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Heir B and B: Guests can stay at Princess Diana's childhood home

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Princess Diana's brother Earl Spencer has revealed he is opening the Althorp family home for guests to stay a couple of nights. Diana grew up in the 500-year-old mansion before joining the royal family, and Althorp also serves as her final resting place.  

Charles Spencer and his wife Karen made the announcement on NBC News, saying they will allow visitors to spend the weekend at Althorp in a bid to raise money for Lady Spencer's non-profit organisation, Whole Child International.

"We are launching a campaign to raise funds for Whole Child where we are going to open the home, open Althorp, to raise funds," Karen told journalist Cynthia McFadden.


princess diana1© Photo: Rex

Guests can spend the weekend at Althorp House for £17,000 per couple

The Countess, who married her husband Charles at Althorp in 2011, came up with the idea.

"But I was instantly on board," added Charles. "I've always thought of this house as contributing. It's not just a little bastion or fortress of privilege."

Guests will have access to areas of the stately home that are not usually open to the public, and also have the option of sleeping in Diana's room.

princess diana2© Photo: Rex

Money raised will go towards Whole Child charity

Althorp will be open for three weekends to a select number of benefactors, with prices starting from £17,000 per couple, or £170,000 split between a private group of 18 people.

However, it isn't just those with deep pockets who can avail of a stay. A competition is also being held; two fundraisers who raise the highest dollar amount for Whole Child International and two fundraisers who score the biggest number of donations from friends, family and others can also win a weekend at Althorp.

Another way to experience a weekend at the stately home is to create an essay or video story about how you have helped or served others to "Embrace their Future". Two winners will be picked from this competition. 

princess diana3© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Diana's brother Charles Spencer and his wife Karen came up with the idea

NBC's On Assignment show will be aired on Sunday night, where Charles and Karen can be seen taking Cynthia on a tour of never-before-seen areas of the mansion.

Lady Spencer founded Whole Child and remains the CEO and Chair of the Board. The organisation works to improve conditions for children living in orphanages around the world.

Built in 1508, Althorp, which sits on 550 acres of beautiful parks and gardens, has been home to the Spencer family for half a century. Nineteen of the 90 rooms are open to the public, displaying an impressive collection of furniture, paintings and ceramics.

Following Diana's death in 1997, the family created a museum as a memorial to reflect on her life and work.  

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