Two days past the 25th anniversary of her passing, “Princess Diana: A Tribute Exhibit” has opened at The Shops at Crystals. The exhibit hosts numerous artifacts and memorabilia chronicling her life and death, as well as the legacy she left behind.
Visiting "Princess Diana: A Tribute Exhibit"
The exhibit contains twelve curated spaces, the first half of which is arranged chronologically, beginning with her childhood. Photos and correspondence from there through her initial courtship with Prince Charles are displayed, with one of the main features being an artist’s replica of her famous black engagement dress made with paper. “This is the dress she wore at her first official outing after being engaged,” David Corelly, the exhibit curator and producer, explained to us. “It was basically too low-cut, too scandalous, and also, the royals typically only wore black when in mourning. But being 19, all her friends were wearing black, and that was the trend, so she didn’t realize she was doing anything wrong.”
The feature piece of the exhibit is in the “Wedding of the Century” room, where a paper replica of Princess Diana’s famous royal wedding gown is on display, along with numerous artifacts from the day. The gown even has a replica of her 25-foot train housed in glass. Visitors can view pieces like an actual slice of the royal wedding cake and a seating chart for the post-wedding breakfast hosted by the royal family.
Guests can also find on display a locket that belonged to one of Princess Diana’s bridesmaids, Sarah-Jane Gase-Lee. “One of her bridesmaids was Sarah Jane. Sarah Jane was Charles’s horse trainer’s daughter; basically, Charles was obviously very into polo at the time, so they spent a lot of time with the Gase-Lee family, and Diana became really good friends with his daughter in kind of a big sister little sister relationship,” Corelli told us. “As a thank you for being a bridesmaid, Diana gave her that locket signed with a letter signed “love Diana.” Sarah Jane kind of folded it up in the locket and carried it with her for the next 16 years. Until she sold it to raise funds to build a house for herself and her family.”
One of the most significant rooms in the exhibit chronicles her death in 1997. A replica of the Buckingham gates and floral tributes is part of the display, along with her official obituary and a touch-screen interaction that allows visitors to search for the newspaper headlines in their home states on the day of her death.
The 10,000-square-foot exhibit houses more than 700 different artifacts, including eight of Princess Diana’s evening gowns by various designers (Versace, Murray Arbeid, Donald Campbell and more). Also on display is the Klondike Ensemble she wore on a Royal Tour to Canada. The exhibit follows through the births of Princes William and Harry and features birthday invitations and Christmas cards written and signed by Diana herself. A room is also dedicated to the dozens of dolls created with replicas of her fashions. The last rooms share the continuation of her legacy through her children and their families.
“Princess Diana: A Tribute Exhibit” is contracted for a 10-year residency in Las Vegas. A portion of the proceeds from each ticket will go to Pink Ribbons Crusade and aid in the fight against breast cancer.