The much-watched Princess of Wales went whale watching Saturday.
At noon on a cloudy, windy day, a fascinated Princess Diana watched a huge southern right whale gambol with its young less than two yards from her catamaran off the Patagonia coast.
Two Argentine coast guard cutters and a catamaran loaded with press writers and photographers followed in the wake of the princess, who is three days’ into her four-day tour of Argentina.
The whales are a tourist attraction this time of the year, their mating season in the Atlantic.
Despite the weather, the princess remained on deck with an Argentine official and a local environmental leader throughout the 60-minute voyage. On land again, she ate at a traditional Argentine ranch barbecue.
Later in the day, the princess was to have tea and cakes in the small town of Gaiman with descendants of 18th-century Welsh settlers.
Not all townspeople were prepared to welcome her.
“The princess is English and does not treasure the Welsh heritage,” city councilman Franklin Humphreys told reporters. “Besides, we must not forget the dispute over the Malvinas 13 years ago, which remains fresh in our memories.”
Almost 1,000 troops - mostly Argentines - died when Britain defeated Argentina in a war over the Falkland Islands, which Argentina had invaded.
Diplomatic relations were restored in 1990, but the sovereignty of the South Atlantic islands - called the Malvinas by Argentines - remains in dispute.
Today, Diana was scheduled to visit a Buenos Aires drug rehabilitation center before she departing for London in the afternoon.
Her four-day visit to Argentina is the third by a member of Britain’s royal family since the Falkland war.
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