DIANA - A CELEBRATION
Charles Spencer was initially brought up in Norfolk, at Park House - an elegant country mansion built in 1863 on the royal estate of Sandringham.
The Spencer children remained with their father at Park House even after their parentís separation and eventual divorce in 1969. When 'Johnnie' Spencer succeeded to the earldom in 1975, he moved his family westward to the gently rolling Midlands countryside of Northamptonshire and took up residence in the ancestral home, Althorp House. As son and heir, Charles Spencer then acquired the courtesy title, Viscount Althorp.
Charles Spencer was sent from a young age to boarding school. He attended Britainís most famous and exclusive public school, Eton College, not far from Windsor Castle, before going on to Magdalen College, Oxford, from which he graduated with a degree in Modern History.
With the death of his father in 1992 Charles became the ninth Earl Spencer and moved his expanding family to Althorp. He had married the model Victoria Lockwood in 1989 and their first child, Kitty, was born the following year. Twin daughters, Eliza and Amelia, were born in 1992 and the current Spencer heir, Louis, Viscount Althorp, two years later.
Although he continued his journalistic career, Charles Spencer soon found that Althorp, with its large agricultural holdings and historic buildings, demanded considerable attention. Unhappy with much of the interior decoration carried out in the main house under the direction of his stepmother, he began a process of repair and refurbishment that has transformed Althorp into one the most impressive yet welcoming stately homes in England.
The death of the Earlís sister, Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997 precipitated further alterations when it was decided that the Princessís remains should be buried on the grounds at Althorp. In anticipation of the tens of thousands of visitors who would wish to visit Dianaís former home and burial place, Charles Spencer and his staff undertook a major renovation of the architecturally superb Stable Block.
Charles Spencer moved his family to a second home in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1996 but he returned to England to oversee the work on Althorp. He and Victoria were divorced in 1997.
In December 2001, he married the former Caroline Freud (née Hutton), whom he had known since his university days at Oxford. Their wedding took place in the private chapel at Althorp. The addition of her sons George and Jonah to the family, and the birth on October 5, 2003 of their own son Edmund Charles, ensure that Althorp, though rooted in history, is filled with current laughter.