LADY Diana Spencer met the public in Romsey on one of her first major walkabouts.

Prince Charles was almost upstaged as his fiancee shook hundreds of hands, showed off her engagement ring, held babies and accepted gifts.

May 9, 1981, was an enjoyable day for the children as Diana chatted to some of the hundreds brought along by their parents.

One of the people she spoke with was Marjorie Whitham of Blackbrook Road, Heathfield, Fareham, who summed up the views of many by saying: “I thought she was homely and friendly.”

The only minor hitch appeared to be a bomb scare after police took away a small box wrapped in gift paper which had been left in the visitor reception centre.

Prince Charles and his bride-to-be had stayed the night at Broadlands and arrived to open the Mountbatten exhibition in an open 1926 Rolls-Royce driven by Lord Romsey.

About 600 special guests had a close view of the opening ceremony, but Lord Romsey gave a special welcome to the 4,000 paying visitors waiting on the lawns.