Princess Diana's Complicated Relationship with Her Stepmom Raine Spencer, Who Became Her Ally
The relationship between Princess Diana and her stepmother Raine Spencer was negative for most of their lives. However, after divorcing Prince Charles, they became friends.
Raine McCorquodale, the only child of novelist Barbara Cartland and army officer Alexander McCorquodale, was born in Berkshire, UK, back in 1929.
"I know you loved my father deeply."
RAINE MCCORQUODALE, PRINCESS DIANA'S STEPMOTHER
Her first husband was the ninth Earl of Dartmouth Gerald Humphry, and they were together for 25 years. After that, Raine met and married Diana Spencer's father, John Spencer.
At the time of their wedding, Lady Diana was 14 years old. Things between Raine and John's children were discouraging from the get-go as they didn't like their stepmother.
Diana's relationship with Raine over the years was addressed in a Channel 4 documentary titled "Princess Diana's 'Wicked' Stepmother."
In it, several people who were in touch with both of them shared their memories, including "Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes, Diana's former butler Paul Burrell, and Raine's hairdresser Peter Constandinos.
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“If an international ban on mines can be secured it means, looking far ahead, that the world may be a safer place for this generation's grandchildren.” – Princess Diana, 1997 Today in Angola The Duke of Sussex will retrace his mother’s steps to see the legacy of her work and how her connection with this community helped make the elimination of landmines a reality. In 1997 Diana Princess of Wales visited Huambo to bring global attention to the crisis of landmines and the people whose lives were being destroyed. Two decades later, the area has transformed from desolate and uninhabitable to lively and vibrant, with colleges, schools and small businesses. The Duke is humbled to be visiting a place and a community that was so special to his mother, and to recognise her tireless mission as an advocate for all those she felt needed her voice the most, even if the issue was not universally popular. Princess Diana’s visit helped change the course of history, and directly led to the Convention against Anti-Personal Landmines, also known as the Ottawa Treaty. Today, with the support of @thehalotrust, Angola now has a stated aim under the Treaty to be clear of known mines by 2025. Despite great progress, 60 million people worldwide still live in fear of landmines every day. During his visit today, The Duke will walk along the street which was once the minefield where his mother was famously pictured. #RoyalTourAfrica #RoyalVisitAngola Photo©️PA
PRINCESS DIANA AND HER SIBLINGS DISLIKED RAINE
One of the topics explained in the documentary was how Diana's brother, Charles Spencer, felt about Raine's decision to redecorate the family estate in Northamptonshire.
Charles reportedly said that his stepmother's interior taste had "the wedding cake vulgarity of a five-star hotel in Monaco."
In 1992, shortly after John Spencer passed away, Raine decided to move out. Initially, a maid of the family packed her clothes in a suitcase that had the Spencer emblem on it so that she could leave the property.
However, Diana, who was the Princess of Wales already, was not pleased about that decision and supposedly demanded that Raine's clothes were put in garbage bags.
PRINCESS DIANA AND RAINE MADE AMENDS
After learning how negative Raine and Diana's relationship used to be, it is hard to think that they managed to make amends shortly after the People's Princess marriage to Prince Charles collapsed.
One of the segments of "Princess Diana's 'Wicked' Stepmother" showed that, after the separation, Princes Harry and William's mother authorized an autobiography in which she opened up about how unhappy she was.
Diana admitted that her marriage was tough, her struggles with bulimia, her attempts to take her own life, and many more details of her life. At that point, Diana was "lost," and she turned to the most unlikely person to be her ally: Raine.
As both Diana's former butler and Raine's hairdresser revealed, their relationship got better after the Princess of Wales invited her stepmother and her then-husband Comte Jean-François de Chambrun to lunch.
The couple initially believed that more people would be present at Kensington Palace, but much to their surprise, it was only the three of them. Even more shocking was what Diana told her stepmother, according to Peter:
"I have to thank you. I know you loved my father deeply, and I have to be grateful for all the love and the years of happiness you gave him."
THEIR FRIENDSHIP IMPROVED OVER THE YEARS
At that point, both ladies cried and hugged each other. Peter pointed out that Jean-François was in complete disbelief, but that it was the beginning of their reconciliation.
From that moment on, Diana and Raine became friends until the Princess' death. They used to have lunches together regularly and even speak on the telephone almost every day.
Ingrid Seward wrote in her book "The Queen and Di: The Untold Story" that Diana would prefer to talk to Raine than her mother and that she considered that Raine was the mother she never had.
Sadly, Princess Diana's stepmother and friend passed away in 2016 following a short illness. Before her death, she admitted to being happy about her friendship with Diana and confessed that the late Princess used to talk about her problems with her.