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Who was Princess Diana’s mother Frances Shand Kydd?

IT’S no secret that Princess Diana had a complex relationship with her mother, Frances Shand Kydd.

Diana’s parents had an acrimonious divorce, which led to a bitter custody battle. Here’s more about the mother of the Princess of Wales…

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Frances Shand Kydd was born into aristocracy[/caption]

Who was Princess Diana’s mother Frances Shand Kydd?

Frances Shand Kydd (January 20 1936 – June 3 2004) was born into aristocracy.

Her father was the fourth Baron Fermoy, who was a shooting friend of king George VI.

She married into aristocracy at just 18 years old, before having four children, one of whom was Diana, future Princess of Wales.

Frances and her daughter Diana had a turbulent relationship. Four months before Diana died, she refused to speak to her mother after she criticised her choice in men.

Mrs Shand Kydd converted to Roman Catholicism ten years before her death and became a leading figure within the Church in Argyll.

“When Diana died, it was wonderful being a Catholic. I believe that a child is a gift. God can take that gift away without reproach or question,”

She was also the patron of organisations as the Highlands and Islands Music Dance Festival, the Highland Division of the Search and Rescue Dog Association, and Oban Air Training Corps.

She devoted the final years of her life to Catholic charity work.


Frances devoted the final years of her life to Catholic charity work[/caption]

When did she marry John Spencer?

On June 1 1954, Frances married aristocrat John Spencer, Viscount Althorp (later the 8th Earl Spencer), at Westminster Abbey.

She was 18 and he was 30.

Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family attended the wedding ceremony.

But Frances Spencer abruptly walked out on the family in 1966 to embark on a relationship with Peter Shand Kydd.

Tim Graham – Getty

Frances married aristocrat John Spencer, Viscount Althorp[/caption]

The couple fought bitterly over the custody of their four children – with Frances eventually losing the fight.

Diana, who was only only 5-years-old at the time, would “wait on the doorstep for her, but she never came,” her brother Charles has said.

Charles Spencer has said: “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.”

A royal biographer, Penny Junor said of Diana and her parents’ divorce: “Diana was damaged, mentally, by her experiences. And then moving into the royal family was the worst possible scenario that she could have found for herself.

“One of the saddest parts of Diana’s short and turbulent life was the failure of those around her — friends and family alike — to convince her to obtain treatment for her extreme symptoms of mental instability.”


Frances and John Spencer had four children[/caption]

How many children did they have?

Frances and John Spencer had four children.

Diana had two sisters, now known as Lady Sarah McCorquodale (born March 19, 1955) and Lady Jane Fellowes (born February 11, 1957).

Before Diana’s birth, Frances gave birth to a son, John, who died within hours of his birth.

Then came Diana, (born July 1, 1961) and then Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer (born May 20, 1964).

Diana’s younger brother was later central in the scandal surrounding Martin Bashir’s interview with Diana.

Lady Jane is married to the Queen’s former private secretary, Robert Fellowes.

Both of Diana’s siblings have remained close with their nephews Prince William and Prince Harry.


Frances later married Peter Shand Kydd[/caption]

When did she marry Peter Shand Kydd?

Frances and Peter Shand Kydd, an heir to a wallpaper fortune in Australia, were married on May 2, 1969.

Frances and Peter finally settled on a small Scottish island off the coast of Oban.

She opened a gift shop on the island.

But he left her for a younger woman, 

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