Front Page

UK

World

Business

Sci/Tech

Sport

Despatches

World Summary


On Air

Cantonese

Talking Point

Feedback

Text Only

Help

Site Map

Tuesday, January 6, 1998 Published at 15:03 GMT



UK

10,000 a minute call Diana hotline
image: [ Demand for tickets has come from all over the world ]
Demand for tickets has come from all over the world

The telephone lines selling tickets to see Diana's island grave at Althorp received an estimated 10,000 calls a minute on Monday.

More than 200 telephone operators were working to cope with the huge demand for tickets to visit her family's estate in central England, Althorp Park, where she is buried on an island at the centre of an ornamental lake.

But organisers say that they hope that they will be able to deal with the mass of phone calls to Althorp.

British Telecom said the demand, though huge, was probably less than a phone-in line for a big television show or on a line set up following a major disaster.

The tickets, costing £9.50 (around $15) for adults and £5 ($8) for children, are compulsory for all visitors.

The park, which is 120 km north-west of London, will be open to ticket-holders from July 1 - the Princess's birthday - until August 30, the eve of the first anniversary of her death.

The Earl Spencer, Diana's brother, who made the visiting arrangements, believes pre-paid tickets are the only way to control the flood of expected pilgrims to the site.

He has expressed concern that touts will try to profit by buying blocks of tickets.

But he says he has devised a scheme which he hopes will prevent tickets falling into the hands of profiteers.


[ image: Althorp House in Northamptonshire]
Althorp House in Northamptonshire
On open days, the visitors will be allowed to view the island but will not be allowed to set foot on the island where the princess is buried. They are expected to be able to walk around the lake and visit a museum in the grounds chronicling Diana's life.

The nearby church of Mary the Virgin, Great Brington, has attracted around 1,000 visitors a week since Diana's death on August 31 last year.

Althorp has been open to the public in the past, attracting about 10,000 visitors a year.

The seasonal visiting arrangements for people who wish to see the island grave at Althorp have been welcomed by local villagers.

The Reverend David MacPherson, of St Mary's in nearby Great Brington, said his parishioners had reacted with good will to the idea that the grave site would only be open for two months of the year.

He said: "There is a general feeling that the way things are being organised are of benefit to the estate and the local community. The comments I have heard have been that it is a good idea to sell tickets."

Villagers had been wary of the prospect of huge numbers of visitors throughout the year.


 





Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

©

  Relevant Stories

01 Jan 98 | World
White Fiat seen near Diana crash site

01 Jan 98 | Despatches
New details of Diana crash revealed

01 Jan 98 | UK
Carey in tribute to Diana

30 Dec 97 | UK
Memorial garden planned at Diana's home

22 Dec 97 | UK
Cashing in on Diana

19 Dec 97 | UK
Doubts over Diana and Dodi's 'last interview'

19 Dec 97 | UK
Tabloids get code of honour after Diana's death

29 Nov 97 | UK
Diana trademark to be protected

27 Nov 97 | World
Earl Spencer drops efforts to gag newspapers

 
  Internet Links

BBC Special Report - Diana Remembered

The British Monarchy

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund

Althorp information service


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
 
In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online





UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England