Princess Diana visited British military families based in Germany at Christmas Image:PA
Gulf War

'You Are Not Forgotten': When Princess Diana Visited Forces Families During The Gulf War

The Princess of Wales made a morale-boosting visits to British military families based in Germany.

Princess Diana visited British military families based in Germany at Christmas Image:PA

The First Gulf War was fought 30 years ago, and saw the largest deployment of the British Armed Forces since the Second World War.

Up to 53,000 servicemen and women were deployed to the region, leaving their loved ones at home prior to Christmas.

The allied military campaign against Iraq had began by 17 January 1991, although personnel and hardware had already been assembling in the Gulf for months beforehand.

Some of those sent to the region were based in Germany.

On 19 December 1990, Princess Diana visited the families of British personnel at Bergen-Hohne Garrison, near Hannover in northern Germany, as part of a morale-boosting tour.

Princess Diana visited British military families based in Germany at Christmas Image:PA
Princess Diana speaking with British school children in 1990 (Picture: PA)

Princess Diana spent many hours at the base speaking with families who were facing the prospect of spending the festive season alone or without their loved ones.

When speaking to a group of Army spouses at the base, the Princess of Wales said: "You are not forgotten.

"I just wanted to be with you today to tell you that – especially at Christmas time."

Princess Diana visited British military families based in Germany at Christmas Image:PA
Princess Diana during a later visit to Germany, in January 1991 (Picture: PA)

There were 750 family members in attendance during her visit that day.

Princess Diana told them: "It is the least I can do – I feel for you with all my heart."

The Princess of Wales made several such trips to British Army bases in Germany during the First Gulf War and many visits to other military bases around the world.

In 2016 and after nearly 70 years there, the British military left Hohne Camp and training area in Germany - they were both officially handed back over to the country's armed forces.

Princess Diana visited British military families based in Germany at Christmas Image:PA
Princess Diana in Germany just before Christmas 1990 (Picture: PA)