Queen City bids farewell to celebration of the People’s Princess

Award-winning exhibition Diana, A Celebration closes at Cincinnati Museum Center

CINCINNATI – A collection of artifacts celebrating the life of Princess Diana is returning home to her family after an 11 year world tour. The award-winning exhibition Diana, A Celebration ended its world tour at Cincinnati Museum Center, and the personal items comprising the exhibition will now be returned to Diana’s brother and sons.
As around the world, the exhibition was enthusiastically received in Cincinnati when the collection of family heirlooms, rare home movies and photos, personal mementoes, 28 of her designer dresses and her royal wedding gown arrived at Cincinnati Museum Center in February. Over the course of the exhibition’s six months in Cincinnati, visitors marveled at the beauty, grace and compassion that defined Diana.
“We were honored to have been the final stop on this incredible exhibition’s world tour,” says Douglass McDonald, president and CEO at Cincinnati Museum Center. “We were excited to see that the people of Cincinnati were just as excited to see the exhibition as we were to host it.”
“AEI has worked with Cincinnati Museum Center on several occasions, and they have a great track record of drawing crowds for exhibitions,” says John Norman, president of Arts & Exhibitions International. “In its final showing, Diana, A Celebration was well received and supported by the community, just as it has been all over the world, as people continue to celebrate Princess Diana’s legacy. She will forever be in our hearts.”
Visitors to the exhibition were of every age, ethnicity and gender. Mothers shared stories with their daughters about where they were when they watched Diana’s royal wedding. Grandmothers remarked to those mothers on the challenges awaiting a young woman thrust into the spotlight at such an early age. Teenage girls planned their own royal weddings, falling in love with Diana for the first time. Young girls were mesmerized by Diana’s tiaras and royal wedding dress. Men were captivated by the charisma and charm of Diana’s smile in the exhibition’s various videos and photos.
“Whether it was in English, Polish, French or Japanese, everyone had their own Diana story to tell as they toured the exhibition,” says Elizabeth Pierce, vice president at Cincinnati Museum Center. “Though Cincinnati was not Diana’s home, the city certainly welcomed Diana with open arms and felt that she was ours as much as she was England’s. She is a timeless and universal figure that inspires enormous admiration and passion around the world and you could feel that in the energy of the crowds that visited this exhibition.”
In addition to the beauty of the dresses and jewels, the exhibition celebrated the beauty of Diana’s philanthropy. As an advocate for increased awareness and action on behalf of those affected by AIDS, leprosy and landmines, Diana put herself on the front lines of causes unpopular with or unacknowledged by society. Some visitors were unaware of the tireless work Diana did on behalf of others, and the personal letters and artifacts, including a prayer book given to her by Mother Theresa, revealed another inspiring layer to Diana.
Through snow, ice, rain and humidity, visitors drove four hours or more one way just to see Diana, A Celebration one last time, some even driving home that same day. They came not just for the jewels, the tiaras or the dresses, but to marvel at the person behind it all.
“Princess Diana personally touched the lives of thousands in her lifetime, inspired millions more by her example and continues to do so through the legacy she left behind,” says Pierce. “Though the exhibition has closed for the last time, the world will continue to celebrate Princess Diana.”

For more information, visit www.cincymuseum.org

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