Friday, March 1, 2024

Earl Spencer’s wife Karen shares rare glimpse of Princess Diana’s final resting place on the Althorp Estate

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Earl Spencer‘s wife Karen has shared a rare glimpse of Princess Diana‘s final resting place on the Althorp Estate.

The late Princess of Wales‘ grave is situated on a private island in the middle of the Oval Lake on the Northampton estate where she grew up.

Although there is a memorial for members of the public to pay their respects, Diana’s grave is completely remote and can only be visited by family. 

Earlier this week, Countess Spencer – who married Diana’s brother Charles in 2011 – shared a photo of the Oval Lake with her 74,000 Instagram followers.

Posting on her Instagram Stories, the mother-of-one wrote: ‘The Oval in the mist at dusk…’ 

Countess Karen Spencer, 51, married Princess Diana’s brother Charles in 2011. The couple pictured in California in 2017

Although the island where her sister-in-law is buried is not visible, the trees surrounding the lake are pictured reflecting in the crystal clear and calm water

Although the island where her sister-in-law is buried is not visible, the trees surrounding the lake are pictured reflecting in the crystal clear and calm water

The Countess appears to have been enjoying a walk around the sprawling 13,000 acre estate when she stopped to take the photo.

Canadian-born former model Karen lives at the impressive Althorp estate with her husband, Charles, 59, and their 11-year-old daughter Lady Charlotte.

Although the island where her sister-in-law is buried is not visible, the trees surrounding the lake are pictured reflecting in the crystal clear and calm water.

In August 2023, it was reported that 36 oak trees had been planted round the path leading to the lake along with hundreds of white water lilies and roses.

The number of trees are said to represent each year in Diana’s life before she tragically died in a car accident in Paris in August 1997. 

The island is located at the centre of the Spencer family’s 500-year-old ancestral estate, which spans 13,000 acres surrounding its walled 500-acre park. 

In his 1998 book Althorp, Princess Diana’s brother Charles discussed why the decision had been taken to bury the royal on the island in the Oval – when so many family members had been laid to rest at St Mary the Virgin church in Great Brington.

He reflected: ‘We all agreed that, with its beauty and tranquility, this was the place for Diana to be.’ 

Pictured: Princess Diana in June 1997, just two months before she tragically died in a car crash in Paris

Pictured: Princess Diana in June 1997, just two months before she tragically died in a car crash in Paris

Pictured: the 'temple' on the Althorp estate in Northampton where members of the public can pay their respects to Diana

Pictured: the ‘temple’ on the Althorp estate in Northampton where members of the public can pay their respects to Diana

In an interview with People magazine, Earl Spencer said he wanted his nephews Prince William and Prince Harry to have a private place to visit their late mother. 

He added: ‘It is, luckily, very tranquil here and they can come and go as they wish whenever they want. And that’s very lovely for me to know that.’

Unlike a church, Earl Spencer said the water of the Oval Lake would ‘act as a buffer against the interventions of the insane and ghoulish with the thick mud presenting a further line of defence’.

The Althorp estate also houses a public memorial to Princess Diana, where guests can pay their respects.

The Grecian-inspired monument – which has been dubbed ‘the Temple’ – was purchased by the fifth Earl Spencer in the 1880s and features Diana’s name, silhouette and a quote from the Princess.

One tablet reads: ‘Nothing brings me more happiness than trying to help the most vulnerable people in society. It is a goal and an essential part of my life, a kind of destiny, whoever is in distress can call on me. I will come running wherever they are.’

King Charles and Princess Diana pictured at Earl Spencer's 21st birthday party at Althorp in 1985

King Charles and Princess Diana pictured at Earl Spencer’s 21st birthday party at Althorp in 1985

Another tablet quotes Earl Spencer’s 1997 eulogy: ‘We give thanks for the life of a woman I am so proud to be able to call my sister, the unique, the complex, the extraordinary and irreplaceable Diana, whose beauty both internal and external will never extinguish from our minds.’ 

In 2017, Earl Spencer revealed that several members of the public have made attempts to access Diana’s grave.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, he explained: ‘We’ve had four attempted break-ins towards her body in the last 20 years and I’m very glad we’ve seen all of them off.

‘There are some odd people out there and keeping her right here is the safest place.’ 

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