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  #781  
Old 07-20-2011, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Aliza View Post
Earl Spencer had promised his sister the "Garden House", formerly occupied by her sister Jane as well as the actor Peter O'Toole. He stated in a letter to her that he needed the house for an estate agent he was bringing in and offered her a house outside the park because he didn't want his family to deal with the press, etc.

Both Paul Burrell and Patrick Jephson comment on the manner of the tiara. It was kept in Diana's safe next to the Cambridge Lovers Knot tiara, which she was allowed to keep by the Windsors even after the divorce.

Not one of Diana's friends who have been interviewed believe the island is an appropriate burial place for a woman who hated being alone.

If the Earl is so wealthy, then why has he sold titles and other objects of museum quality from Althorp? I understand he is wealthy in terms of assets, but obviously not in liquidity or these sales would not be necessary.

Every Diana biography worth its salt has commented on how the Spencers, again with the exception of her father, treated her. I doubt the Princess would have made such close friends with Raine, Countess Spencer if all was as it should have been in her relations with her brother, etc.

Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I have never seen any verification of the claims of the tiara being kept in a London bank; indeed, it doesn't even make sense. Why would Earl Spencer have had to write to Patrick Jephson to demand its return if he could access it in the bank? Paul Burrell, one can question some of his information, considering how the Spencers treated him, but Patrick Jephson would have nothing to gain from inventing stories about the Princess' family.

BTW, if Diana was not allowed to keep the Spencer tiara in her possession at KP where it was secure - then why was she allowed to take it on so many overseas tours, where security would have been much more limited? The claim that this tiara was kept in the bank in London doesn't even pass the common sense test. Sorry. I will continue to hold my current opinion of Earl Spencer and I know I have good reason to do so.

One more point; the Earl has not been shy in suing for libel, yet he did not deny one word of what Paul Burrell copied of his letters to Diana in Burrell's first book. Case closed for me.
The Spencer Tiara being kept in the bank vault was confirmed by the various staff who involved in having it removed from the vault and transferred to KP! It had to be signed for so there is a paper trail!
It was kept in the bank vault since it wasn't the property of Diana but of Earl Spencer (father and son). Diana continued to borrow it but didn't have possession of it.

Earl Spencer is very wealthy, in the past 2 years Althrop House has undergone a total restoration of its facade and also of its roof. The restoration cost 20 million pounds, all of it privately funded through the estate, no government money or grants were used in the restoration. (this information is public knowledge since there was a large sign at Althrop during the 2 year restoration with this written on it!!!!)

Earl Spencer sold off contents attics of the stable block which he renovated to to house the Diana exhibition. A quick glance of the auction catalogue it was possible to see that the majority of the items were household ones. Victoria brass cooking pots, pudding molds (various sizes!). The one large 'anchor' item was a painting that's the one that got the most publicity. The auction raised 10 million pounds so that funded half the cost of the restoration, the rest came out of estate funds. The Trustees of Althrop run the estate and they were the ones to organise the auction. Earl Spencer is an entrepreneur so he had the line of Althrop reproduction furniture for the US market, he's written historical books. This contributes to his private income, but his income is considerable, farm rents, cottage rents, commercial properties (Spencer House in London is still owned by him but on a 99 year lease) forests (which are farmed) all bring in cash, he's not just asset rich but also has a considerable income. His wealth has been valued at 100 million pounds, some of that is assets.

When has the current Earl Spencer ever sued for libel? Earl Spencer never denied that he wrote the 'angry' letters to Diana but he also pointed out that Burrell didn't bother to copy out the many 'loving' letters he and Diana exchanged. Families fall out with one another, the Spencers included, Diana went to South Africa and stayed with her brother in April 1997. So they were hardly on bad terms, she went and stayed with her sister Sarah on her Norfolk Estate between holiday cruises in July 1997. After Diana's divorce Sarah was also her Lady in Waiting, so they were on good terms. Sarah was also the one to go and deliver Diana's last birthday gift to Harry a week after Diana's funeral. Diana had already brought the gift and Sarah was the one to retrieve from Kensington Palace and take it down in Ludgrove where Harry was at school.

It's very easy to get a distorted view if that's the one you choose to believe. You contradict yourself over the whole 'mean brother' line, yes Charles Spencer didn't want Diana to have Garden House, but offered her another house. So why was he 'mean brother' because she couldn't have the house she wanted!? Have you ever been to Althrop? A house outside the park is still protected and away from the main road and far from the village, Charles Spencer was hardly sending Diana into some sink estate!

Since Diana admitted to pushing Raine Spencer down the stairs, the fact that Raine had forgiven her says a lot more about Raine's character than it does of Diana's!

