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Diana, A Celebration

Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2011, at 11:15 PM

Admittedly I am one of those Yanks that enjoys a spot of news when it involved the British Royal Family. I had stated in the last blog that back in the day that woke up really early to watch the wedding of Charles and Diana live.

The past weekend, along with some of my family, I went to "Diana, A Celebration" at Union Station in Kansas City. I am the first to admit I am not a fashionista and my interest was more historical, I suppose.

Naturally, on a weekend, there was quite a few other people wanting to see the exhibit as well. Initially, we had to stand in line a bit but once we got passed the first couple of rooms, the structured lines evaporated and I could move about the exhibit.

There were men and women of all ages that were in the exhibit when we visited. The exhibit is located in what I would call the basement of the station. The mood of the exhibit is set through the lighting, colors of the walls and the quotes that were placed throughout the exhibit.

The Spencer family history about the woman in the family at the beginning proved an apt introduction to the exhibit. The displays of the painting and the jewels were interesting.

In the room which housed the mementos of the girl, who would become one of the most photographed women in the world, illustrated to me that she was a human being first. Perhaps a bit fragile but strong willed individual all the same.

What was cool was THE wedding dress. It was displayed behind glass along with one of the bridesmaids dresses. There were pictures that were flashing on the screen and displayed of the big day. There were pictures her father had taken around London of the wedding preparation. You would walk around the display and take a look at how really, really, really, long that train was. There was almost a sadness in the room as well, as everyone knew the young woman who wore the dress did not live happily ever after.

There were photos displays of her funeral. Along one wall was the eulogy her brother gave at the funeral.

There were condolence books that had come from around the world as people paid their respects. The heartbreaker there was the school children and the picture and words they wrote in remembrance.

Then there were the dresses. I am not a dress girl but it was evident that Princess Diana loved her dresses. She was lucky enough to have custom made gowns by a variety of world renown designers. A comment or two was about picking clothing "off the peg" were mentioned in some of the displays. That element is endearing because it illustrating again that even though she could have had custom made everything, she shopped like us common folk on occasion.

There were highlights of all her charity work as the exhibit ended and that is the legacy which endures beyond the tragic accident that claimed her life.

Thankfully some of my family was able to share in the visit to the exhibit. We all took away our own reflections and memories. Mine seem to be somber. For me, it wasn't as much about the material things in the display as it was the human being that had owned them.

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