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An earls daughter ()
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AN EARLS DAUGHTER

 

Diana Frances Spencer was not royal by birth. She was born on 1 July

1961 at Park House on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. She was the

third daughter of the future viscount Althorp and Frances Ruth, who was

one of The Queen Mothers ladies-in-waiting.

 

Diana had two elder sisters, Sarah and Jane, and a younger brother,

Charles; there was also a brother called John, born in 1960, who

survived only ten hours.

 

Diana spent her early childrens years in Sandringham, where she had

home education. Her first teacher was Gertrude Allen, who taught Dianas

mother. Life at Park House was orderly, traditional and aristocratic.

The Spencer children saw their parents only for an hour in the morning

and at tea time. When Diana was just six years old her parents separated

and later divorced, the children remaining with their father.

 

Diana continued her education in Sulfide, in private school near the

Kings Lynn, then in preparatory Ridlsuort School. When Diana was 12

years old, she went to the privileged school for the girls in West

Heath, county Kent.

 

Her life changed a lot in 1975 when Viscount Althorp becoming 8th Earl

Spencer, and Diana becoming Lady Diana, and they moved to the stately

home at Althorp in Northamtonshire. The following year Earl Spencer

married Raine, Countess of Dartmouth, whose mother was the romantic

novelist, Barbara Cartland. Diana went to a finishing school in

Switzerland, where she studied domestic science, typing and

correspondence, and found plenty of time to enjoy skiing.

 

LADY DIANA SPENCER

 

When Diana returned to Britain from Switzerland she lived in London,

sharing apartment with old school friends. She moved naturally in the

society that was described by someone as Sloane Rangers, so called

because much of their leisure time was spend in the fashionable shops

and restaurants around Sloane Square. Diana became a nanny to a number

of children, and took a three-month cookery course, before joining the

Young England Kindergarten as a helper. She enjoyed the social whirl,

attending parties in the evenings and going to the country every

weekend. Diana would stay with friends, or occasionally go back to

Althorp where she would visit her sister Jane, and her husband Sir

Robert Fellows, at their house on the estate.

 

Most of Dianas circle of friends came from similar backgrounds, and

when her relationship with The Prince of Wales began they automatically

provided her protection. Once the media suspected Lady Diana and Prince

Charles new romance, press reporters and cameramen pursued her

relentlessly. They besieged her flat at Coleherne Court and followed her

everywhere. It was a very testing time for the young Diana.

 

Diana learned to keep her head down, literally, becoming known as Shy

Di. So the highly intensive media attention which was to continue

throughout her life began. But ones the engagement was official, Diana

moved into an apartment in Clarence House, home of the late Queen

Mother, where she would be under the protection of the Royal Press

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