Diana's friends who were publicly interviewed were not close family and people like Rosa Monkton and Lucia (Brazillian Ambassador's wife) their friendship with Diana only dates back to the early 1990s. The Spencer family who knew Diana all her life have the right to make the decision as to where she should be buried and they made the right decision. Her remains are protected and private from the 'crazies' and those who want to continue to use Diana even in death for their own reasons.
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  #782  
Old 07-20-2011, 10:34 AM
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she went and stayed with her sister Sarah on her Norfolk Estate between holiday cruises in July 1997.
I never heard of this visit until now, interesting. Do you remember where you read that.
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  #783  
Old 07-20-2011, 03:07 PM
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I agree with many of your points but as an aside you can't sue for libel that YOU wrote something in a letter....libel is someone writing something bad about you that proves to have a negative effect, not someone republishing something you wrote. If PB obtained the letters illegally maybe he could sue but not for libel ......

The point I was trying to make is this: Obviously what Burrell quoted the Earl as writing to Diana was indeed written by Earl Spencer or the Earl could have taken legal action. Apologies if I used the wrong legal term.
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  #784  
Old 07-20-2011, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Charlotte1 View Post
The Spencer Tiara being kept in the bank vault was confirmed by the various staff who involved in having it removed from the vault and transferred to KP! It had to be signed for so there is a paper trail!
It was kept in the bank vault since it wasn't the property of Diana but of Earl Spencer (father and son). Diana continued to borrow it but didn't have possession of it.
Can you please provide your sources for the information you are presenting as I have provided mine? Otherwise it can only be taken as opinion. Thank you.
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  #785  
Old 07-21-2011, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Aliza

Earl Spencer made a fuss about getting the tiara back from Diana because he was in the middle of an argument with her. He had agreed to lease her a house inside the park at Althorp and then reneged. When Diana would not communicate with him, he demanded the return of the tiara, although Diana was the only Spencer with reason to wear it often and she always knew it didn't "belong" to her. It was pure spite on the Earl's part. I find it disgusting how he "welcomed" his sister's body into Althorp and now charges people money to view the island and a museum about her when he wouldn't allow her to live there "because of the press and people intrusion". Guess he can take the intrusion now that it makes him money. His whole speech at Westminster Abbey said a lot of things correctly that needed to be said, but the Earl was the WRONG person to be saying them. The Spencers treated Diana badly with the exception of her father. Shame on them for profiting from her death.
The truth is, nobody would have ever heard of the Spencer tiara if it hadn't been for Diana. She made the tiara famous by wearing it at her wedding.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:49 AM
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And now the Spencers are eliminating the Diana Memorial Fund. More evidence of family devotion. Maybe if they hadn't wasted so much money on legal fees, (hundreds of thousands of £££ in only the first few months), they would have been able to use the money as intended when it was donated. The tickets to Althorp are fairly expensive; couldn't Earl Spencer have kept it going, considering how very wealthy you maintain he is? (I am being serious, not sarcastic.) And you still haven't explained why the Earl had to write to Patrick Jephson to have the Spencer tiara returned. He would hardly have had to do so if it had been in a bank. The Spencers did not deny anything quoted from them by Burrell; if they consider those letters normal family behaviour, even in a "tiff", no wonder the Princess complained of feeling unloved.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:23 PM
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I never heard of this visit until now, interesting. Do you remember where you read that.
The Diana inquest transcripts, they are still available online.

Aliza my sources come from having visited Althrop so read the information about Earl Spencer's income and the estate.(The information about income from property, commerical, farming, residential was all listed as well as forestry and the fact that there are 2 smaller estates elsewhere that belong to Earl Spencer) The sign on the hoardings surrounding the restoration of the outside of Althrop House explained about the 20 million pound self funded restoration of the outside of the house and the new roof. Information from the auction of household items and the catalogue of those items had written that the money was to fund the restoration of the house. It also explained that the items came from the attics in the Victoria stableblock, the pictures showed the household items, I was fascinated by the amount of pudding molds!

Earl Spencer has given many interviews, he was asked about the letter from him in the Burrell book. His reponse was the one I quoted, that Burrell didn't bother to include the many loving letters he exchanged with his sister. The April 1997 trip to South Africa, Diana did one public engagement and she was photographed with Nelson Mandela. The 2 weeks she spent there was with her brother and he was the one to say after her death how much she enjoyed the lack of media intrusion. Her time with her sister Sarah in July can be found in the Diana inquest transcripts. As well as the length of Diana's friendship with Rosa Monkton and Lucia de Fleca de Lima.

