I still don’t know how I feel about the fact that Princess Diana was buried at her ancestral home at Althorp, the seat of the Earl Spencer (Charles, Diana’s brother). Charles Spencer apparently insisted that Diana be buried at Althorp, and the royal family didn’t feel like they had much of a say in the matter. I feel like William and Harry probably regret that a little bit, now that they’re older. But what other options were there? To bury Diana at Windsor Castle, or Highgrove (Prince Charles’ country estate)? Maybe Althorp was the best choice. This weekend, William, Harry and Kate will be going to Althorp on what would have been Diana’s 56th birthday. They will take part in a rededication of her grave:
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry will rededicate their mother’s grave on what would have been her birthday this weekend, as they include Prince George and Princess Charlotte in a special service to remember her. The Duke, Duchess and Prince Harry and the children will attend a private service at Althorp House, as the Archbishop of Canterbury helps them commemorate Diana, Princess of Wales in the 20th anniversary year of her death.
The rededication, understood to comprise words of reflection and prayer at the graveside, will take place after the memorial underwent extensive redesign following an accusation that the burial site had been neglected. The Spencer family last year began the first major programme of works to the estate gardens in 350 years, saying they would “honour” the memory of Diana in time for the anniversary.
This Saturday, on what would have been Diana’s 56th birthday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Prince George and two-year-old Princess Charlotte will gather at Althorp in a private ceremony. The Prince of Wales will be absent, performing Royal duties in Ottawa to mark Canada Day with the Duchess of Cornwall. Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, and her sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Baroness Fellowes will also attend. Earl Spencer’s third wife, Lady Karen, whom he married in 2011, has overseen the renovation project.
Kensington Palace said in a brief statement: “The service, which will fall on what would have been the Princess’s birthday, will be conducted by The Archbishop of Canterbury and attended by her family.”
The service will be private, with aides declining to give details on any readings or prayers to be delivered.
I would assume that William and Harry have insisted that there be no photographers, although you never know what the Earl Spencer might have up his sleeve. It’s my understanding that William and Harry don’t have much to do with their uncle, although I think they’re close to Lady Sarah and Baroness Fellowes, their aunts. It’s also interesting to me that William is okay with bringing Charlotte and George. That actually pinged a little at my heartstrings. I know I’m being manipulated, of course, and Will and Harry both have a vested interest in reminding people about their grief over their beloved mother. But still, this summer is going to be really hard on them, because it’s the 20th anniversary and all of that.
Meanwhile, after Kate returns from Althorp, she’ll be attending Day 1 of Wimbledon as the new patron/honorary president of All-England club on Monday. She’ll be meeting some of the ball boys and ball girls and staffers. And presumably she’ll stick around for some Day 1 action. I can’t wait to see the draw! I’m sure Kate has her fingers crossed for family friend Roger Federer. What if we get another Federer-Nadal final, you guys?
Photos courtesy of Pacific Coast News, WENN.