Princess Diana
Source: Getty Images

Princess Diana's Parents Were Integral to Who She Eventually Became as a Royal


Mar. 5 2021, Published 12:39 p.m. ET

The untimely death of Princess Diana to this day remains one of the most enduring moments to transpire regarding the British royal family in the 20th century. An earth-shaking loss, the void that Diana left in many royal fans' hearts is undeniable even to this day.

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Beyond Diana the public figure that countless individuals have come to know and love over the years, who was Diana as a family woman? Here's an inside look at her relationship with her parents, as well as her sisters.

princess diana parents
Source: Getty Images
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Princess Diana's parents were both royally connected.

Diana Frances Spencer, born July 1, 1961, at Park House, a royal property in Sandringham, Norfolk, England, was the daughter of John Spencer (born Jan. 24, 1924) and Frances Ruth Roche (born Jan. 20, 1936), who, funny enough, both also had family ties to Park House. 

John, the son of Albert Spencer, who served as the 7th Earl Spencer, and Lady Cynthia Hamilton, was a prominent figurehead in British politics at the time, and his marriage to Frances was a spectacle. 

The pair were married at Westminster Abbey, as many royal couples opt to do. Frances' mother was a close confidant of Queen Elizabeth I, and as such, many high-ranking royals, including the queen herself, were in attendance at the opulent ceremony.

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princess diana parents
Source: Getty Images

Diana also had two sisters that she remained close with through life.

Although she often is heralded with all the spotlight, Diana is actually one of three Spencer sisters and the youngest at that. Her oldest sister, Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer, born on Mar. 19, 1955, actually dated Prince Charles for some time before introducing him to Diana. 

Known widely as just Sarah, she eventually went on to marry Neil Edmund McCorquodale and was an integral part of the Spencer sisterhood. Sarah is regarded by many as Diana's hero as a child.

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Cynthia Jane Spencer, who was born on Feb. 11, 1957, became largely regarded as "Lady Jane" and went on to hold a fairly significant role in the royal family as well. She has been known for some time as the least assertive Spencer sister and only got closer to Diana as they became adults. 

She married Robert Fellowes in 1978, and they had three children together. According to Earl and Lady Sarah Spencer, she was actually the sibling to first report Diana's tragic death in a car crash.

Diana also had a younger brother named Charles Edward Maurice Spencer who was born on May 20, 1964. A well-regarded author, journalist, and broadcaster, Edward, who was educated at Eton College, was given the title of Viscount Althorp when his father became Earl Spencer in 1975.

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princess diana parents
Source: Getty Images

The siblings notably have been lying low for years since the death of Diana but decided to step out for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's lavish and largely historic wedding. In a statement from the palace at the time, their involvement was detailed as, "All three siblings of Diana, Princess of Wales will be in attendance and Lady Jane Fellowes will give the reading. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle both feel honoured that Lady Jane will be representing her family and helping to celebrate the memory of the late Princess on the wedding day."

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