Princess Diana had two sisters – Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale – both of whom are expected to be at the wedding of her son, Prince Harry, in her place.
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 is expected to give a reading at the service. Princess Diana also has a brother named Charles, Earl Spencer. However, Diana’s sisters – who resemble her to some degree – will bring the late princess to mind the most. The sisters are not very visible in the public eye, preferring lives of privacy.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lady Sarah Was Once Considered a Potential Bride for Prince Charles
If things had gone differently, we might have been talking about Princess Sarah, not Princess Diana. 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.”
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 cousins and that Diana considered Sarah, her lady-in-waiting, among the only people she trusted.
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 if the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, which raised £100 million for various charities.”
2. Lady Jane Will Give a Reading at the Wedding as She Did at Diana’s Funeral
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.
“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. She chose a poem by Henry Van Dyke Jr.
3. Harry Gets Along Well With His Aunts & Meghan Has Met Diana’s Sisters
“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.” However, Lady Sarah once said, according to The Sun: “I introduced them, I’m cupid.”
4. Lady Jane Told Sarah & Charles Spencer About Diana’s Death & Her Husband Was the Queen’s Private Secretary
It fell on Lady Jane to tell her brother and sister the shocking news that Diana had died in a car crash in Paris. Both Sarah and Charles revealed that information during a BBC documentary.
According to Town and Country Magazine, “Lady Jane’s husband Robert Fellowes was Private Secretary to the Queen from 1990 to 1999. This influential job involved being the main channel of communication between the monarch and government, as well as overseeing the Queen’s program and correspondence.” It’s been speculated, although never confirmed, that this caused tension between Diana and Jane as Diana’s marriage to Charles ruptured in spectacular fashion.
Lady Jane and Robert Fellowes have three children together, Laura Jane, Alexander Robert and Eleanor Ruth. Because of her husband’s position, Lady Jane’s family lived at Kensington Palace, which is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will live after their wedding.
5. Lady Jane Never Talked to the Media About Diana’s Death
Lady Jane Fellowes is credited with being one of the only people close to Princess Diana who never spoke about her death. She is also regarded as the most intellectual and private of the three remaining Spencer siblings.
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. Lady Jane’s full name is Cynthia Jane Spencer, and she has the title of baroness. According to Good Housekeeping, the sisters were apart from each other during much of their childhoods because they attended boarding schools.