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Charles Spencer shares rare family picture - and resemblance to sister Princess Diana is 'remarkable'

The father-of-seven is custodian of Althorp House, the Spencer family estate

Princess Diana In Argentina (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
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Charles Spencer's social media followers always welcome the rare family artefacts he shares on Instagram and they were particularly taken with one he posted on Sunday – for very good reason. 

The Earl shared a beautiful drawing of his grandmother, and her resemblance to his late sister Princess Diana was obvious. 

Alongside the image, the bestselling author and historian penned a heartfelt tribute to his beloved relative. 

He wrote: "My grandmother, Cynthia Spencer, drawn by Sargent in 1919 - the year in which she married my grandfather. When I set out for boarding school, in September 1972, my father told me that 'Grandmother' (who I adored) would be constantly popping across from @althorphouse to Maidwell to take me out for tea. 

"But not only were we not allowed out on any such occasions, with any family member, it turned out that Grandmother was (much more importantly) very ill with a brain tumour – which grew on a spot where she'd been badly struck during a train crash, years earlier. Grandmother died within weeks of my being sent away to boarding school. 

Charles shared a delightful image of his grandmother
View post on Instagram

"Not only was Grandmother absolutely adored by her family, she was also loved and respected locally: indeed, the hospice in the nearby town of Northampton is still called 'Cynthia Spencer' in her honour." 

Many of Charles's followers were quick to comment about how much his grandmother looked like his sister, with one writing: "Diana's resemblance to her is remarkable," and another agreeing: "The family resemblance is uncanny." 

Charles Spencer in black tuxedo© Paul Archuleta/WireImage
Charles has written a book about his childhood experiences

Charles is understandably thinking back to his childhood as he prepares for the launch of his latest book, A Very Private School, which details his time attending boarding school between the ages of eight and 13 and will be out in the UK and the US later this month. 

He is now custodian of Althorp House, the Spencer family home in Northamptonshire that he and Diana moved to as children. It is also the late Princess of Wales' final resting place, and her brother moved his followers few days ago when he shared a rare photo of the area of the estate where she is buried. 

a view of Althorp House © Instagram
Althorp House is located in West Northamptonshire

Taking to Instagram, the 9th Earl Spencer uploaded a breathtaking photo of Oval Lake cloaked with a thick layer of mist which appeared to rise from the water's surface. 

The ornamental lake, which is home to an island containing Diana's resting place, looked so tranquil in the morning light, surrounded by a cluster of trees. In his caption, Charles, 59, wrote: "Althorp's lake just now – an achingly beautiful, frozen, February morning." 

Karen Spencer shared a dusk photo of the Oval Lake at Althorp House© Instagram
A stunning view of the late Princess' resting place

Fans and friends were quick to share their thoughts in the comments section, responding to express how beautiful yet haunting they found the view. Princess Diana's resting place is only accessible via boat and is off-limits to the public. 

There used to be a bridge in place so that visitors could access the island, however, it was later removed for security reasons. Prince Harry revealed all in his memoir Spare, explaining: "The bridge had been removed to give my mother privacy, to keep intruders away."

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