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The birthplace of Diana, Princess of Wales


PAISLEY SCOTLAND/FLICKR

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.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.