You surely know Diana as a compassionate princess, but did you know she held Chicago close to her heart? From her love for Northwestern University to her visit to the iconic Drake Hotel, we recall Lady Di’s deep ties to the windy city…
She wore purple for Northwestern University
Diana was fond of Northwestern University. In 1996, she visited Chicago to attend a fundraising gala at the Museum of Natural History, to raise money for cancer research. She honored the university’s colors by wearing a bright purple gown as she toured the same school that her future daughter-in-law, Meghan Markle, would attend! The then-student is a Northwestern University alumni—talk about coincidence…
The princess also sported the school’s sweater on multiple occasions, both as a reference to the school and a fashion statement, so it’s safe to say she loved Northwestern University!
She stayed at the Drake Hotel
During her visit to Chicago in 1996, Princess Diana stayed at the historic Drake Hotel for three days. The iconic institution hosted other celebrities like Walt Disney and Charles Lindbergh, but the princess made a lasting impression: years after her stay, the Drake Hotel created a ‘Crowning A Lady’ package where guests could stay in Diana’s suite and enjoy royal delicacies. While the Drake Hotel is now up for sale, we still remember Princess Diana’s lasting impact on the institution.
Her grand-daughter has an uncanny connection with Chicago
Princess Diana, Meghan, and now Lillibet, all have a strange connection to the windy city. Diana’s grand-daughter was born exactly 25 years after the princess’ visit to Northwestern University in Chicago! And it’s no wonder that happened: Princess Diana truly loved the city. As she boarded her flight home from her 1996 trip, she agreed: “I love Chicago, it’s been wonderful.”
Want to know more about Princess Diana? Discover the intimate “Princess Diana Exhibition: Accredited Access” now open in Chicago until April 24.