15 December 2007 - 4 May 2008
Relive the special relationship Australia had with ‘The People’s Princess’, Diana, Princess of Wales, through a small display, Australians meet Diana.
The display focuses on the personal recollections of people who met Diana during the Royal Tours in 1983 and 1988, and her last visit to Australia in 1996 to take part in the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Dinner Dance. They include Jenny Kee whose brightly patterned koala knit jumper Diana wore to a polo match sparking media headlines about Diana’s independent style. As a result Jenny Kee was bombarded with orders for her knits and Diana ensured she was on the invitation list for a dinner in honour of Prince and Princess of Wales at the Governor General’s residence during the Royal Tour in 1983.
The display also features the stories of six lifesavers whose meeting with Diana during the 1988 Bicentennial Royal Tour led to their photo appearing the next day on the cover of the New York Times under the headline ‘Lady Di with Australia’s six fittest men’. The group from Freshwater Beach Lifesaving Club had been invited to take part in a competition for the Princess of Wales plate held at Terrigal Beach and were taken by surprise when Diana unexpectedly came onto the beach to present the trophy and then invited the press to take a photo of her with the six bronzed lifesavers in their skimpy Speedos.
The display is accompanied by a projection of media images taken during the Royal Tours in 1983, 1985 and 1988 illustrating the fascinating evolution of Diana’s style and the excitement and enthusiasm of the crowds that greeted Diana in every town and city on the tours.