In just a few days, one of the most highly-anticipated exhibitions to travel the world will open its doors to the public once again, this time from inside Louisville’s own Frazier History Museum. “Diana: A Celebration,” an award-winning collection of clothing, jewelry, home videos and countless other personal pieces that help to tell the life story of the beloved Princess of Wales, Diana Spencer, is expected to draw about 100,000 visitors during its nearly four month-long stay in Louisville, beginning Sept. 15. To set the stage for the spectacular display, which will include Diana’s world-famous wedding gown and stunning diamond tiara, the Frazier will host two incredible fetes, fit for a princess, on the evenings just prior to and following the exhibit’s opening.
“A Royal Evening Honoring Diana,” an elegant black tie affair beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the museum on Friday, Sept. 14, will offer exclusive access to the exhibition before it is opened to the public. Posh, contemporary decor, designed by Douglas Riddle of Bittners, will complement a trio of live musical performances as guests celebrate the life and works of the “People’s Princess.” Guests at this intimate event will be able to personally interact with Nick Grossmark and Graeme Murton, who have spent more than a decade with the “Diana: A Celebration” exhibition as art handlers, caring for and installing all of Diana’s clothing that’s on view, including 28 dresses from Diana’s public life. Grossmark and Murton are the only people in the world who are permitted to handle Diana’s iconic wedding gown, one of the centerpieces of the exhibition.
The evening of mingling and entertainment will feature an open bar and delicious hors d’oeuvres such as baby Hot Browns; smoked turkey on mini cranberry orange muffins; asparagus and asiago wrapped in phyllo; and apricots stuffed with honey goat cheese and garnished with crushed pistachios. There will be an elaborate three-course dinner featuring Levain, cereal, pugliese and rosemary and olive oil breads by Blue Dog Breads; a salad of mixed field greens with goat cheese, roasted garlic, sun dried tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers, served with two small, savory scones, English garden salad dressing and balsamic vinaigrette dressing; beef tenderloin with a charred oak marinade; chicken breast Wellington with herb wine sauce; a vegetarian entree of colorful stuffed pepper with couscous and fresh vegetables; potatoes baked with leeks and cream; and roasted carrots and parsnips, followed by an incredibly decadent dessert. Guests will enjoy their own personal “royal wedding cake,” a miniature, tiered wedding cake with almond-orange cake and butter cream and white chocolate icing. “Catering is by Bristol Catering, which is really starting to develop a reputation as a high-end caterer,” explained Krista Snider, Director of PR and Marketing at The Frazier History Museum. “They really impressed our event committee with the presentation and quality of their food, which we wanted to be top notch for this event.”
The following evening, Sept. 15, a party in royal fashion, ‘KNight for a Princess,’ will close the memorable first day of viewing “Diana: A Celebration.” A cheeky British-themed costume contest will have guests looking fabulous, whether they choose to dress like a modern day royal, a favorite Beatle or a lord or lady from the 18th century. Celebrity judges will determine the best English look, which will earn its owner a cash prize! Meanwhile, historical interpreters from the Frazier will be doing what they do best, with live sword fights in the tournament ring throughout the night. And to get the party moving, there will be music from not one, but two amazing deejays, DJ Prism and The Diva Extreme Syimone, as seen at the Connection. Each guest will receive a free signature drink, “Princess Punch,” which includes Finlandia vodka, Chambord and pineapple juice. What better way to celebrate such a well-loved figure than with one of the most memorable parties of the year?
So if you have plans to take in the world-renowned exhibition, “Diana: A Celebration,” don’t miss these two exclusive opportunities to meet the people behind the scenes and celebrate Diana’s life in true royal fashion.
Both events will be held at The Frazier Museum, 829 W. Main St. The cost to attend ‘A Royal Evening Honoring Diana’ is $300. To purchase tickets, call 502.753.5670 or visit www.fraziermuseum.org. Tickets for ‘KNight for a Princess’ are $50 for members; $60 for non-members, and it is a 21 and older event. A portion of proceeds will benefit House of Ruth. Purchase tickets at www.fraziermuseum.org or call 502.753.5663. Both events will include access to the “Diana: A Celebration” exhibit. For more information on “Diana: A Celebration,” visit www.dianaexhibition.com.