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Earl Spencer's wife Karen explains plans to overhaul at Princess Diana's former home after fan concern

Princess Diana's former home Althorp House is about to undergo major renovations

charles spencer karen snow
Rachel Avery
Homes Editor
September 15, 2023
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The late Princess Diana once lived at Althorp House in Northamptonshire with her siblings, and now the property has been inherited by her brother Earl Charles Spencer

On Thursday, Charles' wife Karen unveiled grand plans to totally overhaul the Grade II listed property, and she later had to clarify the plans after fans were concerned too much would be changed.

WATCH: Earl Charles Spencer shares panoramic look at his sister Princess Diana’s gravesite

To share the news, Countess Spencer uploaded a picture of one of the house's wonky doors. She penned: "I love this door. It’s such a great example of the quirky nature of this 500-year-old house. It also exemplifies the challenges of the renovation that we are at long last about to kick off. 

View post on Instagram

"It has been over 4 years of study, working with architects and planners and our amazing team here at Althorp to imagine and carefully plan what the latest version of this wonderful house is. How do we make it work for the way we want to use it today while also being respectful of its past. I’ve spent a long time pondering this point and we are finally there!

"But this door is also the perfect example of the unexpected challenges that the project presents. Just when you think you can count on a straight line, you discover you can’t. I can’t imagine how it came to be that this door is so crooked! Pipes have not been where they should be and just when you thought you knew where a beam was, it isn’t… we are uncovering all this houses’ secrets.

a view of Althorp House © Instagram
Althorp House is about to undergo major renovations

"I’m sure it will take the better part of 5 years to complete, but in the end, the whole house will be refreshed. There’s very little of what Charles has done that I think needs changing, he worked with the amazing Edward Bulmer @edward_bulmer 30 years ago and they picked the most amazing palettes and did such a great job of bringing out the classic elegance of Althorp.

 "Can’t wait to share the next chapter with you! More soon!"

Aerial Photograph of Althorp, Northamptonshire© Getty
The late Princess Diana used to live at Althorp

Many fans were thrilled about the exciting new chapter for the property, with one writing: "How exciting to have you share this adventure with us all. Give up all the details along the way!" and another adding: "Thank you so much for sharing your home with us!!!"

althorp library
The house will be tackled inside and out

Others were a little concerned that Karen may have plans to change the wonky historical features in favour of clean lines. "I say leave the door alone. Houses even grand ones settle into what they are meant to be. Perfect is so overrated and sterile," added one, and: "Please don’t go for straight lines and knock all the idiosyncrasies and character out of a truly remarkable historic splendor!!!" wrote another..

READ: Charles Spencer's wife makes off-the-cuff remark about Prince William inheriting Princess Diana's personal items

Charles Spencer with wife Karen© Michael Kovac
The couple appreciate the history of the house

Karen quickly reassured her fans that the quirky doors aren't going anywhere, responding with: "Not to worry, we won’t be attempting to make the door, or any others straight if they aren’t. That’s part of the charm."

Charles and Karen take great pride in showcasing the amazing history of the house and they often share interesting facts on their own Instagram feeds.

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