Tag Archives: Princess Diana at Union Station

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 royal-weddings.org and zoomermag.com, 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. Royal-weddings.com 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 www.unionstation.org.

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Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: The parallel lives of Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe

Princess Diana died in August 1997 at the age of 36. The American movie star Marilyn Monroe died in August 1962 at the age of 36. The coincidence is interesting, though not particularly meaningful.

What is perhaps more important is how Princess Diana thought of Marilyn Monroe. It seems she had a strong affinity for the actress, a sense that they were very much alike. It was not a matter of similarities in appearance, though some argue there were moments when Diana looked a bit like Marilyn. And it apparently had little to do with personality.

From Diana’s perspective, she and Marilyn were alike in that they were both beset by powerful enemies. At least, this is the view of Diana’s friend and mentor Meredith Etherington-Smith as recorded in Sarah Bradford‘s Diana: Finally, the Complete Story.

“She was quite obsessed with Marilyn Monroe, Meredith said, and in one of the pictures she did look like the young Marilyn,” Bradford writes. “She often talked about her, and how she had fought the studio system in Hollywood on her own and won, because they had dumped her and then had to take her back.”

It is difficult not to draw a parallel between Marilyn Monroe’s struggles with the Hollywood studio system and Diana’s rocky relationship with members of the British Royal Court and other “Establishment” figures. Bradford quotes one of Diana’s friends as saying,”They would have preferred her to disappear . . . . [S]he was deeply inconvenient . . . .”

Bradford writes further that “Diana felt beleaguered by court circles. She told Meredith she had ‘a lot of enemies.’ ‘That sounds a bit paranoid,’ Meredith replied. ‘No, you know how it works. It’s justification — I’m the baddie.’ ‘Well, all you have to do is to be a goodie, and you are a goodie by the example you set. That’s why landmines (sic) — patently you have an enormous sympathy with people less fortunate than you are.”

Like Diana’s image of Marilyn Monroe, Diana herself felt alone against implacable forces. She believed, Bradford writes, that she had found in Marilyn a kind of soul mate, “another woman against the world.”

There is much more to learn about Princess Diana, and much of it is on display in Diana, A Celebration, an exhibition chronicling her life and work now in its last North American appearance at Union Station in Kansas City. The exhibition will be open through June 12.

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

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