Princess Diana was a doting and loving mother. However, her own childhood was challenging. She was never very close to her own mother. However, a new portrait of the princess’s mom shows how eerily similar the women were.
Princess Diana had a very difficult childhood
Princess Diana was a warm and loving mother to her two sons. Unlike royal mothers before her, she was very active in Prince William and Prince Harry’s everyday lives. She insisted that her sons go to public school and she often took them on adventures including family vacations, amusement parks, and even fast-food restaurants.
It was also essential to Princess Diana that her children recognize how fortunate they were. Though she grew up wealthy, the princess had a very challenging childhood.
The princess was the fourth of five children born to John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and Frances Spencer. By the time she was born, their marriage was already strained. Born a girl to parents hoping for a boy, she was a great disappointment for them. By the time the princess was seven, her parents had divorced. However, she and her siblings were given very little information. When her father won custody, the princess remembers a string of nannies and feeling isolated.
“I always felt very different from everyone else, very detached. I knew I was going somewhere different but had no idea where,” she told author Andrew Morton for his biography, Diana: Her True Story.
Princess Diana was not very close to her mother
During her parents’ initial separation in 1967, Princess Diana was sent to live with her mother. However, by the Christmas holiday, her father had won custody of the children with support from his former mother-in-law, Ruth Roche, Baroness Fermoy.
This led to a lifelong strained relationship with her mother. Princess Diana even recalled being annoyed and let down by her mother at her own wedding.
“My mother let me down terribly with the wedding. She kept crying… Saying that she couldn’t cope with the pressure,” the princess says in Morton’s recording. “I didn’t speak to her for three or four years afterward. She drove me mad… It was me that was being strong and her sobbing the whole time,”
At the time of the princess’ death, she and her mother were not speaking because her mother reportedly disapproved of the men she was dating.
This portrait of Princess Diana’ mom proves how much they looked alike
Despite their strained relationship, Princess Diana and Lady Frances Shand Kydd looked so much alike. Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, posted a never-before-seen picture of his mother on his Instagram account.
The framed portrait sits on display at Spencer’s childhood home, Althorp House. Fans immediately noticed the striking resemblance between the mother and daughter from their profiles to the blonde hair and blue eyes.
Spencer captioned the photo saying, “My mother—on this, her 85th birthday. She was born in Sandringham, Norfolk, on the very same day that King George V died—in the same parish. She died three days after the 50th anniversary of her marriage to my father. This portrait is to be found in the Library at @althorpehouse.”
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