The Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, which has become an impromptu shrine to its namesake, Britain's Princess Diana, since her death Aug. 31, has now set up two books in the lobby so mourners may write their prayers and condolences to the royal family.
A spokesman for the theatre said no memorial service is planned.
Fans of the princess, who was killed in a Paris car accident Aug. 31, have filled the front of the theatre on 300 King Street with flowers, candles, letters, cards, teddy bears and framed tributes.
The gifts will not be cleared away until after the princess' funeral Saturday morning, Sept. 6. Flowers will be donated to Casey House, the Toronto AIDS hospice, and other local hospitals. The messages will be forwarded to the royal family at Kensington Palace in London.
Spokesman John Karastamatis told Playbill On-Line that word of the princess' car accident spread through the theatre Aug. 30 (local time) during the final performance there of Beauty and the Beast. There was no special memorial at the time because word of her death did not come until after the curtain fell. Meanwhile, in London, many West End theatres are cancelling or postponing Sept. 6 performances, including the Royal National Theatre and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
Karastamatis said he believes Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre is the only public space named specifically for the princess. It was built by the Mirvishes in 1993 and named for her in February of that year. Diana never visited the theatre, but reportedly had correspondence with the Mirvishes thanking them for naming the space for her.
The Mirvishes also operate Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre, named for a previous Princess of Wales.
-- By Robert Viagas