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Buckingham Palace Remembers Princess Diana With New Exhibit

Many of the objects on display were selected by Diana’s sons

Princess Diana's desk and some of her belongings, including her music and ballet shoes. (Royal Collection Trust)
smithsonian.com

Twenty years after her death, a new exhibit at London's Buckingham Palace remembers the life and legacy of Princess Diana. The Palace display, a recreating Diana's sitting room in Kensington Palace, feels like a time capsule to the past—full of personal memorabilia and the princess' distinctive tastes.

“It was chosen to reflect an aspect of Diana, Princess of Wales’ official duties," curator Sally Goodsir tells the Associated Press. In her years as princess, Diana became beloved for her commitment to helping the less fortunate, including working actively with people suffering from HIV and AIDS at a time when many people were still afraid to even touch them.

Many of the objects on display were selected by Diana's sons, Prince Harry and Prince William, the AP reports. The brothers highlight her love of music—including her diverse collection of cassette tapes, ranging from R&B musicians Lionel Richie and George Michael to Luciano Pavarotti, her favorite opera singer.

Some of the 200 gifts presented by world leaders and notable people to Queen Elizabeth II on display (Royal Collection Trust)

The exhibit is part of the annual opening of Buckingham Palace to the public each summer while Elizabeth II vacations at her estate in Scotland. The openings began in 1993 to raise money for the Windsor Castle following a devastating fire at the estate the year before.

Also on display this summer are more than 200 gifts presented to Elizabeth II during her 65-year reign, ranging from a portrait made of woven banana leaves from Rwanda to a badge worn by British astronaut Tim Peake in space.

Not on display are any of the dozens of live animals that have been presented as gifts to the queen over the years, ranging from an elephant from Cameroon to sloths, toucans and even a giant armadillo from Brazil. Those animals have been returned to their native countries to be cared for, the Guardian notes.

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