Where is Princess Diana buried and can you visit her grave?

The resting place of the People's Princess

a close up of Princess Diana's grave at the Althorp estate
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

As another year since her tragic and untimely death passes her memory is kept alive with not only those who knew and loved her sharing their memories but even those who weren’t born are taught about her life and the impact she had. We share where the late Princess Diana is buried.

This year (2023) marks 26 years since the day Princess Diana died - 31 August 1997 - a date that many remember vividly for the shockwaves the sad news sent across the globe. Known as the "People's Princess" - it was the public who indeed mourned the loss of Princess Diana following the car crash in Paris that killed her, her then-boyfriend at the time Dodi Fayed (son of Mohamed Al Fayed), and driver Henri Paul. The sole survivor of the incident was Princess Diana's bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones.

Her tragic death is about to be featured in the upcoming season six of The Crown on Netflix, with her son Prince William as he deals with his ‘mother’s death’.

Many will recall the thousands of flowers laid outside Buckingham Palace in the aftermath and the image of her two young sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, walking behind their mother's coffin at the funeral. But people are less familiar with where Princess Diana was buried and whether her grave is accessible to the public. Here's everything you need to know…

Where is Princess Diana buried?

Princess Diana is buried on a small island known as 'The Oval' at Althorp Park, Northamptonshire, which is the home of the Spencer family. The estate was bought in 1508 by John Spencer and Diana is said to have loved the grounds and the house. 

Her body is buried on the island, which is next to an ornamental lake (called The Oval) within Althorp Park's Pleasure Garden. The area is surrounded by trees planted by Prince William, Prince Harry, and even Diana herself.

a long shot of Princess Diana's grave at Althorp Estate

(Image credit: Getty)

The original plan was for Diana to be laid to rest at the nearby Great Brington church. Several Spencer family members including Diana's father are buried here in the Spencer Family Vault. However, this plan was later abandoned, with the family concerned about the safety and security of her grave. They also worried that the local church and Brington would be overwhelmed by the number of visitors wanting to see the late Princess' grave.

Whilst Diana did have a public funeral, it was a royal ceremonial funeral rather than a state funeral, and her burial was a private affair with family members only.

Can you visit Princess Diana's grave?

Yes, you can visit Althorp Park. The family estate is located an hour and a half outside of London. Whilst Diana's grave on the island is not accessible to the public, it can be viewed from a distance and there is an opportunity to leave flowers at a nearby memorial. However, the house and park are only open to the public at a certain time of the year. Althorpe Estate has announced on its official website that “Althorp House is now closed for the season. We look forward to welcoming you in the summer of 2024.” As each year the house and gardens are open from the beginning of July until the end of August. In 2023 it was open from Monday 3rd July until Thursday 31st August. The exact opening dates for 2024 have not yet been announced but it could open as early as Monday, July 1st.

The memorial temple features a black-and-white marble plaque of Diana, with her name engraved across the top. It also bears a Princess Diana quote which reads: "Nothing brings me more happiness than trying to help the most vulnerable people in society. It is a goal and an essential part of my life. A kind of destiny. Whoever is in distress can call on me. I will come running wherever they are."

Diana’s brother Earl Charles Spencer surprised royal fans when he revealed that although the temple is a place to worship Diana, the construction was not actually built for her.

He penned, “Beautiful autumn colours in the grounds of Althorp House today. This temple, now dedicated to my late sister’s memory, was originally commissioned by our ancestor George John Spencer. He was in charge of the Royal Navy in the early part of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1798 initial reports from Egypt said the British fleet had been destroyed in a crucial battle by the French. George John fainted with shock.”

His post continued, “When the true version of the Battle of the Nile followed, outlining what was an astonishing victory by Nelson over the French, George John had this structure built - in thanks to God. It overlooks the Round Oval lake at Althorp and has become the place where kind visitors like to leave flowers in memory of Diana."

Why was Princess Diana buried in a coffin?

Though Princess Diana was divorced from Prince Charles - and no longer considered royal - she was buried in a lead-lined coffin which is traditional royal protocol, even though she wasn't buried near other members of the Royal Family.

