Long Beach’s Queen Mary Offers A Royal Experience With Princess Diana Exhibit

by Heather Cassell

America and Britain have a bond that can’t be undone since the United State’s original 13 colonies once belonged to the royal crown.

Sure, there was the upstart young country rebelling against the biggest empire of its time for its freedom, but that’s all history.

American’s have admired Britain from across the pond, but they fell in love when a young woman just entering her 20s had the wedding of the century in 1981. Little did we know the demure young woman would rock the monarchy, win the world’s heart, and have a tragic end before the century was over.

Princess Diana
Princess Diana (Photo: Courtesy of Pintrest)

Diana Spencer. Princess Diana of Wales. The “People’s Princess.”

People can remember Princess Diana’s legacy at the “Diana: Legacy of a Princess, A Royal Exhibition” aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.

The ongoing multimillion-dollar collection inhabits three distinct sections in over 13,000 square feet on the Queen Mary’s Sun Deck starting with a history of the Royal Family.

It took more than 30 years to put the collection together accessing more than 2,000 Windsor family-related personal paraphernalia along with historical documents.

You are taken back in time to the late 1800s to Queen Mary, the namesake for the ship, and to the drama and romance of the royal’s personal lives through personal papers, photographs, royal memorabilia, and newspaper articles. The room tells the stories of love loss, loveless marriages, affairs and scandals from King George to Queen Mother Elizabeth leading up to and through Prince Philip’s courtship of Elizabeth II, her crowning as queen at a young age in 1952, and the raising of their four children Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.

Understanding the history of the Royal Family leading up to the entrance of Princess Diana explains quite a bit about what a pivotal figure and force she was in the monarchy.

“Diana: Legacy of a Princess, A Royal Exhibition”
Visitors enjoy remembering Princess Diana at the “Diana: Legacy of a Princess, A Royal Exhibition” at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. (Photo: Courtesy of Goldstar)

Her energy and presence are there through nine of her most famous gowns and dolls dressed in replicas of her fashions, tiaras, photographs, personal letters, some rare memorabilia never seen by the public, newspapers, magazines, recordings of conversations, and videos curating her life allowing audiences a glimpse into her world: How she came into her own.

New dresses were rotated into the exhibit in May.

The collection also includes some dresses worn by Princess Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William’s wife.

The exhibit captures Princess Diana’s courage and heart reaching out and caring for the most vulnerable while discovering the fairy tale that began as the wedding of the century was nothing but her personal nightmare as she battled the Royal Family for her freedom.

The only jewels in her life through that decade were her two sons, Princes William and Harry.

The final room highlights Princess Diana’s legacy, including how princes William and Harry have honored her memory by following in her footsteps.

It’s clear to see why Princess Diana is the “People’s Princess” with this exhibit. The impact she made was remarkable and it’s being carried on by her sons through their own humanitarian work. What she did and what her sons do is incredible when you see the overview picture before you.

After exploring the exhibit, enjoy a glass of champagne on the Sun Deck of the Queen Mary overlooking Long Beach.

Princess Diana's tiaras
A couple of Princess Diana’s tiaras at the “Diana: Legacy of a Princess, A Royal Exhibition” at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. (Photo: Courtesy of LadyLUX)

COOL TO DO:

Diana: Legacy of a Princess, A Royal Exhibition. Queen Mary. 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, California 90802. 877-342-0738. . queenmary.com/tours-exhibits/tours-exhibits-attractions/diana-legacy-of-a-princess.

HOURS: Sundays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

TICKETS: $$ = $10 – $30

(Price of the average ticket to enter the event.) 

TYPE OF EVENT: Interactive Exhibit, History 

RATING: 4 = black

(0 being the worst rating and 5 being the best rating)

VIBE: Well thought out. It captured Princess Diana’s spirit while providing a deeper understanding of her life and the legacy she left with her sons.

Princess Kate's fashion
A collection of Princess Kate’s dresses are now also a part of the at the “Diana: Legacy of a Princess, A Royal Exhibition” at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. (Photo: Courtesy of The Queen Mary)

SCENE: It’s a tourist attraction for Royal Family and history buffs to Princess Diana admirers from families to couples to women curious about her life. Dress casual or dress up a little.

SERVICE: No cameras are allowed in the exhibit. Visitors can walk freely undisturbed through the exhibit as long as they want during opening hours. 

NOISE LEVEL: Quite. 

DAZZLE ME AGAIN: The exhibit captured the complexity of Princess Diana and how she changed the Royal Family and captured the world’s heart.

WHERE TO NEXT?: The exhibit is ongoing aboard the Queen Mary.

WORTH THE OUTTING?: This was a memorable experience

Book your next royal getaway to the Long Beach with Girls That Roam Travel. Contact Heather Cassell at Girls That Roam Travel at 415-517-7239 or at .

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