Monthly Archives: April 2011

Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: Royal Wedding Giveaway celebrates the royal nuptials

Here’s a great opportunity for anyone who is getting married, planning to get married, thinking about planning to get married or just thinks marriage is a possibility sometime in the reasonably near future. Union Station Kansas City, in honor of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, presents a Royal Wedding Giveaway.

First, the prize:

• Wedding reception for 250 people in Sprint Festival Plaza at the station, including tables, chairs, linens, food and non-alcoholic beverages

• $500 gift certificate for purchase of a wedding dress

• Flowers

• One hotel room for two consecutive nights at the Kansas City Downtown Marriott hotel

This is a $25,000 value. So, if you are traditional, it could save the father and mother of the bride a bundle. And who would not want to have a wedding reception in the magnificent Sprint Festival Plaza at Union Station?

How to enter? The simplest way is to go to and sign up.

To enter by mail, send your name, address (including hometown) telephone numbers (daytime and evening), email address and birth date, along with an original essay and a self-addressed, stamped envelope, to Wilkes Broadcasting, Royal Wedding Giveaway, 508 Westport Rd., Kansas City, MO 64111. Your entry must be postmarked by May 12, 2011 and received by May 17, 2011.

Now about that essay: It has to be original. And it has to answer the question: Why do you deserve a Royal Wedding?

If you attended the Union Station Royal Wedding Watch Party — and a lot of people did, some 3,500 at last estimate — you probably already know about this contest. You might also have visited Diana, A Celebration, the exhibition that chronicles the life and work of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who was also Prince William’s mother.

If you visited the exhibition, be sure to tell your family and friends about it. The reviews have been nothing short of spectacular. No one should miss it.

Tickets for Diana, A Celebration, are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and


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Diana, A Celebration, Union Station, Kansas City: Really obscure royal wedding trivia

How is this for love? Kate Middleton is allergic to horses, yet she almost always shows up for Prince William’s polo matches. Aaachoo! Scratch, scratch.

That is one of the sillier bits of information about the Kate and William floating around the Web. There are also little-known facts about other royals and their nuptials (and the consequences). Sites such as and, among many others, are treasure troves of detail, most of which is useless but fun. None of it seems to be especially mean-spirited. It is the kind of thing most people would not mind the world knowing.

For example, Kate and William attended the University of St. Andrews. One in 10 former students from that institution wound up marrying an alumnus. calls St. Andrews “the unofficial matchmaking agency of the rich and famous.”

And there’s more. . .

Prince Edward married a public relations executive back in 1999. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, finally quit her job in 2002 so she could help her husband with his work. The couple now has two children: Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn. The family has some rather important roles to play in soon-to-happen royal wedding. Sophie is helping Kate learn how to manage her new role. Lady Louise, at seven, will be a bridesmaid. It is also rumored that Sophie is the Queen’s favorite daughter-in-law.

The Church of England frowns on divorce. So, when Princess Anne married her second husband, Tim Laurence, the ceremony was performed at a church in Scotland. Anne was the first divorced royal to remarry since 1905. The two were married on December 12, 1992.

One member of the royal family — 13th in line to the throne — owns a furniture-making company. David Linley met Serena Stanhope in 1992 when he was commissioned by Serena’s father, Lord Petersham, to design furniture. Their children are Charles and Margarita Armstrong-Jones. Serena has a clothing budget of around $155,000 and, according to People magazine, is seldom seen in the same outfit more than once.

And that is that. The royal wedding is tomorrow. No more time for trivia. Busy, busy, busy.

The big event honoring the Big Event in Kansas City will be the Royal Wedding Watch Party at Union Station. The festivities begin at 3:00 a.m. tomorrow, April 29, and it is free and open to the public.

The party presents an excellent opportunity to see the Diana, A Celebration exhibition. It is a fine way to honor the grooms late mother and learn much more about her life and work. Admission is free from 3:00 to 6:00 a.m. and just $5.00 from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. It seems a fitting tribute to the People’s Princess on this special day at Union Station, the People’s Palace.

Regular tickets to Diana, A Celebration, are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and

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Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: News about the Royal Wedding Watch Party

The big day is nearly here, and Union Station Kansas City is ready for it. The Royal Wedding Watch Party — which is free and open to the public — promises to be a major event, and no one is complaining about showing up at 3:00 a.m. to start the festivities. Local and even national media will be on hand to take part in and cover the big party.

