Tags: princess diana | charles spencer | royals

Princess Diana's Brother Shares Details of Their Unhappy Childhood

charles spencer stands in a church in 2011
Charles Spencer, shown in 2011 (KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 14 September 2020 01:00 PM

Princess Diana's brother is sharing details of their "unhappy childhood" and the divorce of their parents. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Charles Spencer admitted he and his late sister had a difficult time growing up and it was largely due to a strained relationship with their mother, Frances Shand Kydd, who divorced their father, John Spencer, the 8th Earl Spencer, in 1969.

"Diana and I had two older sisters who were away at school, so she and I were very much in it together and I did talk to her about it," Charles said, referencing his siblings, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Jane Fellowes, Baroness Fellowes.

"Our father was a quiet and constant source of love, but our mother wasn't cut out for maternity. Not her fault, she couldn't do it," Charles continued. "While she was packing her stuff to leave, she promised Diana [then aged 5] she'd come back to see her. Diana used to wait on the doorstep for her, but she never came."

Charles said he spent 20 years in and out of therapy to deal with his "unhappy childhood" and the experience was "agonizing and horrible." He eventually overcame the pain, years after their mother's death in 2004.

"Coming out the other side has been good," he explained. "The one thing I've learned through all the stuff I've tackled is that very few people set out to be destructive."

Diana also struggled to bond with her stepmother, Countess Raine Spencer, and in a heated moment reportedly pushed her so hard she fell down the stairs. The incident took place in September 1989. Diana was 28 years old and still living at her childhood home, Althorp House in Northamptonshire. Raine had been married to Diana's father for 13 years and her relationship with Diana had grown increasingly difficult, according to the New York Post.

The countess' former personal assistant, Sue Howe, recalled how "badly bruised" and "dreadfully upset" Raine was. "It was a cruel and heartless thing to do," Howe said in a documentary "Princess Diana's 'Wicked' Stepmother."

When Diana's father died in 1992, she and her siblings asked Raine to leave Althorp. Diana was able to reconcile with her stepmother before dying in a car accident in 1997. Raine passed away 19 years later.

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Princess Diana's brother is sharing details of their "unhappy childhood" and the divorce of their parents.
princess diana, charles spencer, royals
Monday, 14 September 2020 01:00 PM
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