The information on the Spencer tiara. Well first and foremost it's still the 'Spencer tiara' owned by Earl Spencer! It was never owned by Diana, it was always loaned to her. The Spencer jewellery (including other tiaras, there is more than one 'Spencer Tiara') are kept in a bank vault in London. It's the jewellery experts who have spoken about the fact that Diana never had possession of the tiara and the process by which it had to be taken out from the bank. It was signed in and out so there is a record.

Information on Earl Spencer's wealth can be found in financial articles on wealth aristocrats. He's up there with the Dukes of Westminister, Becclauch(sp?), Malborough, Wellington.

Information on Althrop and its environs, so my view that Diana was a petulant child over not being given the house she wanted is based on having visited Althrop. Althrop House and its park is well away from the main road, there are several minor country roads you need to navigate, miss the turnoff to the House and you end up going through the oneway system through the Great Bingham village. It's not possible to turn back and go back to the turnoff, you need to do a large loop back to the main road and start again. (I found that out the hard way!) The Estate is more than just Althrop House and its park, Diana was offered a house on the Estate, just not the one she wanted. Considering the environs she would have easily got the privacy she wanted, Charles Spencer wasn't abandoning her to the paparazzi.

Althrop House, opening hours can be found on their website, as well as the small reference to Diana (not even on the Homepage) so Charles Spencer is hardly exploiting her! The exhibition also has a section on called "the work continues" which shows the projects funded by the Diana Memorial Fund. There's also a sign (as well as a press releases) as to the money Charles Spencer has donated to the Memorial Fund from the profits of the Diana Exhibition.

Just using 2 books to provide your information, the Burrell book in particular gave a distorted view since he had his viewpoint to promote, will not give you an accurate picture of Charles Spencer and his relationship to Diana. Using tabloid stories, 'suing for libel' (he never has!) selling titles (no, not done that either!) making money from his sister (how about checking into his real income source, there's certainly factual information out there!) Selling the 'treasures' of Althrop for himself (check the catalogue to see what was actually sold and what the money was being used for!!) Tabloids assume people want distorted information to suit a viewpoint they already have, much better to deal with facts!

In regards to the price of tickets at Althrop, they are comparable with the price of tickets at other Stately homes in the UK. (have you ever looked at the costs of other stately homes?) For the 8 week opening (far less than 6 months if he really wanted to make money!!!!!) additional staff needs to be employed and the ticket price covers their salaries, the gate staff, there's a little bus to take people from the gate to the house (for those who aren't all that mobile) so running costs of the bus, the staff who work in the tea shop, those who work in the souvenir shop and those inside the house as well as the additional security needed. Cleaners who would clean the public toilets.

Not having read Patrick Jephson's book I can't make a genuine comment on what he wrote. But I can speculate that maybe Diana had not returned the tiara after one of the times she borrowed it and her brother was saying 'hand it back' it needs to go back with the other Spencer Jewellery. (Depending on the date did his wife need to wear it?)
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  #788  
Old 07-24-2011, 12:03 PM
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Not one of Diana's friends who have been interviewed believe the island is an appropriate burial place for a woman who hated being alone.


I have always felt this way!

That island was where family pets were buried; I never liked the idea of burying Diana there. To me it smacked of medieval times, when outcasts were buried at some isolated crossroads.

I believed (and still do!) that she should have been interred somewhere in London (like St. Paul's or the Abbey, which already have security, so that people could visit her tomb and perhaps leave flowers and other tributes. Where's the harm in that?

I'm convinced that a woman like Diana, who always craved love and attention, would have liked that.
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  #789  
Old 07-24-2011, 12:15 PM
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I always thought Diana had been buried there as a way of honouring her mortal body with a peace and security that had become foreign to her throughout her adult life.

And a location where only those closest to her could visit and remember her without being watched or followed.
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  #790  
Old 07-24-2011, 12:29 PM
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I always thought Diana had been buried there as a way of honouring her mortal body with a peace and security that had become foreign to her throughout her adult life.

And a location where only those closest to her could visit and remember her without being watched or followed.
I agree 100%.
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  #791  
Old 07-24-2011, 12:39 PM
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So do I, princess jaime.

Imagine Will and Harry trying to leave bunches of flowers on, say, The Mall, somewhere where everyone could see them.....
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:43 PM
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I never really thought negatively of the Princess of Wales being buried on The Oval island. But Frogmore could've been a potential resting ground for her.
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  #793  
Old 07-25-2011, 08:35 AM
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I always thought Diana had been buried there as a way of honouring her mortal body with a peace and security that had become foreign to her throughout her adult life.

And a location where only those closest to her could visit and remember her without being watched or followed.

