It has been announced by Earl Spencer and his American wife Countess Karen Spencer that they will be opening the gates of the Althorp Estate to visitors to actually stay with them. Money raised from this very exclusive weekend break will go to support the work of Whole Child, a charity set up by Countess Spencer to improve the conditions of children living in orphanages throughout the world. “I’ve always thought of this house as contributing,” Earl Charles Spencer “It’s not just a little bastion or fortress of privilege.”
This was in an exclusive interview that the Earl and Countess gave to Cynthia McFadden of NBC. The full interview which includes a rare and intimate tour of the 500-year-old mansion in Northamptonshire, England, and a visit to Nicaragua to see the work of Whole Child, will be broadcast on NBC Sunday evening 7:00pm ET or 6:00pm CT during “On Assignment”. One of the questions she asked was out of the two of them who had the original idea. The Countess raised her hand, but the Earl was quick to point out that he was totally on-board with the idea.
It was announced that guests will be able to stay in estate, which has welcomed many guests through the centuries including the artist Joshua Reynolds, playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and actor David Garrick. The house was also where Princess Diana grew up, and is also interred on an island in the lake.
In addition to a friendly chat with the couple in Althorp, Cynthia McFadden also visited Nicaragua with the Countess to see the work her charity was doing. Although, there is a body of opinion that would love to see all orphanages closed, independent researchers have seen significant improvements as a result of the work of her charity.
After the programme has been aired on Sunday, I hope to have a chance to interview Cynthia and how she found both visiting Althorp, and also perhaps more poignantly the visit to Nicaragua.