The histories of the Spencer Family’s Heritage and Althorp are so tightly entwined that they would be impossible to unravel and separate. All the Spencer's favourite possessions, which have cascaded down the generations, have ended up in Althorp, this most English of houses, just an hour north of London. Enter its 550- acre park, and you find yourself in a peaceful setting that radiates timeless good taste, with its swathes of fine English oaks stretching out in every direction, while the family’s rare herd of black fallow deer graze beneath. It’s a scene familiar to each of the 19 generations of Spencer's who have known and loved this corner of England. When Columbus was sailing towards America, our family was farming. When Britain was defying Hitler, it was a Spencer cousin who helped lead the way – our wartime prime minister’s full family name was Spencer-Churchill, though everyone shortens him to Winston Churchill. All through history, during the past five centuries or more, it seems you will find a Spencer there or thereabouts, making their mark, doing their best. These Spencer ancestors were able to indulge their tastes – to commission art, furniture, and all the finer things in life. You can see the Spencer touch in every corner of Althorp – this historic house that my family has called “home” for over 500 years, and which for the past decade, has been given unprecedented care and attention. A massive program of restoration and repair has taken place, which our partnership with Theodore Alexander has certainly helped. I like to think that, for generations, the house has looked after the furniture. Recently, the very finest handmade reproductions of that furniture by Theodore Alexander have helped restore the house to the very best condition. It seems right and fair. It is not just the tangible pieces that make up a family’s heritage, of course: it is the people themselves. While the continued ownership and enjoyment of this great house by my family is something that I remain always so grateful for, I never forget the expectations and hopes of generations gone by. This house, this family – together, they sum up something that is authentic and pure, historic yet still deeply relevant. Althorp has a living history, yes. But, underpinning it all is that factor that sets the tone, and sums up the good fortune, the continuity and the fine taste that underscore everything tangible and intangible connected with this exceptional furniture line - something I call Spencer Heritage.