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Report break-ins at Princess Diana’s grave

December 2, 1997

LONDON (AP) _ Several people have broken into the Spencer family estate in search of souvenirs from Princess Diana’s grave, the manager of Althorp said, according to a British tabloid.

``There are some sick people out there who would like to find a coffin and take off the brass plate on the coffin lid,″ estate manager David Horton-Fawkes was quoted as saying by The Sun newspaper.

He was quoted in Tuesday’s edition as saying that several people climbed over walls and attempted to reach the island where Diana is buried. The newspaper said all intruders had been caught by estate staff.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday that lawyers representing the princess’ memorial fund had applied to patent 26 of the most famous pictures taken of Diana as well as the name, ``Diana, Princess of Wales.″

The newspaper said the fund seeks to control the use of Diana images in goods ranging from books to clothes and memorabilia.

``We want to register her face as a trademark so we can protect that image and to stop any distasteful use of it,″ the newspaper quoted Kate Knightley-Day, the fund’s spokeswoman, as saying.

After Diana’s death Aug. 31 following a car crash in Paris, the Spencer family chose a burial spot on an island in a small lake at their Althorp estate in Northamptonshire. The exact location of the grave is not marked.

Horton-Fawkes said more security measures would be taken, The Sun said.

On Friday, the local government council said the Althorp estate had applied for permission to build a 6-foot-high fence around the island.

Officials at Althorp hope the fence will help ensure that the island and the lake are not damaged by visitors when the estate is opened to the public in July and August.

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