Did you guess? Well one billion people watched when Lady Diana Spencer exited the horse-drawn coach and made her way into St. Paul’s Cathedral where she married HRH Prince of Wales on July 29, 1981. I was one of those, caught up in the fairy tale of the sweet 19-year-old school teacher becoming a princess.
I still don’t know why anyone wants to marry into the Royal Family, which just seems like one big royal pain after another to me despite the fact you get invited to all kinds of cool events, never have to wait in line or pay for anything. And I sure don’t want one billion people watching me do anything, unless it’s accepting an Academy Award, and I’m fairly safe on that front.
The wedding dress, with its 25-foot-long train, is just one of the items on view at the Diana: a Celebration exhibition currently on display in Atlanta at the Civic Center. My friend Melissa and I went to check it out yesterday and loved re-living the not-always-happy life of Diana. We watched some of the movies of her childhood and Melissa was delighted to see her Beatrix Potter figures similar to ones she had collected when her children were little.
Our favorite part was the hall of other outfits she wore for her endless rounds of charity events and balls. There were a few duds – the rather hideous blue one with polka-dots that resembled a sofa slipcover more than a dress – but most of them were timeless and so elegant. Of course, we commented, it’s easier to look gorgeous when you’re tall and thin. And also to her credit, there were no Spanx back then.
Although the circumstances of her death are not dwelt on, in one room you can hear Elton John’s rendition of “Candle in the Wind” that he wrote for her funeral and a copy of her brother’s tribute that he read. I think I think I heard someone crying.
I happened to be in Paris the night she died. The next morning when we heard the news we went to the Pont de l’Alma bridge where the crash had taken place, and it was already filled with dozens of bouquets. People were crying there too.
– Jan Schroder, Managing Editor
The exhibition is on display through June 13, 2010. Contact Ticketmaster for tickets; $18.50 for adults; $12 for children ages 6-17; and $15.50 for seniors and students 18 years-old and older with ID. Children under five are admitted free of charge.