Princess Di at the Atlanta Civic Center

'Diana: A Celebration' a fitting tribute with more than 150 items on exhibit

The world watched on July 29, 1981, when Lady Diana Spencer married Charles, Prince of Wales, in a massive ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Sure, we were excited by the fairy tale perfection of the ceremony, but really it was Lady Diana in an ivory dress with hand-embroidered lace and a 25-foot train that kept most of the 750 million viewers enraptured.

On Tuesday, the dress arrived at the Atlanta Civic Center in preparation for the opening of the new “Diana: A Celebration” exhibition. Nick Grossmark and Graeme Murton, white-gloved art handlers for Althorp Estate, where the dress is stored, were in town to unpack the famous gown.

The dress was rolled out in a hermetically sealed crate and Grossmark and Murton stooped to lift it from the box. Next they unfurled the train, which was packed separately.

The dress is just one of Princess Di’s famous outfits that will be on display. It wasn’t easy selecting only 28 items from her vast wardrobe, Grossmark said, but the sample is representative of day and evening outfits the public is most likely to recognize. In the early days, the princess dressed herself, Grossmark said, but she later had some help from an editor at Vogue. After her divorce from Prince Charles, her choices evolved, Grossmark said, and she began wearing more international designers’ work.

While the wedding dress is surely the most exquisite item on display, more than 150 other objects will document the life of the beloved princess who died in 1997 and continues to intrigue and inspire people around the world.

Click here for a peek at some of the objects and artifacts in the exhibit.

“Diana: A Celebration”

Open daily at 10 a.m. (Closed on Monday), Jan. 23 – June 13, $12-18.50

Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave. NE