NAMES IN THE NEWS : Princess Di Uses Sign Language

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Princess Diana used sign language to address 800 delegates at a British Deaf Assn. conference.

The princess, who has been learning to sign since she became a patron of the association in 1983, thanked delegates Thursday for a book she was presented.

“I am very proud to receive this book, thank you. I offer my congratulations to the British Deaf Assn. for 100 years of service,” Diana said, using her hands. The delegates responded with a standing ovation.


“There were no mistakes, no fluffs and everyone in the audience understood what she said,” said Bernard Quinn, spokesman for the British Deaf Assn. “She made a very important gesture to deaf people.”

It is the first time the 29-year-old wife of Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has used the complex sign language in public.