Grave robbers tried to steal Diana's body from Northamptonshire resting place, Earl Spencer claims

Earl Spencer says gravediggers have attempted to steal Princess Diana's body on four occasions.
Earl Spencer says gravediggers have attempted to steal Princess Diana's body on four occasions.

The brother of Princess Diana has revealed how grave robbers have tried to steal her body from its resting place in Northamptonshire four times in the past 20 years.

Speaking to BBC Radio Four's Today programme this morning, Earl Spencer spoke of his ongoing grief in the run up to the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death on August 31, 1997.

The Althorp estate where Princess Diana is buried.

The Althorp estate where Princess Diana is buried.

But during the interview he revealed that fanatics have made a number of attempts at stealing her body from its resting place on an island within the Spencer estate in Althorp.

"I was very worried about where we could safely bury her," he told Today.

"We have had four attempted break-ins towards her body in the last 20 years.

"And I'm very glad that we have seen all of them off.

"There are some odd people out there and keeping her right here is the safest place."

Earl Spencer, who gave the eulogy at Diana’s funeral, also claimed he was “lied to” by a Buckingham Palace courtier in the run up to the 1997 state funeral.

He claims that, at the time, he was told Prince William and Prince Harry wanted to walk behind their mother’s coffin.

He said: “There were aspects of royal life in those days, which, even 20 years on, don't make sense.

"I had been a passionate advocate for William and Harry not to have to walk behind their mother’s body. I thought it was a bizarre and cruel thing for them to be asked to do.

“I was liaising with some courtier at Buckingham Palace and he mentioned it, and I went ‘Of course they are not going to do that’, and he said ‘Well it’s been decided."

Northamptonshire Police could not confirm whether the four break-ins at the Althorp estate had been reported.

Neighbourhood sergeant for the area Sam Dobbs said: "As part of our rural crime strategy we work collaboratively with the Althorp estate as we do the other rural businesses and landowners to advise them on security and crime... and deal with incidents as they occur."