The Spencer family lived at the lavish country home and estate of Althorp for centuries, which was of little interest to anyone else until one of the tribe, Diana, married Prince Charles in 1981. The disintegration of the marriage and Diana’s elevation to sainthood is a story known to millions, and the public outpouring of grief following Diana’s death in 1997 was quite astounding. Momentarily, Althorp became the focus of massive media attention as the coffin was brought up the M1 motorway from London to be buried on an island in the grounds of the family estate. Today, visitors still troop round the grandiloquent rooms of Althorp house, drop by the Diana exhibition in the old stable block, and then take the footpath that leads round a lake in the middle of which is the islet (no access) where Diana is buried.

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