Heartwarming: Princess Diana's Goddaughter Celebrates Major Achievement

Everyone with the least bit of interest in Princess Diana knows that she spent her life in charitable pursuits. She campaigned against land mines, raised awareness about HIV and AIDS and cared for the homeless.

But few seem aware of her work with a different disorder: Down syndrome. Diana’s involvement with the genetic condition made a big impact on one life in particular.

According to People, Rosa Monckton had her hands full in 1995. She’d just given birth to a daughter named Domenica Lawson. However, Domenica had a problem.

Doctors had diagnosed her with Down syndrome. Having a baby is a challenging enough task for any new parent, but having a child with cognitive and developmental issues is daunting.

Fortunately, Monckton had Princess Diana by her side.

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The mother had met the royal through a friend. Diana urged her to stay strong for her daughter.

“She said, ‘You just have to believe in her.’ She said, ‘Believe in her, love her and I’ll be there every step of the way,'” Monckton recalled.

“She already had that vision of what Domenica could become, which I simply couldn’t see.” But after becoming the girl’s godmother, Diana sadly perished in her tragic accident when Domenica was only 2 years old.

However, her faith in the young girl seemed prescient. The Daily Mail reported that Domenica has gone on to do things that no one would’ve expected.

Now 24 years old, Domenica has joined with her mother to create a nonprofit called (appropriately enough) Team Domenica. According to its website, “Our vision is for people with learning disabilities to be valued in the workplace, to reach their full potential and feel included as members of society.”

It has shared the sobering statistics that “there are 1.5 million people with learning disabilities in the UK and almost 94% are unemployed. Far too many are missing out on the basic right to aspire to a career, along with the wider social networks, better emotional and physical health, and increased independence that comes from having a job.”

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And Domenica is championing that vision in a very personal way. Team Domenica operates a training cafe so that aspiring job seekers can learn how to get permanent positions elsewhere.

Domenica ended up working at the cafe after going through her own nonprofit’s internship program. In fact, she did so well that its managers slotted her into a paid position.

Indeed, the twenty-something already knows what she’ll do with her first paycheck. “I’m going to spend it on makeup and going for drinks with my sister,” she told The Sun.

Monckton is incredibly proud of what her daughter has accomplished. What’s more, she thinks that Diana would be, too.

“[Diana] showed immediate empathy and cut through any red tape,” Monckton recalled. “She’d be particularly proud of her god daughter — she is pioneering for others.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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