Spencer installed a magnificent 25-ft. tree dominating the Saloon, which boasts Althorp House’s main staircase. It’s “the largest tree we’ve ever had here,” he tweeted Wednesday.
Spencer, 53, and his wife Karen, the founder of Whole Child International, are expecting to host a large family celebration over the holidays.
The towering tree was unveiled as the cameras for a local TV station caught the finishing touches being made to the laying of a grand new carpet. Made in Nepal, it features a design by Countess Spencer, who chose an “S” topped with the Earl’s coronet and the couple’s initials on each side.
The new carpet on the Saloon staircase at @AlthorpEstate – today is it’s first day in place. Here’s hoping that it at least matches the longevity of its predecessor, which lasted 150 years. #English #AlthorpLivingHistory #classical #heritage #Interiors #historicpreservation pic.twitter.com/OfLaVGGRyY
— Charles Spencer (@cspencer1508) December 6, 2017
The date of the couple’s 2011 wedding is also there, Spencer explained to the BBC’s Look East show, along with the names of our “extraordinary” number of nine children, he said.”Hopefully for 150-200 years it will commemorate the family that was living here now.”
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The search for a new carpet began as the Spencers wanted to replace the existing one, which was 160 years old. “Despairing” about the best place to get it made, Spencer told the BBC, his friend Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes (who knows “everything about historic houses”) recommended a place in Nepal that would be perfect, and “my wife came up with this really lovely design,” he added.
“As children, we used to bomb down here on tea trays,” he said of his days with his late sister Diana. “I’m afraid my children did it too — it’s a family tradition.”