Princess Diana 'used to wait on the doorstep for her mother to return'

Heartbroken Princess Diana ‘used to wait on the doorstep for her mother to return’ home after her parents’ divorce ‘but she never came’, her brother Charles Spencer reveals

  • Earl Spencer, 55, who lives in Althorp House, discussed their childhood today 
  • Princess Diana ‘used to wait on the doorstep for her mother to return’ as a child
  • Diana’s mother Frances Shand Kydd left her father John Spencer in 1969
  • She moved out of the family home when the princess was just seven 

A heartbroken Princess Diana ‘used to wait on the doorstep for her mother to return’ home following her parents’ divorce, her brother Earl Spencer has revealed.

Diana’s mother Frances Shand Kydd, who passed away in 2004, aged 68, left her father John Spencer, for wallpaper tycoon Peter Shand Kydd in 1969. 

She moved out of the family home when the princess was just seven – after losing a bitter custody battle for her four children. Diana and her mother had a rocky relationship and weren’t on speaking terms before her death in 1997.

But Diana’s younger brother Charles Spencer, 56, who lives in Althorp House, his family seat in the Northamptonshire countryside, has told The Sunday Times how his sibling would wait in vain for their mother’s return.

A heartbroken Princess Diana (pictured with her mother in 1989)  ‘used to wait on the doorstep for her mother to return’ following her parents’ divorce, her brother Earl Spencer has revealed

‘While she was packing her stuff to leave, she promised Diana she’d come back to see her. Diana used to wait on the doorstep for her, but she never came,’ he recalled.

Charles explained: ‘Our father was a quiet, constant source of love, but our mother wasn’t cut out for maternity… she couldn’t do it. She was in love with someone else, infatuated really.’

Father-of-seven Earl Spencer, who is married to third wife Karen, 47, a Canadian philanthropist with whom he has an eight-year-old daughter, said he had a ‘ruptured childhood emotionally’ after his mother left when he was just two.

He admitted that he’s been in and out of therapy for 20 years, working on his unhappy childhood, in which he and Diana were ‘very much in it together’. 

Diana’s mother Frances Shand Kydd, who passed away in 2004, aged 68, left her father John Spencer, for wallpaper tycoon Peter Shand Kydd. Pictured: Charles Spencer

Charles added that Althorp was a ‘cold and frightening place to me as a child’ and that neither his grandfather or father were happy there. 

Frances, then 18, and the 8th Earl Spencer Johnnie, 30, married in 1954 before divorcing in 1969.

The mother of Diana went to live with her new husband in Scotland after losing a custody battle for her children, in which she was dubbed ‘the bolter’.

Candidly reflecting on her marriage in a magazine interview in 1997, Frances said: ‘While I believe remorse and regret are vibrantly necessary when we have failed others and failed ourselves, I do think repetitive apologies are a form of self-pity.’ 

His comments come after he spoke out about Princess Diana’s death yesterday during an appearance on Radio 4.

It comes after he discussed his grief on Radio 4 yesterday, saying  he ‘braced’ each year ahead of the anniversary of the late royal’s death (pictured alongside Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles at Princess Diana’s funeral)

Charles said he is ‘always surprised by how difficult’ the anniversary of her death remains as he revealed it continues to ‘take him out at knees.’ 

He explained: ‘I’m always surprised by how difficult August 31 is each year actually. I always slightly brace myself for it and it does take me out at the knees. It is a very poignant time.’ 

Meanwhile he continued: ‘I row over to the island and spend time there. It’s very odd when you lose someone very close.’

He added: ‘There are holes in every family that can’t be filled.’  

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