It’s the place where one of the most famous royal stories of the 20th century began. Park House, on the Sandringham Estate, was the birthplace of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Diana was born there on July 1st 1961. Her parents, then Viscount and Viscountess Althorp, leased the property which sits near the main royal residence at Sandringham. They were also close to the Royal Family and Diana would spend time around the Windsors as she grew up there.
Park House was built in 1863 for the future Edward VII. Then, still Prince of Wales, he needed a new home for a senior member of his household and the airy house with its huge bay windows was started. Sitting amidst pretty gardens, it is also close to the Norfolk coast and it developed into a family home.
There were lots of family links for Diana there, too. Her maternal grandparents had also leased the house from King George V and Diana’s mother, Frances, had been born there in 1936.
Diana, who was baptised at the nearby St. Mary Magdalene Church, spent her earliest years at Park House. Her parents divorced in 1969 and her father was given custody of his four surviving children. In 1975, he became Earl Spencer and the family’s official residence became Althorp House in Northamptonshire.
In 1987, the Queen gave Park House to the charity, Leonard Cheshire which supports independent living for people of all abilities. It is now a hotel adapted for people with disabilities.
Park House is just one of the buildings associated with Diana featured in our special podcast with author, Deb Stratas, which you can listen to on our Podbean page.