The police launch an investigation into Charles Spencer’s boarding school

Authorities have launched an investigation into Maidwell Hall, the elite British boarding school where Charles Spencer recently claimed he was molested as a student.

On June 10, Northamptonshire Police announced that an investigation had been launched into allegations of recent sexual abuse at the school. The update came after police “carried out a preliminary investigation into allegations of abuse which allegedly occurred in the 1970s at Maidwell Hall School earlier this year.”

“We are in the early stages of investigating a number of recent allegations of sexual abuse at Maidwell Hall School,” a police spokesman said in a statement. “Northamptonshire Police takes all allegations of harassment very seriously and if a report is received we will pursue all available lines of inquiry to help bring perpetrators to justice.”

Anyone experiencing violence in the county at any time should contact authorities.

Maidwell Hall declined to comment when contacted by PEOPLE, citing the ongoing police investigation.

Aerial view of Maidewell Hall in Northampton, England, March 2018.

Getty Images

Princess Diana’s younger brother enrolled at Maidwell Hall at the age of 8 and described his harrowing five years in his memoirs: A very private school, published in March. The 9th Earl Spencer claimed he was a victim of physical, verbal and sexual abuse at an all-boys school in the English countryside near Althorp House, the Spencer family home where he and Diana grew up.

Writing this book was difficult and plunged Charles into a painful past.

“I always felt like I had dealt with this chapter of my life and ended it,” Earl Spencer, 60, said in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE. “But talking to my classmates and hearing their experiences really encouraged me. I was very struck by the horror of what they shared. And that was the hardest thing.”

A Very Private School: A Memoir by Charles Spencer.

After A very private school was published, Maidwell Hall issued a statement saying that after learning of the allegations, it “immediately referred the matter to LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) to ensure that any disclosures are handled in a sensitive, expeditious and professional manner.” after learning of the allegations and encouraged anyone with a similar experience to contact the school or police.

Their statement said in part: “It was very sobering to read about the experiences of young Charles Spencer and some of his contemporaries at school and we are sorry that this was their experience. “It’s difficult to read about practices that were, unfortunately, sometimes considered normal and acceptable at the time.”

Adding that “almost every aspect of school life has evolved significantly since the 1970s,” the school said, “underpinning these changes is the strict safeguarding of children – protecting them from abuse and ill-treatment – and promoting their well-being.”

Chris Jackson/Getty

The Northamptonshire Police investigation into Maidwell Hall follows the news that the 9th Earl Spencer and his wife Karen Spencer have divorced after almost 13 years of marriage. Charles announced their separation Mail on Sunday June 8.

“It’s extremely sad,” he told the portal. “I just want to dedicate myself to all my children and grandchildren and I wish Karen all the happiness in the future.”

According to the website, Charles’s relationship with the 52-year-old Countess Spencer came to an end when he wrote his diaries. The former couple announced their split to Althorp staff in April.

Charles and Karen were married in Althorp on June 18, 2011, and together they have a 12-year-old daughter, Charlotte Diana, whose middle name comes from her late aunt. They were both already married and are parents of older children from previous relationships.

Can’t get enough of PEOPLE’s Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

June 9 Times reported that Charles had hired the same lawyer King Charles tapped in his divorce from Princess Diana in 1996. Earl Spencer reportedly retained power attorney Fiona Shackleton, who also represented Prince Andrew, Paul McCartney and Princess Haya bint al-Hussein of Jordan in their splits with ex-spouses.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the crisis line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.