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Thursday, 28 June, 2001, 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK
Diana museum 'beyond reproach'
Earl Spencer at Althorp House
The Earl says the museum is exactly what he wanted
Earl Spencer has dismissed accusations that he is "cashing in" on the death of his sister Diana, Princess of Wales, saying the museum devoted to his sister at their family home is "beyond reproach".

The museum at the Althorp estate, near Northampton, where Diana spent her teenage years, opens for its annual summer season on Sunday, which would have been her 40th birthday.

This year, as well as being able to see memorabilia of Diana's life and the island where her body is buried, visitors can view an exhibition devoted to the work of her memorial fund.

Princess Diana
Diana spent her teenage years at Althorp
Earl Spencer has also lent his support to the idea of building a fountain in central London as a memorial to the Diana.

He defended his decision to establish the museum and said it was exactly what he wanted.

"I am a brother who has lost a sister and brothers who lose sisters don't profit from their death," he said.

"I've always tried to balance my own ideas against what I think Diana would have wanted."

'Pride'

The Earl said he had ordered staff responsible for creating the museum "to take it into a different stratosphere from any other stately home in the country".

"I am very, very proud of what we have done," he added.

"I think it is a matter of pride for everyone who has been involved."

Diana memorial at Althorp
Visitors can see the island where Diana is buried
He said that he had lost about 200,000 last year but still made a donation to the memorial fund.

The Earl also revealed that Princes William and Harry, for whom he expressed concern at Diana's funeral in September 1997, were "coping very well".

He said on Thursday: "I was just hoping they would turn out as their mother would have wanted them to turn out.

"They have certainly done that.

"Over the past four years they have shown no sign of self pity.

"I think she would be immensely proud of them."

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18 Jul 00 | UK
Funds for Diana fountain
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