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  1. ITV Report

The day Princess Diana played a game of snooker in Exeter

Dave Lewis is seen here standing right behind Princess Diana. Photo: ITN

Not many people can say they have played a game of snooker with a member of the Royal family, but for an Exeter man that is exactly what happened 31 years ago.

Dave Lewis, who works at Exeter City Council as their Events, Facilities and Markets Manager, had just started working at the Plaza Leisure Centre when Princess Diana came down to officially open it in 1986.

The centre is now known as the Riverside.

For Dave, the memories of the meeting over 30 years ago, are still fresh in his mind.

We were told that we could only say ‘yes ma’am’, ‘no ma’am’ or ‘hello ma’am’ unless she asked a question that needed a specific answer. However, when she said hello to me I couldn’t resist asking her if she fancied having a go at snooker!”

– Dave Lewis

The Princess agreed to Dave’s invitation on the provision that he told her how it was done.

The game was captured by waiting TV crews and photographers.

Dave Lewis invited Princess Diana to play a game of snooker 31 years ago. Credit: ITN

She was very friendly and charming and a bit embarrassed about her snooker efforts as can be seen from the video, I think!

After she left the snooker room I was besieged by press and TV and they used the film on News at Ten that evening with the presenter calling me a snooker expert – he was so wrong!”

– Dave Lewis

The 31st of August marks the 20th Anniversary of Princess Diana’s death.