Of course, most people who attend just want to share the experience with others, but there are also some great incentives to be on hand from the start. For example, admission to the Diana, A Celebration, exhibition will be free from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Admission will then be just $5.00 until 10:00 a.m.

The first 10 people to arrive at the party will win a Mother’s Day brunch at Harvey’s Union Station and a free ticket to Diana, A Celebration. The first 50 people get a complimentary exhibition ticket, and the first 100 receive a Union Jack and a tiara.

Guests can enter to win tickets to a Jimmy Buffet concert. One lucky bride and groom will win a rehearsal dinner for 20 people. Guests an also enter to win a Mother’s Day gift package that includes brunch at Harvey’s Union Station, a complimentary ticket to Diana, A Celebration, and a catalog of the exhibition.

Two VIP tickets to Celebration at the Station, featuring the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra on Memorial Day will be given away, along with many other prizes, including a night at the Westin Crown Center Hotel, Union Station Kansas City membership, QT gas card, NBC gift baskets, $25 gift certificate to Jack Stack BBQ, and Diana memorabilia.

To top it all off, a grand giveaway will be announced. All that can be said right now is that the giveaway has a value of $25,000.

Indications are that the Royal Wedding Watch Party crowd will be large, so it would be wise to arrive early and find a comfortable spot near the video monitors that will carry live coverage of the wedding.

The day does not end when the wedding is over. The ceremony will be replayed all day. From 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., a Royal Wedding Reception will feature champagne and the official chocolate biscuit wedding cake. Union Station members can enjoy this event at no charge. Nonmembers pay just $8.50.

Updates on the royal wedding and the Union Station Royal Wedding Watch Party are available at Twitter followers can find the information @unionstationkc.

Regular tickets for Diana, A Celebration, are available through all Ticketmaster locations, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and


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Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: And yet more royal wedding trivia

On Google, there are some 3,330,000 websites dedicated at least in part to royal wedding trivia. Surely, they have covered it all. England’s royal family must be the most intimately known group of people on earth. Of course, Princess Diana herself was a prime example of the phenomenon of prying. The difference is that she knew how to use the media to advance her own ends, including her extensive charity work.

That commentary aside, it is time to join the herd and trot out a few more trifles about the royal family. These factoids have been taken from sources that include and An effort has been made to stay away from the salacious and hold to the higher road.

For example, it is not true that Kate Middleton and Prince William are too closely related to be married. They are actually 12th cousins, once removed. They shared a great-grandfather, Sir Thomas Leighton, 12 generations ago (for William) and 11 generations ago (for Kate). Sir Thomas was an Elizabethan (the first Queen Elizabeth) aristocrat. William Shakespeare was writing his plays and sonnets at the time.

This is unfortunate but hardly scandalous: Kate and William share their wedding date with an infamous couple from the fairly distant past. Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler were married in a Berlin bunker on April 29, 1945. Shortly afterward, the unhappy couple committed suicide.

The digital age has taken a turn for the romantic. Kate and William’s engagement was announced via Twitter.

William and Kate will not be accepting gifts. They have asked their wedding guests to donate to the Zoological Society of London. Both of them are dedicated to animal conservation, the Zoological Society is very active in that area, helping preserve elephants in Asia and Africa and rhinos in Kenya. By way of contrast, when Diana and Prince Charles were married, they asked for, among other things, a gourmet barbecue set and a pair of cockatoos.

As is well known by now, Kate’s 27-year-old sister Philippa Charlotte Middleton (Pippa) will be maid of honor at the ceremony in Westminster Abbey.  What might be less well-known are Pippa’s plans for the prenuptial experience. Rumor has it she is hosting a top-secret “hen party” in London and a Dirty Dancing party in Berkshire at the family home.

Stepping back into history for a moment: Prince William is only the second eldest son of a Prince of Wales to be married before his father became king of England. George V did it in 1892. He married Princess Victoria Mary of Teck. Princess Victoria Mary had been engaged to George’s older brother Albert Victor. However, Albert Victor died before he married Princess Victoria Mary, thus making George the eldest son. When Queen Victoria died in 1901, Prince Albert Edward, George’s father, became King Edward VII.

