The Hamilton Spectator - - GO -

Lon­don’s Buck­ing­ham Palace has un­veiled an in­ti­mate trib­ute to Di­ana, the Princess of Wales, mark­ing the 20th an­niver­sary of her death.

In one of the palace’s state rooms, cu­ra­tors have care­fully recre­ated a desk the princess worked at in her sit­ting room at Kens­ing­ton Palace, com­plete with fam­ily pho­tos, cher­ished items and mu­sic cas­settes. She wrote let­ters here, read brief­ings and took care of other cor­re­spon­dence.

Many of the items shown on and around the desk were se­lected by her sons, Wil­liam, the Duke of Cam­bridge, and Prince Harry.

“It was cho­sen to re­flect an as­pect of Di­ana, Princess of Wales’ of­fi­cial du­ties. So the work that she would un­der­take at her desk be­fore and af­ter en­gage­ments,” said cu­ra­tor Sally Good­sir. “So, we’ve re­ally tried to recre­ate her desk as it was in her sit­ting room at Kens­ing­ton Palace. And us­ing ob­jects that she had upon her desk and from mem­o­ries that her sons, the Duke of Cam­bridge and Prince Harry have of her.”

The desk fea­tures a leather frame which con­tains pho­to­graphs of fam­ily and friends. There’s also a case of cas­sette tapes and a ra­dio re­flect­ing her love of mu­sic, along with her bal­let shoes, which hung on the door of her sit­ting room at Kens­ing­ton Palace.

“Some of the pieces on dis­play re­ally re­flect the princess’ per­sonal in­ter­ests,” said Good­sir. “Th­ese in­clude her bal­let shoes, she was well­known as a lover of dance, and then also her set of cas­sette tapes, pop­u­lar mu­sic such as El­ton John and Ge­orge Michael, but also pieces from clas­si­cal reper­toire, in­clud­ing Pavarotti.”

Di­ana was killed in a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.

“It will be an im­por­tant an­niver­sary at the end of Au­gust, mark­ing the 20th an­niver­sary of her death,” said Good­sir.

The trib­ute to Di­ana is part of Buck­ing­ham Palace’s an­nual sum­mer open­ing, which also in­cludes the ex­hibit “Royal Gifts,” a spe­cial dis­play of more than 200 gifts pre­sented to Queen El­iz­a­beth dur­ing her 65-year reign.

The gifts in­clude a BAFTA (Bri­tish Academy of Film and Tele­vi­sion Arts) award pre­sented to the Queen in 2013 for her pa­tron­age of the film and tele­vi­sion in­dus­tries. Some items were pre­sented to the Queen dur­ing state vis­its and over­seas tours, such as a model of a war­rior pre­sented in 1974 from Pa­pua New Guinea, and a por­trait of the Queen made with wo­ven ba­nana leaves, given to her in Rwanda in 2006.

“I’ve tried to dis­play ob­jects from as many coun­tries as pos­si­ble and re­ally show­case na­tional crafts­man­ship,” ex­plained Good­sir.

Other items re­flect the Queen’s in­ter­ests, such as a bronze model of a rid­ing horse she once owned and a porce­lain model of her as a young princess on horse­back. Also on dis­play are a bag of salt pre­sented to her in the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands and a flag worn by an as­tro­naut dur­ing a space­walk out­side the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion in 2016.

The palace’s 25th an­nual sum­mer open­ing runs from July 22 to Oct. 1.



Pho­to­graphs of Princes Wil­liam and Harry and their mother are dis­played on a desk, left, used by Princess Di­ana in Kens­ing­ton Palace.


A hand­bag given to Queen El­iz­a­beth II by Colom­bian Pres­i­dent Juan San­tos.


On the cover of the July 1997 is­sue of Van­ity Fair, Princess Di­ana wears one of 79 dresses flown to New York and auc­tione at Christie’s to raise funds for Bri­tish and U.S. can­cer and AIDS char­i­ties. THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS


A mem­ber of staff poses with a Bri­tish Academy of Film and Tele­vi­sion Arts (BAFTA) award given to Queen El­iz­a­beth II in 2013. The ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures gifts to the Queen dur­ing her 65-year reign.


A case of cas­sette tapes that be­longed to Princess Di­ana and in­clud­ing al­bums by Di­ana Ross, El­ton John and Ge­orge Michael.

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