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Charles Spencer, the rare childhood photo with his sister Diana and their mother

The count Charles Spencer59 years old, shared a rare and tender photo from his childhood on Instagram in which he appears sitting on a swing next to his older sister, Princess Diana. With the two children there is also theirs momthe viscountess Frances SpencerThat he abandoned his family to follow her lover when Charles was only 3, and Diana 6. The image published by the earl was taken in 1967: the very year in which Frances said goodbye to her husband John VIII, Earl Spencer, and left Althorp, the family seat. In the post, Charles makes no mention of the pain his family was about to plunge into. Indeed, regarding the shot he writes: «I love how happy each of us appears. In that phase of my life my mother had nicknamed me “Buzz” because she saw in me the infinite energy of a happy and busy bee.”

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Frances and Earl Spencer had three other children in addition to Diana and Charles: Sarah, Jane And John, died in 1960 after only ten hours of life. A tragedy from which the Spencer accounts would never recover. In Andrew Morton's biography of Lady Diana, Charles said: “It was a terrible time for my parents and probably the root of their divorce as I don't think they ever got over it.” In 1967 Frances left her husband and children to follow her own new love, the rich heir Peter Shand Kydd, whom he married in 1969 (the two divorced in 1988, when Peter left his wife for a younger woman). Also in 1969 the Viscounts Spencer officially divorced, and Frances lost custody of her children.

But Lady Diana, as Charles said a few years ago in an interview with Sunday Times, she continued to think of her distant mother and felt disoriented. Also because Frances, before leaving the Althorp residence, had promised her that she would visit her very soon: «Diana waited for her mother on the doorstep every day. But she never returned».

Diana “suffered a lot from our parents' divorce.” Yet in Charles's “traumatic childhood” she was the most important female figure. At the time the older sisters, Sarah and Jane, were in boarding school. So Diana, as Charles recalled at the princess's funeral, was «the older sister who mothered me as a child». This is also why since Lady D died (in August 1997) the count has never stopped remembering her. Dedicating to her, among other things, many touching social tributes.

Source: Vanity Fair

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