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Diana, Princess of Wail's lives here...
Member Name: thedevilinme
Date: 06/03/13, updated on 06/03/13 (81 review reads)
Advantages: Nice day out
Disadvantages: Open rarely
The Spencer's - even back then - were an extremely important family in the British aristocracy and some say Diana groomed to marry Charles at a young age. It was clearly a loveless relationship that would never work but Diana knew her place and the root to be a fairytale princess. Her earliest years were living with her divorced mother and she only briefly lived at the family seat of Althorp. When the press hounded Diana at the height of her fame and divorce her horrible and arrogant brother Charles often turned away from the family seat when she sort sanctuary. But when she tragically died he couldn't wait to have her back and milk her fame and open up the family seat to the public to cash in. Few people know that when he delivered that disgraceful speech at Westminster Abbey, blaming the intrusive and hounding press for her death, he too was showbiz reporter for Hello magazine. For me Diana was addicted to the press and would do crazy stuff to court them and an expert at manipulation, perhaps racing through Paris with her seat belt off to induce a chance with the paparazzi not that wisest in hindsight. She needed the positive pictures to grow her ego and the press had to get those pictures. Both parties got carried away with only one result.
As far as her burial goes there is a dark rumor going around these parts that she isn't buried on the island incase a ghoulish type sneaked onto the estate and tried to dig up her bones in the dead of night and so really in the family crypt at the local Little Brington church were most of their ancestors are laid. I believe the later. The island was too unstable and muddy in the winter and you have all seen those films were the zombies rise from the graveyard hand first. In fact the family used to use the said island as a pet cemetery and bury their hunting dogs there, still known as 'dog island' to staff. There is simply no photographic evidence she is buried there. Rather ironically visitors are not allowed to bring pets onto the grounds, including dogs.
Why the world wailed and mourned over Diana is another mystery like her burial. On August 23rd 1997 we realized the country had changed and no longer the great stiff upper lip nation it once was and no way back. The media was telling us what to do and how to behave from now on in, the no mark winner of the X Factor more important than great art and life experience.
= = = The House = = =
The Family Seat of Althorp is just outside of Northampton (about 5 miles) and opens to the public in mid summer although suffering increasingly smaller crowds to see Diana's memorial and exhibition (no photos allowed inside) these days, meaning that summer viewing period is now just July-August, ironically closed on the 23rd of August. Charlie 'big bucks' Spencer prefers to tour the exhibits around the world for the other ten months of the year to make more money that way and so to have to enough cash to pay off his ex wives, presumably. To be fair it's a decent price asked to see the exhibits and young kids can come long with mom and dad for not very much to make it a family day out.
---House and Exhibition Prices---
Adult Day Ticket £13.00 (+£2.50 for access to the Upstairs rooms)
Concession Day Ticket including Upstairs Rooms £13.50
Child (5-17) Ticket - including FREE Upstairs access £6.00
Family Day Ticket (2 Adults and 2 Children) £30.50 (+ £5 for access to upstairs rooms).
Concession Day Ticket (OAP or Student) £11.00
Child (0-5) Ticket - FREE including upstairs
= = = Grounds only = = =
Adult Grounds Only Ticket £3.50
Concession Grounds Only Ticket (OAP or Student) £2.50
Child (5-17) Grounds Only Ticket £1.50 (Under 5 years admitted free)
Family Grounds Only Ticket (2 Adults and 2 Children) £8.50
It's not just Diana stuff going on there, everything from those cheesy classical music fireworks evening picnics to literacy festivals and cricket matches through the summer season to help pay the bills. The book festival is quite good although rather steep at £40 a day, Julian 'Downtown Abbey' Fellows the star speaker this year. In fact there is an excellent list of writers attending to sell and speak, as well as the celebrity ones like Michael Palin, Sandi Tosvig, Paddy Ashdown and Anne Widdecombe. The event runs from Thursday the 13th of June to Saturday the 15th. They also do corporate events and weddings.
Single Event £15
Day Ticket (up to four events) £40
Two Day Ticket (up to four events each day) £65
Three Day Tickets (up to four events each day) £95
If you don't want to do the exhibition you can pay £3.50 to wander around the sizeable grounds and see the island and the Diana memorial. You can bring a picnic and parking is free. The house is not the most beautiful pile but grand enough to do the tour of the 19 rooms and high class antiquary. The grave is about 10 skims of a flat stone from the shore so bring your binoculars. The memorial is rather tacky and alabaster. You can get on the estate free if you know where to go so email if you would like to do that.
There are good toilet and café facilities for snacks and stuff and a visitors shop with yet more tat for the proles and nicer porcelain for the well healed. Diana did have huge pull around the world and so the gifts in many languages but now she is equal to Cliff Richard (types of followers being of a certain age and fluster) and so the brisk trade a trickle now.
Traditional country pursuits including shooting, archery, hunting and carriage rides through the grounds are also available on request. You can also do balloon rides in the summer.
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