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Fans express 'love' for unexpected new arrivals at Princess Diana's family home

The late royal's brother Earl Spencer is the custodian of their family estate

Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
May 1, 2024
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Charles Spencer just welcomed a new puppy to his family home, Althorp House, where he and the late Princess Diana moved as children. 

But the Earl's followers got a glimpse of another adorable addition to the Northamptonshire estate on Wednesday, thanks to Althorp's Conservation Manager, Adey Greeno. 

He took to X, where he shared an image of a barn owl nesting on her chicks, squinting at the camera as she did so. 

He captioned it: "One of our Althorp 'Barnies' brooding her almost bald chicks yesterday. One egg can still be seen unhatched. There's a nice mouse in the 'larder' under her tail feathers. Photo @Payne1pro." 

Followers were quick to share their praise for the picture, with one writing: "Just love these owl posts," and another adding: "She’s got it all under control." 

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The photo was shared on social media

It's the latest insight into life on the stunning estate from Adey, who last week shared a new look at the grounds close to where Diana was buried which was quickly branded "beautiful" by fans. 

The longtime Althorp House employee posted an image that showed ducks and geese swimming in the spring sunshine. 

He captioned it: "Ducks and geese on the round oval lake @AlthorpHouse. I saw the first goslings today that have hatched off in the park, they were being led down to the lake by both attentive parent birds." 

A young Princess Diana pushing her young brother Charles Spencer on a swing© Hulton Archive
Charles is the younger brother of the late Princess Diana

The Earl has been dedicatedly restoring the property ever since he took it over, and he and his wife Karen like to share updates from the historic house and grounds. 

Last year, the Countess revealed that they had uncovered the footings for an old boat house underneath the mesmerising water. 

Aerial view of Althorp, this grade 1 listed stately home was the home of Lady Diana Spencer who later became the Princess of Wales, it is located on the Harlestone Road between the villages of Great Brington and Harlestone, 5 miles north west of Northampton. © David Goddard
Althorp House is located north west of Northampton

The mother-of-three admitted: "When I saw it, I wasn't at all inspired to reinstate it. It looked sort of squat. However… when I saw the beautiful newly discovered picture, I suddenly wanted to put it back!" 

The White Ship author, who has recently released his poignant memoir A Very Private School, took on the role of custodian when he became the 9th Earl Spencer after his father John died in 1992. 

The Earl with his latest book
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Princess Diana at Althorp House

Althorp is set on 13,000 acres, 550 of which are the house and gardens. Princess Diana originally wanted to move back to the property after her divorce from King Charles (then Prince Charles) but that sadly wasn't able to happen for security reasons. 

An aerial view of the burial site of Diana, Princess of Wales on the Round Oval lake © Getty
An aerial view of the burial site of Diana, Princess of Wales

As Charles Spencer explained in an interview years later: "Diana had a lovely dream that she could live a normal life afterward. But the one house that she set her heart on in the park [at the family home of Althorp] was three bedrooms and 100 yards from the road. And it was just not possible. 

"The police knew it wouldn’t work. I offered every other property that was suitable on the estate. I really felt it was the right decision for her. But she probably couldn't see it." 

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

Recently, the father-of-seven shared a glimpse of the estate that showcased some sweet visitors. Sharing a stunning video, he wrote: "A goose fly-past first thing this morning, over @althorphouse - a wonderfully noisy start to the day."

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