CINCINNATI – After 11 years on the road, the award-winning exhibition Diana, A Celebration will be making its final stop in the Queen City before heading home to England.
The popular exhibition will open at Cincinnati Museum Center on Feb. 14. After closing on Aug. 17, the memorabilia will be turned over to Diana’s two sons.
"We are thrilled to be bringing an exhibit that highlights the life and philanthropic accomplishments of a woman who inspired people around the world with her leadership and dedication to international causes," said Francie Hiltz, Cincinnati Museum Center Board Chair.
The exhibition presents the life and humanitarian work of Princess Diana through nine galleries containing 150 objects - ranging from her royal wedding gown and 28 of her designer dresses to family heirlooms, personal mementos, paintings and rare home movies and photos.
The exhibition is on loan from the Althorp Estate, the Spencer family's 500-year-old ancestral home in Northhamptonshire, England. Diana’s brother, Earl Charles Spencer, is required to turn over Diana’s personal items to Princes William and Harry when the youngest turns 30 years old. Prince Harry turns 30 in September.
A series of 150 objects chronicle Princess Diana's life and invites the visitor to share the milestones of her many roles - youngster, schoolgirl and athlete, shy kindergarten teacher who captured the heart of the Prince and the public, the royal bride, the devoted mother, and charity advocate and spokeswoman.
Lady Diana Spencer got the world’s attention when she became engaged to Prince Charles, heir to the English throne. They married in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on July 29, 1981, an event watched by an estimated 1 billion viewers around the world.
Diana’s wedding gown, diamond tiara, veil and 25 ft. train, shoes and parasol, and bridesmaid’s dress are among other items.
Charles and Diana divorced in 1996, and Diana died in a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.
Also featured in the exhibition are portraits of Princess Diana's ancestors, family jewels, heirlooms, paintings, artifacts and photos, which provide the historical context. Home movies filmed by her father and scenes from her childhood, her engagement to Prince Charles and the events leading up to the Royal Wedding are remembered and animated with video clips, personal possessions, photos, displays and letters.
One entire section is devoted to Diana’s public life and the myriad of charities and causes she championed, including her pioneering efforts in AIDS, the homeless and land mines. A three-screened video presentation highlights the hundreds of associations that continue to benefit from her patronage.
The world's grief at her untimely death is also dealt with in a display of books of condolence and space for reflection and remembrance.
Other items on include:
• More than 25 dresses, suits and evening gowns worn by the Princess during her public life, accompanied by photos and designer details from the event at which the outfits were worn
• Diana's magnificent Royal Wedding gown
• Two diamond tiaras and other priceless family jewels
• The original text of the Earl Spencer's moving tribute to his sister at the funeral in Westminster Abbey
• The score and lyrics of the Elton John/Bernie Taupin composition, adapted from Candle in the Wind
• Original heritage family paintings.