Charles Spencer has shared a remarkable picture of his late father, John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer. The picture shows an uncanny resemblance between a young John and his daughter, Princess Diana. "Thanks so much @marinamaral2 for turning one of my favourite black and white pictures of my father into this beautiful colour image," Charles tweeted alongside the rare picture. "Can't wait to meet you at @AlthorpLitFest in October - and many congratulations on your #ColourofTime bestseller with @dgjones."
Charles Spencer shared this picture of his late father
Princess Diana's brother then went on to describe his father, saying: "He was: a gentle, kind, man without any pretentiousness. He was a loving father, and a man who enjoyed meeting people of every background. He treated everyone with great respect." Viscount Althorp - later known as Earl Spencer - was a doting father to Diana, Charles and their sisters; Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Jane Fellowes. He also had another son John, who died shortly after his birth, one year before Diana was born.
MORE: A closer look into Princess Diana's childhood
Charles and his siblings enjoyed a privileged childhood. His father had a close connection to the British royal family; he had worked as an equerry for King George VI and a young Queen Elizabeth II, and the Queen herself had been guest of honour at John and Frances' wedding at Westminster Abbey on 1 June, 1954. The Spencer family also rented out Park House on the monarch's Sandringham estate, and Prince Andrew and Prince Edward were frequent visitors to their home, often coming over to swim in their pool.
In 1969, John and Frances divorced, and a bitter dispute ensued, with John ultimately winning custody of the children. When Diana was 14, her father became the eighth Earl Spencer, following the death of his own father, and the Spencers moved to the family seat, Althorp. The following year, in 1976, he married Raine, Countess of Dartmouth, the daughter of romantic novelist Barbara Cartland (Diana's mother Frances had married Peter Shand Kydd in May 1969).
Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.