Why A Chance Meeting With Princess Diana’s Former Private Secretary Meant So Much To Erin Napier

The ‘Home Town’ star shared the sweet reason she’s been “completely enthralled” by Princess Diana since she was a child.

Erin Napier

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Erin Napier meets a lot of people in her line of work, but a couple that visited her and Ben’s store in “little tiny” Laurel last week left the Home Town host starstruck. 

The HGTV star took to Instagram Thursday to share the story of how she met Princess Diana's former private secretary, Patrick Jephson, and his wife Mary Jo at Scotsman Woodshop at Laurel Mercantile Co. earlier that day—and how much the interaction meant to her.

Erin admitted that she didn’t even know Jephson's name "until he walked into our store," and that she never would have met him if her best friend Mallorie Rasberry hadn’t called and told her to “run to the wood shop" that day. Yet they left her with a lasting impression.

“I never would’ve gotten to meet two people so closely involved with events from world history,” Erin reflected. “Patrick was Princess Diana’s chief of staff, and Mary Jo worked in the White House for presidents Reagan and GHW Bush. They have seen the entire world, and still chose to visit little tiny Laurel today.” 

The mom of two went on to explain how she’s been “completely enthralled” by Princess Diana since she was a “little child,” when people frequently told her that her mother Karen looked “exactly” like her. 

“It made me so proud,” Erin recalled. “I stood up tall when I was with her. And the night Diana died was my 12th birthday. It was the first death of someone I felt I somehow knew, though we’d of course never met.” 

After telling Jephson all that, Erin said he replied, simply: “Diana always wanted a daughter!” 

“Today two Mississippi kids got to shake the hands of living history,” she concluded. “I won’t ever forget it.”

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