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Fans express love for 'beautiful' new additions at Princess Diana's final resting place

Earl Spencer is now custodian of the family estate

Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
12 May 2024
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Princess Diana and her family moved to Althorp House in Northamptonshire when she was a teenager and was laid to rest on the grounds following her tragic death in 1997. 

At the weekend, the estate's conservation manager shared a special glimpse of some new arrivals to the Oval Lake, close to whether the late Princess was buried – and they were soon called "beautiful". 

Alongside a sun-dappled photo, Adey Greeno wrote: "Male & female mandarin ducks on the Oval lake today.

"They are native to China Korea and Japan. After escaping from private collections this beautiful duck has become quite widespread. They perch & nest in old trees, sometimes quite a way from water." 

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The stunning view was shared on social media

"Beautiful couple," one commented, while another wrote: "They know a good place of refuge when they see it!"

Princess Diana's private resting place

The late Princess of Wales was laid to rest on an island on the Oval Lake at Althorp which is only accessible by boat, so members of the public are unable to visit it. 

However, there is a dedicated temple on-site where Diana's brother Charles, who is now Earl Spencer and custodian of their ancestral family home, allows people to leave floral tributes and messages to Prince William and Prince Harry's late mother. 

Princess Diana's resting place on the Oval Lake in the mist© Instagram
Diana's final resting place is on a private island on the Oval Lake

In his memoir Spare, Harry wrote movingly about visiting the island with his wife Meghan Markle, where they left flowers and later shared with each other that they had both prayed for the mother-of-two's guidance. 

In the book, the Duke of Sussex also revealed that he had hoped to be buried alongside his late mother but that wasn't deemed possible, so he instead has made plans to be laid to rest at Frogmore House, where he celebrated with friends and family on the night of his wedding. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walking down steps in Cape Town© Samir Hussein/WireImage
Prince Harry and Meghan paid their respects to the late Princess

The Spencer family estate

Althorp is set on 13,000 acres in Northamptonshire, 550 of which are the house and gardens, and the family moved there following the death of family patriarch Albert in 1975, when Diana and Charles' father John became the 8th Earl Spencer. 

Charles was 11 at the time while his sister was 14, and their eldest siblings Sarah and Jane were already adults. 

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 five miles north west of Northampton

Diana's Althorp 'dream'

Diana left home at 18 to live in London and soon got engaged to and married King Charles (then Prince Charles). Following their divorce, she originally wanted to move back to the property. 

Diana, Princess of Wales at Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospital in Harrow, Middlesex© Getty
Diana, Princess of Wales had hoped to move back to Althorp

As her brother 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…"

 Instead, she retained an apartment at Kensington Palace. 

Earl Spencer's support for Prince Harry

Earlier in the week, Prince Harry touched down in London for a special service to mark ten years of the Invictus Games. 

Charles Spencer and Prince Harry in a garden© Getty
Earl Spencer with nephew Prince Harry

Although no senior royals were in attendance, two of Princess Diana's siblings did attend, with Charles Spencer photographed giving his nephew an affectionate hug and later revealing a touching family detail about the event.

LISTEN: All about Prince Harry's solo return to the UK...

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