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Princess Diana's Siblings: Everything to Know About Her Brother and Sisters

Princess Diana grew up with older sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes and younger brother Charles Spencer

Alan Davidson/Shutterstock Diana Princess of Wales with her sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes Tuck
Alan Davidson/Shutterstock Diana Princess of Wales with her sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes Tuck

Princess Diana was one of five children born to parents John Spencer and Frances Shand Kydd.

She grew up with two older sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, and a younger brother, Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer. Diana also had an older brother, John Spencer, who died just hours after his birth in 1960.

While Diana's older sisters Sarah and Jane have lived relatively private lives since the royal's death in 1997, Charles has been a vocal advocate for and protector of Diana's memory and legacy. On what would have been Diana's 60th birthday in July 2021, all three siblings joined the late princess' sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, for the unveiling of an honorary statue of Diana on the grounds of Kensington Palace.

Today, Charles lives at Althorp, the home that Diana and her siblings grew up in, which is also the site of her final resting place.

In 2017, he told PEOPLE that he's always felt "intensely protective" toward his sister and wishes he could have saved her from her tragic accident.

“I was furious, I wasn’t just angry,” he recalled. “[I thought] what could I have done. It was just ... it was devastating.”

From their childhood to how they celebrate the life of their sister, here is everything to know about Princess Diana's siblings.

Their parents divorced when they were young

Fred Mott/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty
Fred Mott/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty

After marrying in 1954, Princess Diana's parents, John Spencer and Frances Shand Kydd, welcomed their first child, daughter Sarah, one year later. Their second child, Jane, was born in 1957. Before welcoming Diana in 1961 and son Charles in 1964, the couple also gave birth to a baby boy named John, though he died the same day.

John and Frances divorced in 1969 and John was awarded sole custody of the children.

"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 told The Sunday Times in 2020 of his parents' split. "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. She was in love with someone else — infatuated, really."

Charles has said there are many myths about their childhood

<p>Hulton Archive/Getty</p> Diana Spencer and Charles Spencer as children.

Hulton Archive/Getty

Diana Spencer and Charles Spencer as children.

Diana and her siblings were raised at Park House, a rented home at Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham estate, until the mid-70s, when John moved the family to Althorp Estate, the Spencer family home located in Northamptonshire, England.

In 2017, Charles told PEOPLE that there are "many myths" about their upbringing, including that they never called his sister "Di" and the royal was never particularly shy.

"First of all, none of us ever called her 'Di' at home. In fact, there are so many myths from our childhood that are just so ridiculous. That's one of them," he told PEOPLE. "I just think she was never shy, but she was canny about people and she was reserved to start with. And she would take a judgment of somebody before reacting to them. So, that's not shy ... that's actually quite clever."

He also described Princess Diana as “incredibly brave" and recalled a time when he and his sisters caught lobsters while visiting their mother in Scotland.

“We pulled up [a pot] and there was a really massive conger eel,” he said. “It was black and it had teeth was very long and it was flapping around the boat. And Diana just got a pen knife out and just dealt with it. It was hand-to-hand and she just got stuck in. This thing was really a creature from the deep. And she just dealt with it.”

Princess Diana had an older brother, John, who died hours after he was born

Princess Diana's parents, John and Frances, welcomed their third child, a baby boy named John, on Jan. 12, 1960. Sadly, John died hours after he was born.

Princess Diana did not publicly mention her brother during her lifetime, but in May 2022, her younger brother Charles shared on Instagram that he had his older brother's tombstone restored.

"Looking as it should, now," Charles captioned a photo of the tombstone before and after the work. "... I never knew my older brother, John, and live 100 miles from his grave - but, seeing it last summer, realised serious action was required. Thank you, BB, for making it look as it should. #family #rip #brother."

Sarah briefly dated King Charles before Princess Diana — and introduced them

<p>Anwar Hussein/Getty</p> Prince Charles and Lady Sarah Spencer in 1977

Anwar Hussein/Getty

Prince Charles and Lady Sarah Spencer in 1977

Diana's oldest sister Sarah, who is six years her senior, briefly dated King Charles in the late '70s. Though Sarah and King Charles' romance didn't last, she acquainted her younger sister with the then-prince.

"I introduced them. I'm Cupid," Sarah told The Guardian in 1981.

When Charles and Diana got engaged, Sarah had already married Neil McCorquodale — with whom she shares three children: George, Emily and Celia.

