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Charles Spencer's grand staircase at regal Althorp House goes on forever

Earl Spencer, the brother of the late Princess Diana, and his wife reside in Northamptonshire

Earl Spencer on Lorraine
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
15 March 2024
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Charles, the 9th Earl Spencer has been busy promoting his latest publication, A Very Private School, in which he details stories and accounts from his youth.

The publication is out now and to mark its release in the United States, the brother of the late Princess Diana shared a photograph from inside his home in Northamptonshire, Althorp House.

In the post, shared to Althorp's official Instagram account, Charles, 59, can be seen at the bottom of the enormous staircase that looks like it goes on forever. The caption read: "Today is the publication day of my childhood memoir, A Very Private School in the US.

Charles Spencer at his home, Althorp House© Instagram
Charles Spencer at his home, Althorp House

"Thank you, @gallerybooks and @simonandschuster, for all the support you have given to this, by far, my most personal work."

The Earl held his book up proudly while leaning on the wooden banister of the regal residence which was his and his late sister's childhood home. The staircase is located in the foyer of Althorp and is draped Persian rug which cascades down the stairs.

At the mid-section, the staircase veers off in two directions to different points of the house. At the centre are two framed portraits and a grand clock hanging on the wall. The whole foyer is so grand it wouldn't look out of place in Buckingham Palace.

Althorp House was previously owned by Diana and Charles' father, Earl John Spencer, and is now home to Charles and his wife, Karen. 

The sprawling residence has 90 rooms and sits on 550 acres of land and garden, but the wider grounds boats 13,000 acres. There is also a special memorial on the grounds, including the Oval Lake, dedicated to the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Charles Spencer's home Althorp House© Instagram
Althorp House

While Diana was originally going to be buried in the family vault at the local church, security issues saw Charles take matters into his own hands, choosing a private island at the centre of his lake away from the prying eyes of visitors.

Meanwhile, Charles has made recent revelations in his memoir including harrowing details of abuse he faced while at boarding school. In an extract from his book, A Very Private School, which was serialised in the Mail on Sunday, the Earl says that he was abused by an assistant matron at the school when he was a child, during the 1970s.

Princess Diana's temple in the sunshine at Althorp© Instagram
Princess Diana's temple Althorp

He writes: "There seemed to be an unofficial hierarchy among her prey… she chose one boy each term to share her bed and would use him for intercourse. 

Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer (L) and his wife, Karen Spencer arrive for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and US actress Meghan Markle © Getty
Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer and his wife, Karen Spencer live at Althorp

Her control over mesmerised boys was total, for we were starved of feminine warmth and desperate for attention and affection."

The 9th Earl Spencer detailed the assaults and beatings he faced at Maidwell Hall in Northampton which left him with "lifelong demons."

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