The city primped for Princess Diana's first official Big Apple visit Wednesday, filling her hotel suite with flowers, hawking souvenir T-shirts and worrying about visits to shelters for AIDS patients.

Irish-American foes of British rule in Northern Ireland promised to dog her footsteps with a series of protests.The 27-year-old princess of Wales, traveling aboard a British Airways Concorde, was expected to arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport late Wednesday afternoon and settle in at the British-owned Plaza Athenee hotel for a three-day visit.

During her visit, the princess was expected to attend receptions to promote British trade, attending a party given by Dawson International, producers of Scottish cashmere.

Also scheduled were a lunch and a tour at the world famous toy emporium of F.A.O Schwarz to promote British toys. Photographers were hoping that the princess would be a good sport and walk along the giant piano keyboard featured in the movie "Big."

The princess, who has asked to visit a homeless family, was expected to be escorted through the Henry Street Settlement House on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Prior to her departure Friday, she planned to visit child AIDS victims at Harlem Hospital.