Last week amidst all of the Royal Wedding hoopla seemed the perfect time to visit the “Diana, a celebration” exhibit at Kansas City’s Union Station. Doing so brought back a flood of memories of the influence Diana brought to the world throughout the 1980s until her untimely 1997 death.
Attending the exhibit with my mother –little chance of getting Mr. Jones there – we found the official exhibit divided into nine segments. There’s also a separate Kansas City brides section that you are funneled through first and a gift shop at the end of the exhibit.
Jewels and a Tiara
Once into the Diana exhibit, you first get an up close view of one of the royal creations made from centuries of jewels in the Tiara gallery. Next, there’s 300 years of Spencer Women family history (mainly a display of their jewelry.)
Before she was a princess, Diana Frances Spencer experienced a relatively normal upper class English childhood. This part of the exhibit includes a compilation of home movies shot by her father, along with a collection of childhood toys and mementos.
One can’t help but notice somewhat sudden and dramatic change in Diana’s live when she became engaged to Prince Charles at age 19 in February, 1981.
The Wedding Dress
The highlight of the Royal Wedding section — Diana’s wedding dress — with its puffy sleeves and huge train seems plain, not magical as I remember when Diana wore it on her wedding day.
Another room contains items from her 1997 funeral – and shows the edits to her brother’s tribute along with a room filled with condolence books.
Onward to my favorite part of the exhibit showcasing Diana’s style progression from shy, conservative Royal to independent, fashion icon. The collections of dresses and gowns provide a time capsule of the influences Diana’s clothes made on your closet throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Diana, a Celebration runs through June 12, 2011, before returning to England to the Althorp estate where Diana is buried. Located on the bottom level of Union Station, 30 West Pershing in Kansas City, Missouri, the Exhibit is open Tuesday through Sunday. Entrance fee for adults is $23.50. Allow one and a half to two hours to view the exhibit.
Have you been to the Exhibit? What did you think?