On Feb. 24, the “Diana: Her Fashion Story” exhibition finally opened its doors to the public, giving us a small glimpse into the wardrobe, and life of Princess Diana of Wales.
The new exhibition is one of many anticipated events that will be held over the course of 2017 to honor the 20th anniversary of the beloved princess’s death.
The exhibit, held at her former home of Kensington Palace, showcases some of her iconic fashion pieces, and provides some surprising insights into her fashion decisions. Eleri Lynn, the curator of, “Diana: Her Fashion Story,” shared some of those insights with People, and we are truly more inspired by the princess than ever before.
One of the most impactful fashion decisions Diana made was abandoning the royal practice of wearing gloves. Gloves are traditionally a royal requirement, but Diana felt they were restricting her ability to connect with people.
“She abandoned the royal protocol of wearing gloves because she liked to hold hands when visiting people or shake hands and have direct contact,” Lynn said. Diana, the People’s Princess, strived to “convey approachability and warmth.”
Perhaps the most powerful example of this approachability and warmth is a photo of the gloveless Princess shaking hands with a man suffering from AIDS. Diana was passionate about her charity work, as well as visiting hospitals and hospice centers. She strived to breakdown stigmas and fears associated with diseases.
In addition to ditching the gloves, Diana altered her outfits for her hospital visits with children. According to Lynn, “When she was visiting hospitals for example she would wear cheerful clothes that would convey warmth and often chunky jewelry so that children could come and play with them,” and that she stopped wearing hats because, ‘You can’t cuddle a child in a hat.’”
We’re not too terribly shocked by these uncovered fashion insights, Princess Diana has always been an inspiration (case in point: a British holiday called “National Kindness Day” was recently created in her honor). The “Diana: Her Fashion Story” exhibition is another reminder that her compassion lives on, stronger than ever, 20 years after her death.