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Princess Diana's brother Charles Spencer reveals 'bizarre' schooldays rule

The Earl went to the same school as his nephews, Prince William and Prince Harry

Charles Spencer
Diane Shipley
Diane ShipleySenior Online Writer
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Charles Spencer opened up about a surprising aspect of his schoolboy days in the latest episode of his podcast, Rabbit Hole Detectives. Like his nephews, Prince William and Prince Harry, the Earl attended Eton College. 

While he was there, however, there was a rule in place that he admits in retrospect was "bizarre". 

In a brief aside on his show, which he hosts alongside the Reverend Richard Coles and historian Dr Cat Jarman, the historian and author said: "When I was at Eton, we still had a pub we were allowed to go to, we were allowed two pints a day". 

WATCH: Charles Spencer's family home revealed

"From what age?" asked Cat, as Richard joked: "Eight". "From about 16," Charles replied, going on to say: "Bizarre to think of that now… We all worked out that two pints of Pils was a lot stronger, would go very long way, so you'd have that about 11.30 and the rest of the day just swum past you". 

Side view of Eton College Chapel with autumn trees in the foreground in Eton, Berkshire, England© Getty
The chapel at Eton College

Alongside Diana and his other older sisters Sarah and Jane, Charles grew up at Althorp, the Spencer family estate, from 1975, when their grandfather died and their father John became Earl Spencer. 

Charles at Althorp House© Getty
Charles is custodian of Althorp House

Charles is now custodian of the property, and along with his wife Karen, is embarking on some ambitious renovation projects. Karen sends a weekly newsletter to fans of the estate, and the latest installment has revealed that there will be a lot of digging to be done as the ponds on site get fully restored. 

"So much going on here, hard to know where to start!" the newsletter began, before Karen got stuck into explaining the plans. 

Charles Spencer showing tourists around Althorp in 1977© Getty
The historian showing tourists around Althorp in 1977

She declared: "I can't wait till these are all cleaned up. They will be MUCH deeper than they are now once all the decades and decades of sediment are cleaned out. Probably 8-10 feet of it in each pond." 

Charles Spencer© Getty
Charles is now a father-of-seven

After Eton, the Earl went on to read modern history at Magdalen College, Oxford. His daughter Lady Lara Spencer, 17, however, might not be following in his footsteps. 

Charles and his wife Karen at Prince Harry's wedding© Getty
Charles and his wife Karen at Prince Harry's wedding

As part of a recent discussion about libraries and is focused, he let slip that Lara may instead attend university in America

Charles said: "I just did a tour of the East Coast universities for my teenage daughter, and everywhere you went, one of the big stats they had was how many [books libraries had]… That's a really big thing to them, it's a symbol of not just learning but status." 

 state bedroom at Althorp House, where Winston Churchill started to write his memoirs© David Jones - PA Images
The Earl often shares glimpses inside Althorp House

If Lara does end up attending an American university, she will be following in the footsteps of her late aunt, who was a big fan of the States, taking her first solo trip to New York in 1989. It was also rumoured that Princess Diana considered moving to America following her divorce from the then-Prince of Wales. 

Charles Spencer attends the ICAP charity day at ICAP on December 9, 2015 in London© Getty
Charles presents a weekly podcast alongside Richard Coles and Cat Jarman

Although on the opposite side of the country from Charles' nephew Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, it's possible that Lara could meet up with her cousins if she does choose to attend university over the pond.

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Charles Spencer and Victoria Lockwood © Getty
Charles with his first wife, Victoria Lockwood

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