"Diana - The People's Princess" Collection of Original Royal Gowns Comes to Flying Monkey

Release Date: Apr 06,2011

For More Information & Media Interviews, Contact:
Erica Murphy, Director of Communications, The Common Man
(603) 641-0057 or erica@thecman.com
David Christensen, Director of Booking/Marketing/Promotions, The Flying Monkey
(603) 536-2551  or davidfm@thecman.com

PLYMOUTH, NH -  As the world buzzes about the royal wedding of Princess Diana’s son Prince William, a unique collection of 14 of the Princess’ gowns, stories and videos celebrating her life will make a final stop in Plymouth, NH before being divided and sold at auction.

The world-class exhibition “Diana – The People’s Princess” will be featured for a limited engagement at The Common Man family’s Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center in Plymouth, NH from Monday, April 25 – Sunday, May 8.  This is the largest private collection of Princess Diana’s gowns in the world, and is the last time they will be shown together in the United States.

“Diana — The People’s Princess” is a fascinating exhibition that gives an intimate glimpse into the life of Princess Diana as told through her own personal gown collection, videos and story boards.  Maureen Dunkel, owner of this collection of Diana’s dresses, bids a bittersweet goodbye in New Hampshire, where Dunkel has vacationed since childhood.

“I’ve run the People’s Princess Charitable Foundation and had these gowns and artifacts as part of my life since 1997,” said Dunkel. “I felt it was time to bring them home to a place I hold so dear and say a final goodbye before I release the collection so that others may cherish their history and meaning.”

This exhibition showcases an impressive collection of Diana’s most well-known dresses, which she auctioned for charity just weeks before her untimely death. The gowns include the ink blue silk velvet dress worn to a White House State Dinner in 1985 where the Princess took to the dance floor with actor John Travolta; the dramatic black silk velvet dress worn in her official royal portrait; and the exquisite pink “India” dress which Diana wore during her 1992 State Tour of India. The 11 other dresses range in time period from 1985 to 1997, and chronicle Princess Diana’s style evolution.

Influenced both by the outpouring of public grief following the Princess’ tragic death and Diana’s dedication to global humanitarian activities, Dunkel played a key role in the decision to share the dresses with the public for their sentimental enjoyment and appreciation of their historical importance.

“With the passing of time, it’s been proven that Diana was not a celebrity who rose to command a global stage simply because she married her Prince,” said Dunkel. “Diana embodied the magical notion of fantasy…a fantasy which ultimately collided with the realities of life and that collision forged a relatability that cemented her in the hearts and minds of millions worldwide. It is my sincere hope visitors to this fascinating exhibition will leave with a deep understanding of why Diana was, and remains, The People’s Princess.”

Attendees are given a dramatic introduction to the exhibition with a 15-minute video which follows the journey of a girl from the English countryside whose life would ultimately play out on the world stage and make her a household name on seven continents. Following the video introduction, the self-guided tour takes guests through a series of themed areas and gown displays, each dedicated to a different period in Diana’s life.

Featured areas include:

  • Diana’s Childhood home
  • The Royal Engagement and Wedding
  • Diana, The Princess of Wales
  • Diana’s Favorite Role: As “Mum” to William and Harry
  • The Princess of Style
  • Humanitarian Work and Building a Legacy

This exhibition comes to The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center in Plymouth, NH after a successful engagement in Branson, MO last year and its previous home in Downtown Disney in Orlando, FL. 

In keeping with Princess Diana’s wish to “do beautiful things with beautiful things” when she originally auctioned these gowns for charity, Dunkel and The Flying Monkey are donating a portion of the exhibit’s ticket sales to The Cinderella Project of New Hampshire. The non-profit organization gives formal gowns and accessories, free of charge, to young women facing financial hardship. Since its inception in 2002, The Cinderella Project of New Hampshire has assisted more than 6,000 young women.

Tickets for “Diana – The People’s Princess” are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors or groups of 10 or more, and $14.95 for children age 13 and under. Programs will run every hour. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.flyingmonkeynh.com or call The Flying Monkey box office at (603) 536-2551. Group tickets must be purchased by phone.

The Flying Monkey is located at 39 South Main Street in Plymouth, NH and is part of The Common Man family. Founded in 1971 by owner Alex Ray, the Common Man family is made up of 18 restaurants, two Inns, a Spa and Salon, a Company Store and The Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center. Common Man locations include Common Man restaurants in Lincoln, Ashland, Concord, Claremont, Merrimack, Windham and Portsmouth; Common Man Inn & Spa, Foster’s Boiler Room, Italian Farmhouse and The Flying Monkey in Plymouth; Common Man Inn & Restaurant in Claremont; Lakehouse Grille, Camp, Lago and Town Docks in Meredith; Route 104 Diner in New Hampton; Tilt’n Diner in Tilton; Airport Diner in Manchester; Common Man Express and the Common Man Company Store, both in Ashland. For more information, visit thecman.com or become a fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thecommonmannh .  Photos of the 14 gowns can be viewed here.

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