This is because Diana was a famous figure and as she was so adored by the British public it was decided that a public funeral and royal coffin be appropriate.

Diana's coffin traveled back from Paris - where she died - and was initially held at the Chapel Royal at St James's ahead of her funeral. However, the coffin was later moved to Kensington Palace - her former home - following safety concerns. Following the public funeral, a private burial took place at Althorp.

The lead lining in Diana's coffin helps preserve the body and slows down the decomposition of the body - creating an airtight seal that fends off moisture. It was important that her coffin also be lead-lined, especially as she lay to rest in a vault. UK law states that a coffin must be sealed if it is for internment above ground.

Prince Harry revealed in his memoir Spare that although he wished to be buried alongside his mother, it was not deemed possible, so he has chosen to have his body laid to rest at Frogmore House. It’s likely that his initial burial request was denied for traditional reasons, as despite being a stately home, the house and estate aren’t an official royal residence.

Do Prince William and Prince Harry visit Diana's grave?

Yes, over the years, Diana's two sons Prince William and Prince Harry have both visited their mother's grave. In July 2017, the two princes attended a private service at her grave to mark 20 years since her death - it was held on what would have been her 56th birthday.

Held at Althorp House - where Diana is buried - the service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. The Duchess of Cambridge (now known as Kate, Princess of Wales), Prince George, and sister Princess Charlotte were also at the ceremony.

And whilst Prince Harry is now living in LA - and thousands of miles away - he still makes sure to pay his respects on important occasions. On Mother's Day 2021, a spokesperson for the Prince told Insider: "The Duke arranged for flowers to be laid at his mother's grave on Sunday morning."

The same day, Prince William's three children (born after her untimely death) wrote cards to their "Granny Diana" - as shared by the official Kensington Palace social media account.

And in 2023 it was reported by Hello! that Prince Harry secretly took his wife Meghan Markle to see his late mother’s grave in 2022. The details of the visit were revealed by Prince Harry in his explosive memoir Spare.

Speaking about their troublesome journey and Meghan’s special prayer, Harry revealed that their boat got stuck in the mud but luckily Diana’s brother Earl was on hand to give them “a little push”.

He told fans that it was Meghan’s first time at the burial site and that he left flowers at her grave. 

"I was finally bringing the girl of my dreams home so she would meet my mother," the memoir reads.

He noted that he mentally asked his mother for guidance and to see things clearly, and when he asked Meghan what she prayed for, she replied with the same.

Has King Charles visited Princess Diana's grave?

Princess Diana's brother confirmed in an interview in 2001 that King Charles, who was known by the title Prince Charles at the time, had never visited Diana's grave. Earl Spencer said, “Prince Charles has an open invitation, as he knows, to come to the memorial but he has yet to take up that invitation."

As reported by the Daily Mail, the interview was between the Earl and then-Radio Five presenter Simon Mayo. Asking why he thought Charles had not paid a visit, Spencer added, "Look at it from his point of view. It's an ex-wife at the end of the day and maybe that's how he views it.

"He recently said he wanted to draw a line under the whole episode and let Diana rest in peace and maybe he views him not going there as helping that process."

Earl Spencer shaking hands with his nephews Prince William and Prince Harry

(Image credit: Getty)

No new information on whether Charles has visited Diana's grave has been shared since the interview. However, Cheatsheet reported that a statement was released on behalf of the Duke of Cornwall, who is now known as King Charles, sharing that: “The matter of whether Prince Charles has visited the late Princess of Wales’s grave is a personal and private matter for him.”

Meanwhile, royal expert Robert Jobson told the Royal Beat podcast Charles once ‘smashed a window’ during a visit to Diana’s childhood home and ‘never went back’.

He claimed, “Charles only really went there once and stayed there, I remember this little story that happened when he was there.

"He got into such a mood that he was trying to open the window, and he couldn't open the window and he smashed the window when he was there.

"He never went back.

"He couldn't get it to open because he wanted the air to come in and he couldn't open the window."

In other royal news, King Charles set to abandon a £100 million royal family hobby that’s been passed down for generations, and Kate Middleton’s 'two veg' breakfast is an easy energy boost for busy mums.

Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.

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