Oh right...because they visit so frequently?
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  #794  
Old 07-25-2011, 09:00 AM
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Oh right...because they visit so frequently?
I have no idea how frequently or infrequently Diana's family visit her grave, and neither do you I'm sure.

In any case, that's not really the point. You'd have had her entombed as some sort of hollywood star? To become some sort of tourist attraction? With all due respect, I fail to see the dignity in that myself. Especially in this day and age.

And why should Diana, a member of the royal family at the time of her death, but not a royal herself, been burried amongst Britain's King's and Queen's when not even the Queen's father, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather and great great grandmother are burried in such a setting. And many others before them too I might add.

Any place Diana would have been burried was likely to become a shrine of sorts and that just wasn't appropriate. Westminster Abbey would have unofficially become 'Diana Abbey' and I'd not even think to have burried her in the Cathedral of her nuptials. A cruel irony if ever there was one.

She was a remarkable and complex woman, and she died much too young in the most tragic of circumstances, but unlike in life, Diana's mortal shell was accorded in death the dignity of peace and tranquility. I admire the decision to have burried her away from public curiosity and to have put an end to the circus in the best way her family thought reasonable.
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  #795  
Old 07-28-2011, 07:35 AM
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I have no idea how frequently or infrequently Diana's family visit her grave, and neither do you I'm sure.
If it occurred frequently, we'd hear about it, I have no doubt whatsoever.

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In any case, that's not really the point. You'd have had her entombed as some sort of hollywood star? To become some sort of tourist attraction? With all due respect, I fail to see the dignity in that myself. Especially in this day and age.

And why should Diana, a member of the royal family at the time of her death, but not a royal herself, been burried amongst Britain's King's and Queen's when not even the Queen's father, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather and great great grandmother are burried in such a setting. And many others before them too I might add.
The Abbey is for notable people, not just for Queens and Kings.

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She was a remarkable and complex woman, and she died much too young in the most tragic of circumstances, but unlike in life, Diana's mortal shell was accorded in death the dignity of peace and tranquility. I admire the decision to have burried her away from public curiosity and to have put an end to the circus in the best way her family thought reasonable.
We'll have to agree to disagree; what you see as peaceful and dignified, I see as lonely and neglected. What's done is done, but I still think Diana herself would have preferred a different venue.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:42 AM
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What's done is done, but I still think Diana herself would have preferred a different venue.
Agreed, what's done is done. However I'm in no position to say I know what the thoughts of a deceased person were some 15 years ago...

Furthermore, in her will Diana would have stated where she wished to have been burried. If she did not do that, then the nature of her internment then lies with family. She wasn't a royal and wasn't married so naturally that decision then rested between her mother and siblings.

Either Diana wished to be burried at Althorp (least mentioned it ?) or her family thought it the most appropriate place. I've wondered if perhaps her family wanted her burried there, in a sense, so as to protect her in death, where perhaps they may feel as though they failed too in life. Who know's, I don't!
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:48 AM
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Why would we know the frequency of visits to Diana's grave? Personally I think that was one of the reasons that they picked the island on the estate so that they can grieve privately. With that in mind, I am reminded of Caroline Kennedy who choose to bury her brother, the late John F. Kennedy Jr. at sea. She didn't want his grave to become a site for fans.

To be honest, I am very dismayed that in the time of realtiy tv and instant news on the internet, we all expect to know everything about anyone who has a public identity (whether it be long term or Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of fame). Isn't anyone entitled to privacy at all? Especially when grieving?
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:52 AM
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I completely agree, Zonk.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:00 AM
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Why would we know the frequency of visits to Diana's grave?
Didn't we know when William took Kate there?

William lives his life in a fishbowl; the only privacy he gets is behind palace walls. If he was a frequent visitor to the gravesite, I think we would know. JMO.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:14 AM
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We knew because a Palace source or something like that told us. But his actions were not surprising....what new groom and/or bride whose parents are no longer with the living make such a pilgrimage the day after a life changing occasion? And this information was shared with the general public because people are interested in William, Catherine (and Harry) as well as Diana It makes perfect sense to me.

Yes, William lives his life in fishbowl when he is out in public but when he is not...do we know what he (or any member of the BRF) is doing 24/? What's he doing now? Again, unless he is living a Big Brother lifestyle and he has cameras on him 24/7 and it can be viewed by the public on television...we don't know what he does? In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if William and Harry haven't made the trip to the island on Diana's birthday's and/or Mother's Day. Maybe not all of them since she died but a couple. Are we privy to ALL the goings on at Althrop? I would imagine that Harry and William get plenty of privacy on the estate. Just as William has privacy in Wales. We just don't know about it because its none of our business.
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