Princess Diana’s sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale was once in line to be the wife of Prince Charles, although she didn’t relish the job. With her feathered, short hair and Spencer visage, Lady Sarah brings to mind the late princess.
The tragic ending of the princess will be on many people’s minds as Harry takes American actress Meghan Markle for his wife on May 19, 2018. Lady Jane Fellowes, Diana’s other sister, will give a reading at the service. Princess Diana also has a brother named Charles, Earl Spencer. Lady Sarah McCorquodale is also planning to be at the ceremony of Diana’s youngest son.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lady Sarah Might Have Married Prince Charles But Made a Controversial Comment About a ‘Dustman’
If things had gone differently, we might have been talking about Princess Sarah, not Princess Diana. However, that was not meant to be.
Diana’s sister was once considered a possible wife for Prince Charles, who knew the Spencer family because they have an earldom and a place in the British aristocracy. Charles and Sarah briefly dated in the 1970s until she famously remarked that she wouldn’t marry Charles “if he were the dustman or the King of England.”
That comment didn’t sit very well with the Royal Family, and out the door Sarah went as a potential bride. There appeared to be no hard feelings, as Sarah once claimed she set Diana and Charles up, saying, “I introduced them. I’m Cupid.”
Sarah also served as a lady-in-waiting to Princess Di, and she was regarded as one of the few people the princess trusted, People Magazine reported.
2. Lady Sarah Is the Eldest Spencer Child & Has Three Children of Her Own
Lady Sarah is 63 and the eldest of the four Spencer children. According to The Sun, she is married to Neil Edmund McCorquodale, with whom she has three children named Emily, Celia, and George. People Magazine reports that William and Harry are close to their Spencer cousins.
She has remained involved in public life and her sister’s legacy over the years. “Lady Sarah lives in Grantham, Linconshire, where she served a one-year term as High Sheriff of Linconshire in 2009,” The Sun reported. “She was also president of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, which raised £100 million for various charities.”
Daily Mail reported of Sarah: “At the age of 25, she settled for old Harrovian Lincolnshire farmer and former Guards officer Neil McCorquodale. They married in 1980, a year before Charles and Diana, and remain happily together with three children Emily, 27, George, 26, and Celia, 21, all of whom are firm friends with their first cousins William and Harry.” That article was in 2010, and the couple remains together today.
You can watch an interview Lady Sarah gave about Princess Diana here.
3. Harry Gets Along Well With His Aunts & Meghan Has Met Diana’s Sisters
Prince Harry has remained close to his mother’s family by all accounts. “Harry has always kept in close touch with the Spencers and they have all received invitations,” a source told Vanity Fair. “Harry gets on well with his aunts and uncle and they have met Meghan.”
Diana was a bridesmaid in Lady Jane’s wedding and she was a bridesmaid in Diana’s, Good Housekeeping reports, noting that Lady Jane and her husband were credited with helping along the match between Diana and Charles when they invited “the young couple to join them at the Balmoral, the royal’s Scottish holiday home, in the summer of 1980.”
Lady Sarah gave testimony against Diana’s Butler Paul Burrell when he was accused of taking Diana’s belongings (the case collapsed when the Queen suddenly remembered that he had told her about it.) She did say she had given him “anything he would like to take and he said he didn’t because his memories were in his heart and that’s all he needed…Cufflinks, photographs in frames, enamel boxes, tie pins, ties – and I think that will be all,” Telegraph reported.
4. Lady Sarah Admitted Destroying Some of Diana’s Documents
Lady Sarah testified at the inquest into Diana’s death from a car crash in Paris. She admitted that she and their mother had destroyed some of Diana’s documents after her sister’s shocking demise.
They shredded “sensitive” documents that might be “distressing” to Princes Harry and William, “including thank-you notes and pamphlets from ‘soothsayers,'” reported Time Magazine, adding, “My conscience is clear on what I destroyed.”
Sarah also revealed some details from Diana’s last days, such as claiming that Diana believed she was being bugged and felt it would be a “waste of time” to confide in Dodi al-Fayed about her concern that she was misquoted in a newspaper over landmines, Time reported.
5. Lady Jane Will Give a Reading at the Royal Wedding & Harry Wanted His Mother’s Sisters at His Wedding
Kensington Palace released a statement that underscored how important it is to Prince Harry to have his mother’s family at his wedding, and the statement specifically mentioned Lady Jane Fellows and references his other siblings, Charles and Sarah.
“In addition to having the support of The Queen, his father The Prince of Wales, and his brother Prince William as Best Man, Prince Harry is also keen to involve his mother’s family in his wedding,” it reads. “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.”
Jane was also selected to give a reading at Princess Diana’s funeral.
The siblings were the children of Earl Spencer and Frances Shand Kydd, who divorced when Diana was young, an experience that was said to have caused her serious emotional damage.