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What Princess Diana's Stepmother Was Like: Lady Raine Spencer
What Princess Diana's Stepmother Was Like: Lady Raine Spencer
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For a long time, she was considered almost the personification of evil, ruining the life of Princess Diana. All four of John Spencer's children were unanimous in their hatred of the woman who became their father's second wife. The British press also did not stand aside, accusing the lady of a lack of taste and a desire to live at someone else's expense. It would take many years for people to know the truth about who Lady Raine Spencer really was.

High society lady

Raine McCordale in her youth

She was born in September 1929 in the family of the English writer Barbara Cartland and her husband Alexander McCordale, an officer in the British army. True, the mother of the future Lady Spencer later assured that the father of her daughter was Prince Gregor, Duke of Kent himself. Ironically, Barbara Cartland was the favorite author of Princess Diana, and the daughter of the writer became for Lady Dee almost the personification of evil.

Raine McCordale and Gerald Humphrey Legg's wedding

Raine McCordale was first introduced to London at the age of eighteen and was named Debutante of the Year. And a short time after her first exit, the girl was already engaged to Gerald Humphrey Legg, whom she married in 1948. Since 1962, when her husband's father passed away, Raine began to bear the title of Countess of Dartmouth.

The Honorable Mrs Gerald Legg

Raine's interests were not limited to her family and children (of whom she had four). The young aristocrat was at first a social service volunteer for two years, after which she became seriously interested in politics. At 23, she served as the youngest member of Westminster City Council, and then worked in local government for 17 years. Future Raine Spencer sincerely wanted to help people and got real pleasure from it.

She later served on the Development Committee at Covent Garden and then spent 16 years developing tourism.

Lady Spencer

Edward John, 8th Earl of Spencer, with Raine, Countess of Dartmouth

In 1973, the Countess of Dartmouth began an affair with John Spencer. They met at the Architectural Heritage Committee and became very close very quickly. At that moment, John had been divorced from his first wife for several years. Only three years later, Raine decided to divorce, and in July 1976 became John's wife, receiving the title of Countess Spencer.

John and Raine Spencer

Raine Spencer's relationship with her husband's children from her first marriage was not easy from the very beginning. They did not even invite them to the wedding ceremony. All four considered it their duty to express their disdain for their father's wife: they refused to dine with her at the same table, ignored her presence and openly offended, calling her "acid rain." Later, Countess Spencer will say in an interview that only Diana was nice to her. However, the attitude of the future princess to her stepmother was also far from ideal. For the sake of her husband, the woman swallowed grievances and tried not to dwell on them.

John and Raine Spencer

Just two years after his marriage, John Spencer suffered a stroke and almost died because he was struck by a Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection, which is almost impossible to treat. Raine forbade the children to visit their father so that he would not get too tired, and she herself went to Bill Cavendish-Bentinck, the director of Bayer, with whom she had long been friends. At that time, a German company was developing an antibiotic that could defeat Pseudomonas aeruginosa, but it was tested only in rodents.Raine was willing to take the risk and was able to convince doctors to use an experimental drug. In fact, Raine saved her husband's life.

John and Raine Spencer

She really loved this man, and everyone who knew this couple did not doubt their feelings. Raine and John Spencer glowed with happiness at just one glance at each other and appeared everywhere together. They did not pay attention to rumors and speculation, but simply enjoyed their happiness.

John and Raine Spencer

When Raine started restoring the Spencer family castle, the children accused her of destroying the house, and the press and security organizations criticized the lady for violating the style of the old mansion and outright bad taste. But thanks to the efforts of Countess Spencer, plumbing and centralized heating appeared in the castle. True, for this it was necessary to sell many objects of art belonging to the Spencer and even some real estate. The Count's children were categorically against and again accused their stepmother, this time of squandering the family's finances.

Interrupted happiness

John and Raine Spencer

John and Raine Spencer were really happy. They almost never parted, traveled a lot, not denying themselves spending. They lived a fulfilling life, enjoying every day they spent together. But Lady Raine Spencer's relationship with her father's children remained strained. Diana, even during her own wedding, was able to prick her stepmother, seating her at a festive banquet separately from the whole family.

Raine Spencer

In addition, on the wedding day of Charles Spencer and Victoria Lockwood, Princess Diana threw a tantrum on her stepmother, accusing her of destroying their home. And in a fit of feelings, she pushed the woman so hard that she fell down the stairs. Lady Spencer and this time did not stoop to a scandal. She just got up and left to go about her business.

Raine Spencer

At the end of March 1992, John Spencer died of a heart attack, and two days later, the young Earl Charles Spencer ordered his stepmother to leave the ancestral castle. It was a humiliating procedure: Raine was forbidden to take anything out of the house if she could not provide evidence that she acquired it herself. Moreover, all the things packed in suitcases with the initials "S" were ordered to be transferred into simple black bags, which then, with their own hands, Princess Diana and her brother Charles simply threw down the stairs. Fortunately, the count's widow had where to go: the count left her a house in Mayfair and an inheritance of four million pounds.

Raine Spencer and Princess Diana

When Princess Diana decided to divorce, Raine was one of the few who supported Diana. Lady Dee herself at that time already understood her mistakes and even once thanked her stepmother for the love and happiness that she gave her father.

Life after the Spencers

Raine Spencer

A year and a half after the death of Count Spencer, Raine married again, this time to Jean-François Pineton de Chanbrune. Rhine was again criticized by the British press, now for a bad taste, as the couple sold their wedding pictures to Hello magazine for £ 7,000.

Raine Spencer and Princess Diana

Raine's family life lasted only two years, and after a divorce in 1995, she regained her surname Spencer. In the last year of her life, Lady Dee became very close to her stepmother, they began to go out together often, and it was clear that the relationship between them was very warm.

Raine Spencer

Raine Spencer was criticized and attacked throughout her life, but diligently ignored them. She was accused of vulgarity and bad taste. And she continued to calmly go about her business, while remaining friendly and open. She passed away in 2016, and by this time the myth of the evil stepmother had already been completely dispelled. Raine Spencer remained in the British memory as a wise and persistent woman who knew how to love, no matter what.

She was called "the queen of human hearts", none of the members of the royal family enjoyed such love among the people. How did Lady Dee deserve such adoration during her lifetime, and why do the British, after her untimely death, still grieve for her?

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