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Why today is so poignant for Princess Diana's family

Charles Spencer marked the occasion on social media

Gemma Strong

Princess Diana's younger brother, Charles Spencer, has marked a solemn family event on social media. The 56-year-old took to Twitter to commemorate their late mother's birthday, writing: "Happy 85th birthday to my mother – who died aged only 68. She was born in Sandringham, Norfolk, on the same day that King George V died in the same parish."

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Frances Shand Kydd was married to Charles and Diana's father, John Spencer, from 1954 until 1969. During their marriage, they welcomed four children together: Diana, Charles, and their two older sisters, now Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Jane Fellowes.

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WATCH: Prince Charles and Princess Diana leave St Paul's Cathedral after their wedding

The marriage was not a happy one, and in 1967 Frances left to be with Peter Shand Kydd, with the couple going on to marry in May 1969.

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Her relationship with her children was turbulent, with reports that she and Diana were not on speaking terms and the time of the Princess's death.

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Princess Diana's parents had an unhappy marriage

Charles very recently touched upon his and Diana's troubled childhood and the pain they experienced at the time of their parents' separation.

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"Diana and I had two older sisters who were away at school, so she and I were very much in it together and I did talk to her about it," he told The Sunday Times.

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Frances Shand Kydd with Prince Philip at her daughter's royal wedding

"Our father was a quiet and constant source of love, but our mother wasn't cut out for maternity. Not her fault, she couldn't do it.

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"While she was packing her stuff to leave, she promised Diana [then aged five] she'd come back to see her. Diana used to wait on the doorstep for her, but she never came," he recalled.

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Charles Spencer has claimed he and Diana had a difficult childhood

The father-of-seven, who is currently promoting his new book The White Ship, went on to reveal that he has been "in and out of therapy for 20 years" and has done "a lot of profound work on my unhappy childhood".

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