With time in London limited, we had a short list of three things we wanted to see. Diana: Her Fashion Story was one of them. The plan had it that if we got a nice day we’d do Kensington Garden and the gown exhibit. 62 degrees with sun, in London, in March is a nice day! We walked (rolled if you please) from our hotel to Kensington Palace and arrived a bit before the exhibit opened. Once inside, the gentleman who sold us our ticket told us there was no queue for the gown exhibit, but lines would be long soon. He said we could see the exhibit and then do the palace tour.
(Please know that what I am describing is from memory and might not be precisely accurate.) The story begins with a young Lady Diana Spencer who suddenly finds herself about to be wed to the Prince of Wales. This was not something she had ever thought about, and she had no knowledge of royal gowns. She knew the fashion of well dressed young ladies, but this?
At first it was hard for both Diana and her designers to determine a style. What looked good, was befitting a young lady, and was something with which she was comfortable? Sketches we made showing her in prospective designs. She was not hard to please but did want to maintain her sense of self.
As Princess Diana grew more comfortable in her role she sought the counsel of several designers. Several commented that she was easy to work with, and over time began to offer direction in what she wanted. She was the first royalty to wear formal pants, a concept and basic design she did herself.
The gowns changed with Diana. As she became a sophisticated young lady her gowns became more formal. There was, however, something elegantly simple about them. The gowns never overshadowed the lady. Her popularity was immense, and people became fascinated with all aspects of her life.
Kensington Palace is home to both William and Harry. The exhibit is a beautiful tribute to a lovely lady, and more importantly, their mother.
Thanks for continuing our journey with us. By the time Sandy and I added another transoceanic flight and arrived home late in the evening, we were tired beyond words. MS fatigue reared its ugly head, and I’m a bit behind. Your patience and words of encouragement are always appreciated!
Images: Top image shows Princess Diana in a casual pose with her chin resting on folded hands. Then a display with mirrors to show all angles of the beautiful gowns and one emerald green gown. In the text is an image of the statue of Queen Victoria in front of Kensington Palace with reflections, trees, and a crystal blue sky. The next image is a pencil sketch that features Diana in a red gown with a drawing of the fabric along side. The final image is the famous Harper’s Bazaar cover with Diana in a long, black gown.