Of course, it was the eldest son of George V and Victoria Mary who would become King Edward VIII briefly. He abdicated the throne so he could marry Wallis Simpson, an American. His brother George then became King George VI, he of The King’s Speech fame.

Obviously, part of the problem with royal family trivia is how complicated it can become. However, if one can at last commit the previous bit of information to memory, it is certain to impress a crowd, if not completely befuddle everyone present.

Whatever the case, it should be unfurled like Princess Diana’s 25-foot train at the Union Station Royal Wedding Watch Party, beginning at 3:00 a.m. on April 29 — the Big Day. Time should be saved also to pay a visit to Diana, A Celebration. Admission is free from 3:00 to 6:00 a.m. and just $5.0o from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. Harvey’s Union Station will be serving coffee, and live coverage of the royal wedding will be shown. Many other contests, giveaways and other activities are planned.

Tickets for Diana, A Celebration, for other days are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and

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Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: Royal wedding trivia continued

Here are a few more trivia tidbits picked from and

Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and his bride are to be married is the favorite site for coronations. In fact, kings and queens of England have been crowned there since William the Conqueror in 1066. Seventeen monarchs have their final resting place there. The building that stands now was started in 1245. For Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, tiers and galleries were put in so that 8,200 people could fit in instead of only 2,000.

Many people are surprised when they find out that a royal can marry a commoner like Kate. But that is not a problem. The difficulty arises if the intended is a Catholic. The Act of Settlement, passed in 1701, states that royals cannot marry a Catholic. Kate is not Catholic, but Autumn Kelly, who married Peter Phillips, Prince William’s cousin, had to convert to Anglicanism. Otherwise, Peter would have had to give up his succession rights to the crown.

Kate Middleton rivals Princess Diana in the style department. She is viewed as one of the best-dressed women in England and regularly shows up on the lists that keep track of such things. She also appears in magazines such as Vanity Fair and People.

Curtsying might not seem like such a big deal. But there is a strict protocol that goes with the gesture. There is even an order to the curtsying that depends on the distance of the royal ladies and the consorts from the throne. When Kate marries William, the curtsy order will be the following:

Queen Elizabeth, Kate, Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor, Zara Phillips, Lade Sarah Chatto, Lady Davina Lewis of Gloucester, Lady Rose Gilman of Gloucester, Lady Helen Windsor.

As it turns out, Kate’s step-mother-in-law Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and second wife of Prince Charles should curtsy to Kate. But this only holds if Prince Charles is not in the room. Then there is no curtsying.

May 6, 1960 marked the first televised royal wedding. On that day, Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth, married Antony Armstrong-Jones. There were about 20 million viewers. The couple divorced in 1978, and Margaret died in 2002.

It has been a while since a foreign princess married a British royal. The last on was Princess Marina of Greece, who married Prince George, Duke of Kent, in 1934. Prince George was the fourth son of King George V. Prince George was killed in a plane crash during World War II.

It is facts like these that can make an event like the Royal Wedding Watch Party at Union Station even more fun. Showing off one’s knowledge can help pass the time as the guests file in to wait for the ceremony to begin.

The Watch Party begins at 3:00 a.m., so there will be plenty of time to trade trivia. Of course, many people will want to take advantage of the free admission to Diana, A Celebration, until 6:00 a.m. and the $5.00 admission from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. Union Station will show the wedding live and repeat the broadcast all day. A reception in the evening, beginning at 5:00, will feature the official royal wedding cake and champagne. The reception is free to Union Station members and $8.50 for non-members.

Diana, A Celebration, continues through June 12. Tickets are available through the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office, and all Ticketmaster locations.


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Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: Royal wedding 2011 trivia

So much to know. So little time to learn it all.

The royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is just a little more than a week away. The broad outlines of Kate’s life and William’s life are well enough known. But what about those little secrets or little-known details that make people really interesting.

Here are a few notes about Kate, William and other members of their families that most people probably do not know. Some of them might stump even the most studious fan. Thanks to, and for these tidbits.

This is not Prince William’s first royal wedding. He was a “miniature groomsman” at the 1986 nuptials of his uncle, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson.

