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A Royal tour

06.08.20

The childhood home of the Princess of Wales will be the venue for a special exhibition that will take place in late summer.

The property is located between the villages of Great Brington and Harlestone, 5 miles north west of Northampton and throughout July and August, the Althorp Estate will host a special exhibition called "Animals of Althorp." It will showcase many antiques and artifacts, plus a portrait of Diana’s pet cat, Marmalade.

“Animals are as much a part of the Spencer family’s history as the iconic house itself,” states the description of the exhibition. “The Spencer’s arrived with their flocks of sheep in this rich grazing land in 1486 and built their home there in 1508. Since then, the verdant pastures and oak tree woodlands have been the backdrop to their lives and home to many animals, including the black fallow deer that have roamed the park since the 15th century, and which remain the Spencers’ closest neighbours to this day.”

Visitors will get a tour of the estate where the late princess grew up, which is now home to Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, and his wife, Countess Karen Spencer. While it’s unlikely guests will get to visit every inch of the 550-acre grounds, there’s plenty to admire. The portrait gallery, for example, is a 115-foot-long hall furnished with paintings including Van Dyck’s War and Peace.

Elsewhere in the grand home are a stately dining room, a splendid library, several sitting rooms, grand staircases, and Wootton Hall, where Diana would practice her tap dancing. The bedrooms, in particular, are rich in history. The Queen Mary bedroom was used by King George V and his wife during their visit to the estate in 1913, and the Princess of Wales’ bedroom is named after Alexandra, Princess of Wales - the wife of future King Edward VII, who stayed there in 1863.

Princess Diana is buried on a small island in the middle of the property’s lake, and although guests will not be permitted to visit her grave, they will be able to view a memorial to the late princess on the property.

 

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