Tag Archives: Diana

Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: Wedding giveaway contest voting begins soon

Rumor has it that the three finalists in the Royal Wedding Giveaway have been selected. Once the finalists have been notified, their essay entries will be posted on the Mix93 website early the week of May 22, so people can vote for their favorite. At stake is a pretty impressive prize: a wedding reception valued at $25,000.

Here are the details as outlined in a news release issued by Union Station Kansas City to announce the contest.

“In honor of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Union Station presents a Royal Wedding Giveaway. The grand prize (a $25,000 value) includes:

• Wedding reception for 250 people in Sprint Festival Plaza at Union Station Kansas City, with 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

“Each contestant will be asked to write a brief original essay answering the question: Why do you deserve a royal wedding? (The deadline for entries was May 17. No more entries will be accepted.)

“The Grand Prize winner will be announced June 6, 2011.”

Reports indicate that the essays entered in the contest have ranged from hilarious to tragic. One theme that seems to repeat itself is financial difficulties, which could well be a reflection of the tough times many people are facing these days. A surprising number of entries apparently came from men who want their finances to have the best wedding possible.

In the meantime, Diana, A Celebration, the exhibition at Union Station that chronicles the life and work of Diana, Princess of Wales, continues to attract record crowds with sellouts every weekend. Tickets for the exhibition are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and www.unionstation.org



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Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: A few often-overlooked facts about Princess Diana

Except among true fans and devotees, much about Princess Diana’s life remains unknown, despite the publication of biographies and the immense amount of press coverage she received when she was alive and even after her death. For example, where was Diana born? Where did she go to school? What did she do before she married the Prince of Wales?

Knowing the answers to these questions and others can help give Princess Diana greater depth as a historical figure and perhaps provide some context in which to better understand the way she was during her marriage to Prince Charles and afterward.

Here are some answers gleaned from dianapow.com:

Where was Diana born?

At the time Diana’s parents, the Viscount and Viscountess Althorp were living at Park House, a residence they were leasing from the Queen. It was located on the royal estate of Sandringham in Norfolk. Diana was born there at 7:45 p.m. on July 1, 1961.

A touching side note: When Prince Charles visited Park House years later, long after Diana’s family had moved out, he found a window frame where Diana has signed her name. He brought the entire window to her as a souvenir.

Where did Diana grow up?

The Lady and then Princess to be spent her earliest years at Park House. When she was old enough, she attended boarding school at Riddlesworth Hall in Norfolk. Her schooling continued at West Heath in Kent. In 1975, when Diana was 14, her grandfather died, making her father the 8th Earl Spencer, and the family moved to Althorp House in Northamptonshire, the Spencer ancestral home.

Besides Diana’s parents, who made up the immediate family?

Diana had three living siblings when she died: Elizabeth Lavinia Sarah, Cynthia Jane and Charles Edward Maurice, 9th Earl Spencer. Elizabeth was born in 1955, six years before Diana. Cynthia was born in 1957, and Charles came on the scene three years after Diana, in 1964. Sadly, a boy, John, who was born on January 12, 1960, died the same day.

Did Prince Charles and Diana know each other before they became romantically involved?

Although there could have been previous meetings, it is believed that Prince Charles and Diana got to know each other somewhat during a shooting party at Althorp House. This event occurred in 1977. The two did not begin “dating” until three years later, in 1980, when Charles invited Diana to a polo match.

More details about Diana before and after her marriage to Charles can be discovered at Diana, A Celebration, which chronicles her life and work through more than 150 objects on display. The exhibition at Union Station Kansas City is in its last North American appearance and continues through June 12, 2011.

Tickets for Diana, A Celebration, are available at all Ticketmaster locations, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and www.unionstation.com.

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Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: The princess, the publisher, the opera star and the AIDS activist

Trips to the U.S. were always filled with activity for Princess Diana. Her calendar was full long before her plane landed, and it always contained events where she would be shoulder-to-shoulder with the rich and famous.

A fairly typical short visit occurred one autumn in the mid-1990s. Diana had been facing considerable hostility from the upper echelons of British society because of her deteriorating relationship with Prince Charles. The media in England were either for her or against her.

Diana arrived to a completely different mood in America. Here, none of her popularity and cooled. She was treated as what she was: royalty.

Diana’s portraitist, Nelson Shanks, celebrated with a dinner in her honor at New York’s National Arts Club. Among the guests was the world-famous opera star Luciano Pavarotti. He and Diana were close friends, and Pavarotti showed his appreciation with a huge hug.

The dinner over, Diana retired to the Carlyle Hotel where the manager made sure she enjoyed all the comforts of home. Rested, she flew by private jet to Washington, D.C., where Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham hosted another dinner in the Princess’s honor.

Katherine Graham later wrote about their encounter, and her words are quoted in Sarah Bradford’s Diana: “if you spent time with her. . .you felt Diana’s extraordinary strength, as well as vulnerability and somewhat mocking and ever-present sense of humour.”

Just two months earlier, Diana had been on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, visiting a friend, when she learned that Elizabeth Glaser, wife of actor Paul Michael Glaser of television’s Starsky & Hutch, was on the island. Diana knew of Elizabeth and had corresponded with her. Their connection was the fight against AIDS.

In fact, Glaser, who had contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion, would die of the disease within a year, but not before co-founding the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Glaser’s daughter had died of AIDS as a small child after contracting the disease from her mother.

Although the content of the conversation the two women had over tea is not known, the event deeply affected Diana. She would later tell Katherine Graham that she would only do work that would make a difference and that she must see and understand the problem first. What she did, she said, had to matter not only to others but also to her.

Princess Diana’s life and humanitarian works are the subject of Diana, A Celebration, opening March 4, 2011, only at Union Station Kansas City, and running through June 12, 2011. On display during the exhibition will be 150 objects, including the princess’s wedding gown, in nine galleries. Tickets are available through ticketmaster.com.


Bradford, Sarah. Diana: Finally, the Complete Story

Ellis, David. “The Defiant One,” www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20104707.00.html


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