Charles Spencer, the well-known historian and author, shared an intriguing aspect of his schooldays on a recent episode of his popular podcast, Rabbit Hole Detectives. In the midst of a conversation with his co-hosts, Richard Coles and Dr. Cat Jarman, the father-of-seven confessed an unexpected detail about his boarding school experience in the seventies. He revealed that during that time, he and his fellow students only changed their clothes once a week. Such a practice may seem peculiar by today’s standards, emphasizing the vast differences between past and present educational norms.
Moving ahead in time, Charles Spencer delved into his experience at Eton College, a prestigious institution he attended along with his nephews, Prince William and Prince Harry. Reflecting on his time there, he disclosed a striking rule that now appears quite peculiar. At Eton, students were allowed a daily allocation of two pints of beer. While the expectation was that this privilege would commence at a more mature age, Charles humorously shared that the practice began around the age of 16. Chuckles arose as co-host Cat enquired, “From what age?” to which Richard humorously retorted, “Eight.” The Earl proceeded to explain how the students calculated that the chosen beverage, two pints of Pils, was significantly stronger and ensured a long-lasting effect, making it customary to consume it by mid-morning, leading to a rather hazy remainder of the day. The anecdote highlights the unique customs and humorously unconventional occurrences within the corridors of Eton College.
While Charles Spencer’s journey through education has shaped him into the knowledgeable historian he is today, one wonders if his daughter, Lady Lara Spencer, will follow in his footsteps. During a discussion revolving around libraries, Charles subtly hinted at the possibility of his daughter pursuing higher education in the United States. He emphasized that during his recent tour of East Coast universities with his teenage daughter, he noticed that the number of books housed in the libraries held significant value and even represented a status symbol. This observation suggests that Lara may decide to seek academic opportunities across the pond, following in the footsteps of her late aunt, who displayed a fondness for the States and even embarked on her first solo trip to New York in 1989. Although residing on the opposite coast from Lara’s cousin Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, attending an American university could potentially provide her with the opportunity to reunite with her relatives.
Althorp Estate’s Legacy
Throughout his youth, Charles grew up at Althorp, the Spencer family estate, along with his older sisters Sarah and Jane. Althorp has served as a significant part of their lives since 1975 when their grandfather passed away, and their father John assumed the title of Earl Spencer. Today, Charles serves as the custodian of the historic property, alongside his wife Karen, and upholds its preservation by welcoming visitors during the summer months. However, an update on the Althorp Instagram account indicates that the estate will soon close its doors for the season. The post reminds followers and enthusiasts to book their tickets before the 31st of August, and further details and FAQs can be found on the website. An accompanying enchanting image portrays the peaceful deer park, where the graceful animals are beautifully reflected in the lake, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the serenity of the surroundings.
Charles Spencer’s enlightening revelations about his unique schooldays and his daughter’s potential academic journey in America provide us with a fresh perspective on the notable historian’s life and family dynamics. The stories of Charles’ youthful experiences shed light on the divergent practices of past and present, while also sparking amusement and astonishment. Meanwhile, the possibility of Lady Lara Spencer emulating her late aunt’s affinity for the United States adds an exciting dimension to the Spencer family’s international connections. Finally, the pending closure of Althorp Estate for the season reminds us of the Spencer family’s commitment to preserving their ancestral home and sharing its beauty with the public. Overall, Charles Spencer continues to captivate audiences with his intriguing tales and ongoing contributions to history and heritage.