Friday, 15 July 2011

Althrop House and Princess Diana's Memorial

I signed up for a bus trip on the military base to visit Althorp Estate to see the ancestral home of Princess Diana. Princess Diana is also buried on the grounds of the estate. My husband is not a Royal watcher so he decided to stay home and spend the day with the children:). So I went on my own along with 60 strangers:)

View from the bus window as we drove up, impressive

Althorp House - right outside where the children's play house and soccer pitch, sorta funny to see this grand house with kids equipment in the front yard:)

Underneath the yellow stone is the original Tudor brick. This house is over 500 years old.

The back of the house and the back yard! NICE!!

The stables which have now been converted into the Diana Memorial, gift shop and tea room

The island that Princess Diana is supposedly buried on. No one is allowed on the island.

Across from the island is this large memorial for Princess Diana where people still lay flowers

Diana's words in one of her last speeches before dying in the car crash

Earl Spencer, Diana's brother, words spoken at her funeral. In the gift shop you can actually buy the entire eulogy in a special leather bound book.
I got the feeling he was capitalizing on this speech as it was throughout the grounds:(

After touring the outside of the house we were given a tour of the home. No pictures were allowed so I am scanning a few of the post cards I bought to show you the interior below. The current Lord Spencer the 9th Earl (Diana's brother) has been recently updating the home and the rooms are in great condition.

First we were taken into the State Dining room and we had a sit down real English Tea served on the Spencer china, we were told. We were served sandwiches with the crust cut off:), scones with jam and clotted cream and a dessert tray. Drinks were either tea or coffee. After tea we went on the tour of the inside of the house. It truly is a lovely house. It was stressed by the guides that this is a lived in home and they told many stories of the family using various rooms.

The grand staircase leading up to the picture gallery.

One of the many dining rooms--there were at least three. This table could seat 42 guests.

Princess of Wales bedroom named in honor of Princess Alexandra wife of Edward the 7th

The Diana Museum which house 28 of her most famous outfits; condolence books are at the far end and came from around the world. There were also films, mementos from her childhood and letters, dairies as an adult. Nothing new was revealed here. If you were a huge Princess Diana fan this might be a fascinating exhibit:)

A picture of ME outside the front door to prove I really was there:)

On the bus ride home I found out I won a prize for answering the most questions about Princess Diana. Before you go thinking I am a nut for the Princess, I used my Android phone to find most of the answers on the internet:) My husband said I cheated:(, however nothing was said about not doing that and I told the people around me what I was doing and no one complained so I kept the gift:) There were 14 questions and I answered 13 of them. The one I missed (couldn't find the answer too) was how did Camilla Parker describe Diana? Any one know this answer?

So what was the prize, you might be wondering....

Commemorative box of Yankee candles celebrating Prince William and Catherine wedding. I didn't even know you could buy Yankee candles here!!!

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  1. Oh thanks again for introducing interesting places near us :) Althrop House has been in my "places to go" list for a year now but we haven`t had a chance to go there yet.

    Can`t wait to read about your next trip :)

  2. Wow! A day trip by yourself! Good for you! Looks like an interesting day. Her funeral was such a big sad event.

  3. First, a fun trip on your own!
    Second, a trip dripping with 'Diana' nostalgia
    Third, A fabulous house to view and explore
    Fourth, a prize of (my favourite) scented candles.
    Sounds like a small slice of heaven to me!!! (And sorry I grossed you out! Imagine how my brother felt - he was sitting beside me!!! =))

  4. Awesome! Great pictures, and nice to see you in one!!

  5. What a fun trip! I love tea! I was in England right after Diana and Charles married and there was tons of memorabilia everywhere we went, so they kind of were a bigger deal to me. Plus I just started junior high that year and many of the girls followed her fashion trends. So I kind of grew up on Diana and was very sad when she died.

  6. It was a nice day and I met a lot of nice people on the bus. I followed Diana and Charles a lot when I was younger so I really wanted to see where she was buried. I didn't realize just how far back the family goes and the house is amazing:) Thanks everyone for reading:)

  7. I loved this post, so interesting and I didn't know Diana was buried on an island. I loved all your photos and I'm glad you had a nice day out learning so much interesting history again! Clicked a vote for you :)