Jane married Queen Elizabeth's assistant private secretary in 1978

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Lady Jane Fellowes attends the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, in Windsor, England
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Lady Jane Fellowes attends the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018, in Windsor, England

When Diana was 16, her sister Jane married Queen Elizabeth II's then-assistant private secretary, Robert Fellowes. Diana served as a bridesmaid at the wedding.

Jane's marriage to Fellowes' eventually kept the sisters physically close, as the Fellowes family lived in Kensington Palace, where Diana lived with her then-husband King Charles and two sons.

Sadly, however, the professional ties Fellowes had with the royal family were ultimately the cause of the undoing of Jane and Diana's relationship in the final years of Diana's life. Robert was promoted to private secretary in 1990 — and as Diana's marriage to King Charles began to crumble, he often stayed loyal to the palace. The sisters reportedly barely spoke in the last 18 months of Diana's life, and Jane has never spoken publicly about the princess' death.

Jane is still married to Fellowes, and the pair have three children of her own: Laura, Alexander and Eleanor.

Charles is a father of seven

Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock Earl Spencer on the 'Lorraine' TV show in London on June 10, 2021
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock Earl Spencer on the 'Lorraine' TV show in London on June 10, 2021

Diana's younger brother Charles has welcomed seven children over the course of his three marriages.

He shares four children with his first wife, Victoria Lockwood: Lady Kitty Eleanor Spencer, Lady Eliza Victoria Spencer, Lady Katya Amelia Spencer and Louis Spencer, Viscount Althorp.

After Charles and Lockwood split in 1997, he wed second wife Caroline Freud, with whom he shares the Honourable Edmund Spencer and Lady Lara Spencer.

In 2011, Charles married his third wife, Karen Gordon, and the pair have one daughter named Lady Charlotte Diana Spencer.

Sarah, Jane and Charles are close to Princess Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry

<p>DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP/Getty</p> Prince Harry, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Prince William, and Lady Jane Fellowes

DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP/Getty

Prince Harry, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Prince William, and Lady Jane Fellowes

All three of Diana's siblings have seemingly maintained close relationships with their nephews, Prince William and Prince Harry. They attended Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011 and Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle seven years later. (Jane even gave a reading during Meghan and Harry's nuptials.)

After Prince William and Princess Kate welcomed their daughter, Princess Charlotte, in 2015, Jane was named godmother to the young royal. Both Jane and Sarah also attended the christening of Prince Harry and Meghan's son, Prince Archie, in 2019.

While Charles has lamented that his sister will never be able to meet her grandchildren, he has continuously praised her sons.

As Charles told PEOPLE in 2017, "I love seeing the sort of uncomplicated way that they deal with people, and put them at their ease. It's so easy to connect the dots between them and their mother."

They decided Princess Diana's final resting place should be Althorp

<p>Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty </p> Princess Diana and Lady Sarah Mccorquodale

Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty

Princess Diana and Lady Sarah Mccorquodale

Following Diana's death in Paris, Sarah joined King Charles to bring her body home to the U.K. While she hasn't spoken much about her sister's death in the decades since, she did serve as president of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund before it closed in 2012.

As for Charles, he played an important role at Diana's funeral in 1997, walking behind her coffin during the processional and delivering a powerful eulogy inside Westminster Abbey.

Diana was eventually laid to rest on the grounds of Althorp — specifically on a small island in the middle Round Oval lake. The siblings also dedicated a pre-existing temple in their sister's honor, a public space for visitors to pay their respects to the late princess.

Charles visits the memorial regularly and shares photos of the "special corner of Althorp" on Instagram.

Charles wrote an "intensely personal childhood memoir" titled A Very Private School

Charles wrote a memoir about his childhood, A Very Private School, which was published in the U.K. in March 2024.

Ahead of the memoir's release, Charles revealed he was sexually abused by a woman while at boarding school in the U.K. in a preview of an interview that aired on the Today show.

“We were locked away. We were like prisoners,” he said of the prestigious boarding school Maidwell Hall. “We were preyed to very bad people’s worst instincts.”

Charles added that the first person he ever told about the abuse was “a therapist when I was about 42.” He explained, "He said, ‘Whisper to me one thing you’ve never told anyone.’ And I said, ‘I was sexually abused by a woman as a child.' "

Maidwell Hall told Today in a statement that they have notified the local authorities to investigate possible crimes against children.

While talking to PEOPLE during the week his book was released, Charles said that when his older sisters, Sarah and Jane, found out about the abuse just 18 months earlier, they were "stunned and appalled," and it wasn't something he'd ever talked about with Diana.

"I don’t remember us ever really discussing what we were going through. She went to a very gentle place, I believe," he said. "We would reconnect for the school holidays, and I don’t remember ever talking about it with her."

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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