Princess Diana: A Tribute Exhibition officially opens to the public on Friday, September 2, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Princess of Wales’ tragic death. Located in the Las Vegas Crystal Shop, the 10,000-square-foot installation features more than 700 royal artifacts. These include eight of Diana’s authentic evening gowns for display at the Pink Ribbons Crusade, a 45+-year-old charity that purchases memorabilia for display while simultaneously raising funds to fight breast cancer.
The exhibit consists of 12 rooms and one specific space, titled the “Wedding of the Century” room, invites couples to tie the knot atop a dramatic re-creation of Diana’s David and Elizabeth Emanuel wedding dress. Of all the ballgowns on display, 8 are authentic — meaning they were actually Worn by Lady Spencer, and they all come with remarkable backstories.
While many are aware of the “revenge dress” that marks a pivotal moment in the princess’s life, they may not be as familiar with the pink “barbecue dress.” This is the first glimpse of Diana’s authentic dress on display, and there’s a fascinating story behind it. The dress has a secret connection to Lily Langtry, whose great-grandmother was the mistress of Charles’ great-grandfather, King Edward VII — just as Camilla Parker-Bowles was Charles’ mistress.
Similarly, her Gianni Versace-designed LBD has its own significance. Spotlighted in the “Fashion Icon” room, it marked the beginning of a new style era for Princess Diana as a single woman following her split from Charles.
Photo credit: POPSUGAR Photography/Sarah Wasilak
Exhibition curator and producer David Corelli emphasized to Popsugar how difficult it was to get our hands on such iconic costumes. “[Diana] One of the first members of the royal family to auction off his clothes,” he said at a media walk-through on September 1. “Most are privately owned, but some are public. You have to be lucky.”
Although Corelli has seen endless gowns during her career, Princess Diana’s collection still takes her breath away. “These are couture gowns that were made for princesses,” she explained. “That’s what I noticed most when I finally saw them on display. They each have an extraordinary level of detail and luxury that you don’t notice in photos.”
The dresses will remain on display for a 10-year residency in Las Vegas, and Corelli will continue to bring in other pieces as opportunities arise, in an effort to keep the collection fresh over time.
Ahead, find eight standout looks from the Princess Diana: A Tribute exhibition and learn the stories behind them. To see them in person, you can buy general admission tickets, which start at $29, online or at the door.