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The Spencers Just Offered Us a Rare Look at Diana’s Final Resting Place

Princess Diana’s memorial site on the Althorp estate in Northamptonshire, England
Source: Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

It will be almost three decades this August since beloved British princess, Diana Spencer, died after a motor vehicle accident in Paris alongside her partner, Dodi Fayed, and their driver. 

Princess Diana was buried on a small island known as Oval Lake Grave at her family’s Althorp Estate in Northampton. The grave is completely hidden away from the public eye and can only be accessed by family members via boat. However, there is a small memorial where citizens can pay their respects to the princess. 

Recently, her family, the Spencers, have offered up a rare glimpse at the island and site where Diana is buried. During an Instagram post last week, Countess Spencer, wife of Diana’s brother Charles, shared an image showing off the Oval Lake with her followers. She captioned it with the following, “The Oval in the mist at dusk” (via The Daily Mail).

It appears Charles’ wife, Karen, had been walking on the estate’s ground when she decided to snap the photograph. While little of the island can be seen, it does show off the surrounding trees and lake.

According to Parade, in 2023, 36 oak trees and hundreds of flowers were planted on the path of the lake. The trees are said to represent the individual years of Diana, who died at age 36. 

While most of Diana’s family, including her father, are buried at St. Mary the Virgin church in Great Britain, Charles spoke on the decision to bury Diana elsewhere in his 1998 book, “Althorp: The Story of an English House.” He wrote, “We all agreed that, with its beauty and tranquility, this was the place for Diana to be” (via People). In a separate section of his book, he spoke of the isolated island as “a buffer against the interventions of the insane and ghoulish, the thick mud presenting a further line of defense.”

In an interview with BBC in 2017, Spencer said, “There was such a whipped-up feeling of emotion everywhere that I was very worried about where we could safely bury her.” Charles also wanted to offer up a safe place for his nephews, Prince William and Prince Harry, to visit their mother away from the public eye.

“I think it’s very important for them to be there with her,” Charles told People. “It is, luckily, very tranquil here, and they can come and go as they wish whenever they want. And that’s very lovely for me to know that.”

In his 2023 memoir, “Spare,” Harry spoke about the removal of a bridge that once allowed access to the small island. He wrote, “The bridge had been removed, to give my mother privacy, to keep intruders away” (via Hello! Magazine). Later in the memoir, he spoke of the first time he took his wife, Meghan Markle, to visit his mother’s grave, writing, “I was finally bringing the girl of my dreams home so she would meet my mother.”

Harry also revealed that while he wants to be buried alongside his mother, it is forbidden, likely because it isn’t an official royal residence. Instead, the prince will be buried at Frogmore House, which is where he and Meghan celebrated their marriage.


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