- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Remembering Diana

Princes William and Harry said yesterday that they are planning a pop concert and memorial service July 1, 2007, to mark the 46th birthday of their mother, Princess Diana, and the 10th anniversary of her death.

The concert is to feature some of Diana’s favorite music and will be “full of energy, full of the sort of fun and happiness which I know she would have wanted,” Prince William said in an interview with his father’s press secretary, Patrick Harrison, which was released to the media.

The band Duran Duran will perform along with Sir Elton John, who sang “Candle in the Wind” at Princess Diana’s funeral. The concert also will include a performance by the English National Ballet and songs by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber in honor of the princess’s love of dancing and theater.

The concert is planned for Wembley Stadium in London. Money raised from the concert will go to charities the princess supported.

A memorial service is also planned at an undisclosed location in London on Aug. 31, 10 years after the princess’s fatal car crash in a Paris tunnel.

Members of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Philip; Prince Charles; the princes’ stepmother, Camilla; and Princess Diana’s siblings plan to attend the memorial service.

“The service is going to include both sides of the family, our mother’s side and our father’s side — everyone getting together,” Prince Harry said.

Tupac’s alma mater

Jada Pinkett Smith has donated $1 million to her high school alma mater, the Baltimore School for the Arts, asking that its new theater be dedicated to classmate Tupac Shakur, who was shot and killed in 1996.

“It means a lot when you’re a teacher and your most famous [alumna] comes back to give a donation,” said Donald Hicken, head of the school’s theater department since its founding in 1980 and Miss Pinkett Smith’s former theater teacher. “It really says a lot to the community that the school matters in people’s lives.”

The donation from the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation, which is based in Baltimore, will be used for renovation and expansion. The school, which announced the donation on Monday, said it will name its new theater for Miss Pinkett Smith.

Miss Pinkett Smith, 35, the wife of actor Will Smith, said she wanted the theater named for Mr. Shakur because of the friendship they developed at the school. The rapper died after a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.

The actress has appeared in movies such as “Ali,” which starred her husband, and “Collateral,” and she was the voice of the hippo Gloria in the 2005 animated film “Madagascar.”

Art world news

Marc Pachter, director of the National Portrait Gallery, announced Monday that he will be retiring, effective Oct. 1, 2007. Mr. Pachter, who joined the Portrait Gallery staff in 1974 as its chief historian and assistant director, presided over the reopening of the facility in July after an extensive six-year renovation. He had returned to the Portrait Gallery as director after a 10-year period (1990-2000) when he served the Smithsonian Institution in various capacities, including deputy assistant secretary for external affairs and counselor to then-Secretary Michael Heyman. In 2002, Mr. Pachter, 63, secured the famous Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington, known as the “Landsdowne Portrait,” with a $30 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation of Las Vegas. He also established an awards program to honor the American presidency and ended the museum’s policy prohibiting the exhibition of portraits of living persons.

A nationwide search for his successor will be headed by Smithsonian Undersecretary Ned Rifkin.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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