follows:


Diana and Madiba - together at last

Written by Clive Sawyer (Political Correspondent)


It was love at first sight when President Mandela met Princess Diana at his residence Genadendal in Cape Town today.

She was "absolutely thrilled" and he called her a beauty.

Although they shook hands at the prompting of the media, requests for them to kiss for the camera were tactfully turned down.

"That would be treason," quipped Mr Mandela.

This was Diana's first public appearance in South Africa, after managing to avoid the pursuing media since her arrival in Cape Town on Friday to visit her brother, Charles Spencer, and surprise her niece on her birthday.

Mr Mandela, escorting the princess to meet journalists after their talks, said to her: "You can see how popular you are."

Diana would not answer a question about how she felt about Cape Town's bid for the Olympics.

She said her visit was part of the campaign against Aids.

Asked about how she felt about meeting Mr Mandela, she said: "I am absolutely thrilled."

Mr Mandela described her as a beauty princess.

He complimented her for visiting Angola to see at first hand the crippling effects of landmines.

The princess's outfit, a green open-necked, short-sleeved dress, matched the president's casual attire.

Earl Spencer, who lives in Constantia, had kept the media at bay since her arrival. 


A framed copy of the image also hangs on the walls of Independent Media's Newspaper House offices.

The front page of the Cape Argus that features The Duke and Dutchess of Sussex with the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, while a image of Princess Diana hangs in the back. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

Gool also shed insight into what that made the picture of Madiba and Princess Diana, stand out for him.

"The thing is, Madiba is the most special person in the picture for me. Yes, Princess Diana is also special, and I have tremendous respect for her and the work on land mines that she was doing at the time. I was following Madiba around at the time, and so she was one of the people who came to visit him. 

Gool said that at the foundation, they saw it as a good idea to honour Harry and William's mother, and help them remember her. He added that it's not only about the two people in the picture, but also what they represent that makes it special.

"It's more the causes and the things they did, that is what that you think about when you look at the picture. When looking at it, you'd hope people will think about all the good it represents. That is what the picture is supposed to point out - the good and to also give hope."


A framed copy of the image of Princess Diana and Nelson Mandela also hangs on the walls of Independent Media's Newspaper House offices. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)
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