Prince William, when he becomes king, will be the tallest monarch since the reign of King Edward I (also known a Edward Longshanks). He was about six feet two inches tall. He was king more than 700 years ago. Prince William is about six feet three inches tall.

While he was in the Royal Air Force, Prince William was known as Billy The Fish among his comrades.

Kate and William share the same favorite cocktail: vodka, champagne and passion fruit juice.

William decided to be far away from home when he proposed to Kate. They were in Kenya at the time.

Kate Middleton is the oldest royal bride in history. She’s 29.

Going back a few years — when Diana Spencer married Prince Charles all those decades ago, she mixed up Charles’s name at the altar. It was difficult keeping all the names straight . . . Charles Philip Arthur George. . . .

Even more decades ago — when Princess Elizabeth got married, it was to a man who was already a prince. At the time, Phillip was Prince of Greece and Denmark.

More trivia to come.

Union Station Kansas City is the temporary home of Diana, A Celebration, an award-winning exhibition that chronicles the life and work of Prince William’s mother, the late People’s Princess. This is the exhibition’s last North American appearance. It will return to England after it closes June 12, 2011.

Union Station is also the site of what will likely be Kansas City’s largest royal wedding watch party, starting at 3:00 a.m., Friday, April 29. The all-day event will feature free admission to Diana, A Celebration, from 3:00 to 5:00 a.m., and $5.00 admission to the exhibition from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. Giveaways and contests will be part of the event, along with live coverage of the wedding itself.

Tickets for Diana, A Celebration are available through all Ticketmaster locations, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and

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Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: Princess Diana exhibition receives more rave reviews

A the number of people visiting Diana, A Celebration, at Union Station Kansas City passes the 34,000 mark, the reviews of the exhibition reported by Ticketmaster continue to be overwhelmingly positive. “I was in awe of everything,” says a post on March 11. “So glad I got to see the exhibit. I wanted to take everything home.”

Everything in the exhibition will be going home to England after June 12, so Diana, A Celebration will only be around for less than two months. This is its final North American appearance.

There is still plenty of time to see Diana, A Celebration, though, and here are a few reasons — gleaned from the Ticketmaster reviews — to take the few hours necessary to explore the exhibition (edited only for non-substantive content):

“We really enjoyed this entire display of her life.”

“Diana was so much more than the wife of Prince Charles! This celebration of her life gives on the insight of where her heart is and that is with people all over the world. It was fun to see videos of her childhood and to realize that she enjoyed the same things other children enjoy . . . swimming . . . playing with siblings . . . etc. The exhibit is very well done and well worth one’s time to see it. Viewing the volumes of condolences received upon her untimely death makes on realize how much she was loved. Thanks to the Spencer family for sharing so much of Diana’s life with all of us. And thanks to Union Station for bringing it to Kansas City.”

“The Diana Exhibit was terrific. Very well done and very moving. There was a wide variety of items on display. I would definitely recommend this to a friend.”

“What a wonderful tribute to a most amazing woman. It was just so interesting and presented in such a way that you could take your time and really absorb everything.”

“Awesome experience. Loved that everything was ‘real’ and not a replica. THE dress is amazing — as were the other 26 gowns.”

“I am glad to have had the opportunity of seeing th wedding dress and the film of the wedding, other clothes she wore, family pictures and videos and learning more about her. . . . I was not aware that there were so many condolence books — that was quite astonishing.”

“Stunning collection of designer gowns. Extremely well presented. Well worth a visit. The Spencer jewels are exquisite.”

“My mother and daughter-in-law and I all enjoyed the Diana exhibit. They had displays from all her ages, and we learned many things we didn’t know about her. As a former bridal designer and custom dressmaker, I really enjoyed the CLOTHES!”

“Beautiful, emotional, unforgettable. We are fortunate to get the exhibit in KC.”

“The exhibition was a moving tribute to an amazing lady. The tribute room moved me to tears.”

Tickets for Diana, A Celebration, are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and

Be sure to attend the Royal Wedding Watch Party at Union Station on Friday, April 29, starting at 3:00 a.m. Admission to Diana, A Celebration will be free from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. and just $5.00 from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. There will be giveaways and prizes, including a full wedding reception for up to 250 people.


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