Tag Archives: Princess Diana Exhibit

Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: HeartAches sing as exhibition nears end

Time is growing short for Diana, A Celebration, as it moves toward its final weeks at Union Station Kansas City. The months since the exhibition opened have been extraordinary in terms of the number of people who have passed through. At last count, more than 62,000 men, women and children had experienced this chronicle of the life and charitable work of the People’s Princess. Judging from the responses, it has touched many hearts, even among those individuals who expected to get nothing in particular from the experience.

It seems fitting that in the final days of the exhibition, the HeartAches ensemble from The Heartland Men’s Chorus should serenade visitors with Elton John’s famous “Candle in the Wind,” which he revised from its original version to honor the late princess after she died in an automobile accident on August 31, 1997.

The HeartAches’ performance will be in the Bank of America Gallery, outside the Diana exhibit at noon on Saturday, May 21. It will consist of a number of songs besides “Candle in the Wind” and serves as a tribute to Diana for her hard work in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In many ways, the princess was a leader in this struggle, breaking through misunderstanding and misconception not only through her words but also through bold action.

As much as anything, it seems to be Diana’s courage that attracts so many people to her, even so many years after her death. It was a courage made all the more admirable and fascinating because of her obvious vulnerability and self-doubt. In just the year before her death, she appeared to grow enormously as a person and to find her place in a world that seemed to attack and reject her as often as it poured out its love to her.

As the closing days of Diana, A Celebration draw nearer, it is appropriate to cite a few more comments from people who have visited the exhibition. They do more to reveal the emotions Diana arouses than anything else (comments edited for grammar, usage, spelling, etc.):

“Amazing! What beautiful exhibit for simply an amazing, beautiful, angelic and inspiring precious Young woman! Wow! Loved it!”

“The exhibit was thought-provoking, interesting, beautifully laid out and educational. I was impressed and did not expect to be.”

“The exhibit left ou feeling how lucky we were to have had her in our world and feeling inspired to do good works.”

“Wonderful exhibit of Diana’s dresses and other personal items. It was very moving to be so close to things that were part of her life.”

“I loved everything about the exhibition and wish that there had been more to see, but I realize that one can’t bring everything. Worth every dollar.”

Diana, A Celebration continues only through June 12, 2011. Tickets 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: HeartAches to sing “Candle in the Wind” and other tunes

At noon on Saturday, May 21, the HeartAches, a small ensemble made up of members of The Heartland Men’s Chorus, will perform the version of Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” written in honor of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. The performance will be held in the Bank of American Gallery of Union Station Kansas City where the exhibition Diana, A Celebration, is currently on display. The original, handwritten lyrics for “Candle in the Wind” are part of the exhibit, along with the original musical notation. The free concert will include several other songs.

There is more to the HeartAches’ appearance than the connection of “Candle in the Wind” with Princess Diana. The Heartland Men’s Chorus, Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, has been performing in Kansas City and around the world for 25 years. The not-for-profit volunteer group is a member of GALA Choruses, the international association of the lesbian and gay choral movement that represents 190 choruses in Australia, Europe, South America and North America.

Formed when the AIDS epidemic was claiming many lives in Kansas City and elsewhere, The Heartland Men’s Chorus appeared as a strongly positive force on the arts landscape. Even as some of its members were claimed by the epidemic, the chorus kept singing, bringing several shows a year to the people of Kansas City and building a reputation for excellence. It seemed a united, joyful response to a terrible disease.

At the same time the chorus was making its presence known, Princess Diana was beginning to speak out and bravely confront the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. She was among the first influential people to touch and hold AIDS patients, demonstrating that one would not contract the disease from casual contact. She helped put a true face on the epidemic, showing how it affected not only gay men but straight men, women and children.

In a way, this performance by the HeartAches brings two important forces in the fight against HIV/AIDS together in a moving celebration of courage and caring. It is certain to be an emotional moment for everyone who listens and understands.

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. The exhibition will remain at Union Station through June 12.

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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 facebook.com/unionstationkcmo. 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 www.unionstation.org.


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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 yahoo.com, royal-weddings.org and aolnews.com 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 www.unionstation.org.

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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 www.unionstation.org.

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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Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: Princess Diana in her own words

Princess Diana had quite a lot to say about life in general and her own life. It seems clear from the quotations gathered from various sources that she believed strongly in caring for other people. Yet, she also displayed a sometimes pointed sense of humor.

One source for quotations from Diana is dianapow.com. Here’s a sampling:

“Anywhere I see suffering, that is where I want to be, doing what I can.”

“Being a princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”

“I like to be a free spirit. Some don’t like that, but that’s the way I am.”

“I want my boys to have an understanding of people’s emotions, their insecurities, people’s distress, and their hopes and dreams.”

“I want to walk into a room, be in a hospital for the dying or a hospital for the sick children, and feel that I am needed. I want to do, not just to be.”

“I’d like people to think of me as someone who cares about them.”

“It’s vital that the monarchy keeps in touch with the people. It’s what I try to do.”

“The say it is better to be oor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?”

“If men had to have babies, they would only ever have one each.”

To that last tidbit, Diana also added that Prince Charles was so absorbed in the study of childbirth and child rearing that she thought he should go ahead and have the next baby.

From Diana’s extensive work for charitable causes, it can safely be presumed that she not only talked about caring for other people but also acted on her commitment. She was able to give a voice to people in need from many unfortunate circumstances: disease, war, hunger and much more.

Diana, A Celebration, at Union Station Kansas City now through June 12, 2011, chronicles some of Diana’s charitable work, highlighting her desire to turn her words into action. It provides a taste of the variety of her efforts and the impact she had on the world.

Tickets for Diana, A Celebration, are available through all Ticketmaster locations, 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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