Charles Spencer in tears over 'overwhelmingly beautiful' tribute to Princess Diana on 60th birthday

Charles Spencer in a blue shirt and jacket
(Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

Charles Spencer was left tearful when he marked his 60th birthday with close friends and family over the weekend.

The 9th Earl Spencer explained that some of his loved ones had secretly handcrafted a birthday present that paid tribute to his late sister Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997.

Charles Spencer's canoe next to the Oval Lake
The Earl Spencer was gifted a canoe to visit his sister's resting place for his 60th birthday (Instagram)

A beautiful canoe was positioned on the bank next to the Oval Lake at his ancestral home Althorp House, the sprawling 13,000-acre estate where Diana and Charles grew up with their siblings.

Diana was buried on a small island in the middle, only accessible via boat for family members. Charles said it was "overwhelmingly beautiful" that his friends had kept the late Princess of Wales in their thoughts for his milestone birthday.

The burial site of the late Princess Diana
Oval Lake is the burial site of the late Princess Diana (Getty)

"Today I turn 60. I had 30 friends and family to stay over the weekend. The speech at dinner on Saturday was given by 'William Purefoy', who was a fellow new boy at Maidwell - those who’ve read A Very Private School will know him.


"I was brought down to the lake at Althorp by a friend, on Saturday. Her husband handmade this astonishingly beautiful canoe for me, as a surprise, over many months. I cried on seeing it. It’s almost too exquisite to paddle.

Diana Princess of Wales with her Brother Charles, Lord Alhorp (Earl Spencer) in 1968
Charles and Diana lived at Althorp as children (Getty)

"The husband said: 'I just thought it’d be useful, when you visit your sister'. Such an overwhelmingly beautiful thought," he captioned the sun-drenched photos.

Princess Diana's final resting place

lake covered in mist
Earl Spencer often shares beautiful photos of the Oval Lake at his family home in Northamptonshire (Instagram)

Charles often shares pictures of the beautiful scenery of the Oval Lake, from the "achingly beautiful" mist at the water's surface to the dappled sunlight through the trees.

Aerial view of Althorp, this grade 1 listed stately home was the home of Lady Diana Spencer who later became the Princess of Wales, it is located on the Harlestone Road between the villages of Great Brington and Harlestone, 5 miles north west of Northampton.
The sprawling home is set on 13,000 acres (David Goddard)

Althorp is open to the public from 1 July to 31 August, which happens to be the anniversaries of Princess Diana's birth and death – a "strange coincidence" agreed five years before she passed away. During those months, guests can leave floral tributes and letters to Diana at a special memorial near her resting place.

Explaining his reason for burying Diana so close to home, Charles previously said: "It has been decided to bury Diana, Princess of Wales, in the grounds of Althorp Park, where her grave can be properly looked after by her family and visited in privacy by her sons."

He had originally planned to lay Diana to rest in the family tombs at a local church, but he told BBC he was "very worried" about her safety, considering her global status. Charles was later confident in his decision to choose Althorp instead, telling People: "She’s in a happy and secure place."

READ: Charles Spencer's children: everything you need to know about the Earl of Spencer family life