It came as something of a surprise when Diana, Princess of Wales, made a trip co Angola in 1997, to support the Red Cross’s campaign for a total ban on all anti-personnel landmines. Within hours of arriv!ng in Angola, television screens around the world were filled with images of her comforting victims injured in explosions caused by landmines. "I knew the statistics," she said. "But putting a face to those figures brought the reality home to me; like when I met Sandra, a 13- year-old girl who had lost her leg, and people like her."
The Princess concluded with a simple message: "We must stop landmines". And she used every opportunity during her visit to repeat this message. But, back in London, her views were not’ shared by some members of the British government, which refused to support a ban on these weapons. Angry politicians launched an attack On the Princess in the press. They described her as "very ill-informed" and a "loose cannon (乱放跑的人) The Princess responded by brushing aside the Criticisms: "This is a distraction ( 干扰) we do not need. All I’m trying to do is help." Opposition parties, the media and the public immediately voiced their Support for the Princess. To make matters worse for the government, it soon emerged that the Princess’s trip had been approved by the Foreign Office, and that she was in fact very well-inf0rmed about both the situa-tion in Angola and the British government’s policy regarding landmines.
The result was a severe embarrassment for the government. To try and limit the damage, the Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkidnd, claimed that the Princess’s views on landmines were not very different from government policy, and that it was "working towards" a worldwide ban. The Defence Secretary, Michael Portillo, claimed the matter was "a misinterpretation or misunderstanding." - For the Princess, the trip to this war-torn countrywas an excellent opportunity to use her popularity to show the world how much