An extensive exhibit chronicling Princess Diana and the British Royal family opens Saturday at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, and officials at the attraction say they expect a big weekend turnout.
"Diana: Legacy of a Princess,'' is primarily focused on the late Princess Diana, but also features memorabilia and artifacts of the Royal family, ranging from Queen Mary and King George to Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton.
The exhibit will be on board for at least a year in the ship's new 13,000-square-foot gallery. Admission tickets are $34.95 for adults and $23.95 for children aged 5-11. A portion of the proceeds will go to breast cancer prevention and awareness organizations, including City of Hope.
The multi-million-dollar collection includes about 2,000 items gathered over the past three decades. Among the highlights, the ship announced:
- An elegant dressing room display featuring nine of Princess Diana’s
dresses and gowns
- Designer-signed fashion sketches of Diana’s famous gowns
- Designer dresses chosen by the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton)
- Handwritten letters from all the major Royals
"We are pleased to find that the image and icon status of Diana is alive and well,'' Queen Mary Entertainment Director Steve Sheldon said.
The Long Beach exhibit marks the first time the artifacts will be shown in their entirety, according to Queen Mary officials. Some items -- such as a hand-carved bench that was a wedding gift to Princess Diana and Prince Charles -- are on display for the first time.
Also on display are a ball gown worn by Diana to the America's Cup Ball; a jeweled evening gown she wore to a Red Cross gala; a cocktail frock she wore to private events and other dresses and accessories chosen by Middleton.
Show organizers said advance ticket sales have been brisk and a large opening weekend crowd is anticipated. To chat with others excited about the exhibit, or for updates and news, follow the Queen Mary's Facebook page.