Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Celebrating Princess Diana in Atlanta

The much anticipated exhibit… Diana: A Celebration comes to Atlanta bringing both beauty and elegance. I had the pleasure of attending a private showing last week with local media. I found it to be extremely personal and very inspiring. The exhibit highlights the life and humanitarian work of one of the most remarkable women in history. It features some of her personal possessions including family heirlooms, in nine galleries, offering visitors a glimpse into the life of the woman who captured the world’s attention for her compassion and sense of duty.

The exhibit features more than 150 objects including her famous wedding dress with the memorable 25-foot train, diamond tiara, formal gowns and family jewels estimated to be worth millions. Perhaps one of the most personal items on display is a little prayer book given to Princess Diana from Mother Theresa. As I browsed the galleries, other items catching my attention were her vintage Louis Vuitton luggage collection and passport. I was also touched by little things like her pink ballet slippers from childhood and tuck box from 1969 with her name engraved on it. I was also surprised to learn that some items on display, like the diamond jewels, belong to her family (The Spencer Family) and not Britain’s royals. It appears that Diana came from a family with authentic “blue blood.” In fact, her family tree may be more impressive than her former husband’s, Charles, Prince of Whales.

You’ll also find the sheet music to “Candle in the Wind,” signed by Sir Elton John, extremely touching along with hundreds of condolence books signed by admirers all over the world following her sudden death, in a car crash, in Paris, August 1997. As you exit the last gallery there is a lovely photo of Princess Diana taken by legendary fashion photographer Mario Testino. The photo really captures the beauty of Diana—the “people’s princess.”

If you have the opportunity to come to Atlanta… you must see Diana: A Celebration. The award-winning, critically-acclaimed exhibit runs through June 13 at the Atlanta Civic Center afterwards the items will be returned to the Althrop Estate, the 500-year-old ancestral home of the Spencer family in England. It is also the place where Princess Diana is buried.

Little-Know Fact About Princess Diana’s Family: The Spencers were at Althorp before Columbus landed in the Americas.

Are you planning to see the exhibit?

Photo Courtesy: Mario Testino
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