Princess Diana exhibit at Oakbrook Center offers up-close look at royal, private life

Michelle Gallardo Image
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Princess Diana walk-through exhibit opens at Oakbrook Center
A Princess Diana photography exhibit at Oakbrook Center offers a peek into her royal and private life, featuring never-before-seen photos.

OAK BROOK, Ill. (WLS) -- You can get an up-close look at Princess Diana's royal and private life at a new exhibit in the western suburbs featuring some never-before-seen photos.

Royal photographer Zak Hussein was 8 years old when he was photographed standing next to Queen Elizabeth during a horse show at Windsor.

"You kind of go there and photograph the royal family, my dad used to bring me along to these things," Hussein said. "On this particular day, we were walking around and we came across the queen and my dad was like, go on and stand there. And I'm like, 'Okay!'"

Now, 41 and following in his father Anwar's footsteps along with his brother Samir, the Husseins have brought to the U.S. "Accredited Access," a photo exhibit centered around Princess Diana, where visitors can enjoy the photos but also listen to the stories behind them.

"It's not a gallery where you just walk up to images," said Cliff Skelliter, curator of the exhibit. "What we did is, we set up each room like it's an episode of a TV show. Each photo has a story behind it. And that's what's interesting. They traveled around together. They got to share these details of their life. And he's sharing those with us. And it's just a beautiful gift. We're taking you through Diana's story, but we're also touching on her legacy and there's a beautiful symmetry here."

That legacy is in her children, but also is Anwar Hussein's, whose work photographing Diana's sons, Prince William and Harry, is also on display. Many of the images mimic those taken years earlier by their father.

"The Taj Mahal, it's such an iconic photograph to have William and Kate there, especially after my dad had been to photograph Diana there," Zak Hussein said. "It's the first time I've seen my dad's pictures, my brother's pictures, and my pictures side by side in such a unique way."

The exhibit will remain on display in Oak Brook, New York and Los Angeles until at least March.

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