Princess Diana's siblings will attend the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle later this month, but there is one member of the family who will play a starring role – Diana's older sister, Lady Jane Fellowes. Jane, 61, will give a reading at the Windsor ceremony, while her sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale and brother Earl Spencer will be among the wedding guests.
Jane has largely kept out of the spotlight since her sister Diana's tragic death in 1997, but Harry has always remained close to his mother's side of the family. The Prince introduced Meghan to some of his aunts and uncles before officially announcing their engagement in November 2017.
Lady Jane Fellowes and her husband Robert
Born Cynthia Jane Spencer, Jane is the second daughter of Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer and the Honourable Frances Ruth Burke Roche. Like her sisters, she was educated at West Heath boarding school near Sevenoaks in Kent. When she was 21, she married her distant relation Robert Fellowes, who was private secretary to the Queen from 1990 to 1999. Robert is the first cousin of Ronald Ferguson, the Duchess of York's father, and is also distantly related to Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. The wedding took place in 1978 at Westminster Abbey; Diana served as a bridesmaid.
Jane and Sarah accompanied Prince Charles to Paris to collect Diana's body
The couple went on to welcome three children: the Honourable Laura Jane Fellowes, the Honourable Alexander Robert Fellowes and the Honourable Eleanor Ruth Fellowes. Laura, who is first cousins with Prince William, is godmother to William's daughter, Princess Charlotte.
After Diana's fatal car crash in 1997, it was Jane who informed her family of the Princess' death in the early hours of the morning. She and her older sister Sarah accompanied Prince Charles to Paris to bring back Diana's body. At the funeral, Jane read a poem by Henry Van Dyke Jr. While her siblings spoke out after their sister's death, Jane kept out of the spotlight and chose not to appear in a BBC documentary about Diana.
In July 1999, Jane's husband Robert was created a life peer in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, giving him the title of Baron Fellowes of Shotesham in the County of Norfolk. Her husband's appointment made Jane a Baroness.