Althorp House—everything you need to know about the impressive stately home Princess Diana grew up in

Princess Diana's childhood is open to the public for just a few more days

Princess Diana
(Image credit: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Althorp House, in Northamptonshire, is where the late Princess Diana grew up, and has been in the Spencer family for decades.

In 2019, for the first time since the 50s, the impressive, Grade I listed, 90-room stately home opened to members of the public and it's back open this year. But you'll have to be quick, there are just a few more days remaining to plan a visit as the house will remain open until 30th August 2021. 

So what is the Spencer family home like—and who lives there now?

What is Althorp House like?

As you can see from aerial photographs, Althorp House is no normal family home.

Set within a very impressive 550 acres of grounds, the home was built in 1508, and has been the family seat of the Spencer family for nineteen generations.

The building has 90 rooms and is full of art and ceramic collections from the Spencer family's 500-year history at the home.

Althorp House

Of course, the residence is now more historically significant than ever, as it is the place that Princess Diana called home for many years—and her final home before moving to London to live with Prince Charles.


Princess Diana and her siblings were born and raised largely at Park House, on the Queen's Sandringham estate in Norfolk. When she was younger, it is said that she often played with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

However, when her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975, he moved the entire family from Park House to Althorp. Princess Diana would have been around 14 years old.

Althorp House

Earl Charles Spencer, Princess Diana's brother regularly shares photos from inside Althorpe House and around the grounds.

His latest post shows a fully dressed dining table, laden with flowers and candles in The Picture Gallery at Althorpe House.

Poignantly, Althorp House is also Diana's final resting place. Prince Harry and William's mother is buried on an island in the middle of the ornamental Round Oval lake.

The estate is not just made up of the main house though. The acres of land around it also house within them cottages, farms, woodlands and even villages.

Charles Spencer has also shared some beautiful pictures of the Althorp Estate grounds including sunsets and ancient cedar trees planted by his great-great-great-grandmother.

Who lives at Althorp House now?

Diana's brother, Earl Charles Spencer, has owned the impressive abode for the last 23 years, and even restored it recently for the first time since the 1780s.

He now lives there with his wife Karen Spencer, who is a Canadian social entrepreneur.

Karen recently revealed told Town & Country magazine that she felt 'instantly at home' at Althorp when she moved in after marrying Charles in 2011.

However, she explained that the artwork and furniture serve as a reminder of the huge history of the home.

She said, "The portraits on the walls and the furniture around me are a constant reminder that I am a tiny part of a very big lineage. I hope that I can make a small contribution to the continuation of that legacy."

Charles and Karen also share a daughter, Lady Charlotte Diana Spencer, who is nine years old.

Can I visit Althorp House?

Yes—parts of the stately home are open for visitors, having opened for public visits in summer 2019.

The home is open now up until 30th August and tickets are available on the house's website

Amy Hunt
Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is Life Channel Editor at womanandhome.com, having been with the brand since 2015. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on either women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly, Goodto.com, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on womanandhome.com. She is passionate about everything from books, to homes, to food and the latest news on the royal family. When she isn't editing or updating articles on cleaning, homewares, the newest home gadgets, or the latest books releases for the website, she's busy burying her nose in a gripping thriller, practising yoga, or buying new homeware of her own.