Lady Eliza Spencer has told how her ‘loving’ aunt Princess Diana had a ‘talent for reading children’s hearts’ in her first ever joint interview with sister Lady Amelia.
The glamorous twins, both 28, are the daughters of Charles Spencer and British model Victoria Aitken, and star on the cover of Tatler’s March 2021 issue.
Dazzling in crystal-encrusted Miu Miu gowns, the first cousins of Princes William and Harry open up about their upbringing in South Africa, their love for the family seat of Althorp and Lady Amelia’s upcoming wedding to Greg Mallett.
They also discuss the legacy of their late aunt, the Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash in Paris when they were five.
Lady Eliza Spencer (right) has told how her ‘loving’ aunt Princess Diana had a ‘talent for reading children’s hearts’ in her first ever joint interview with sister Lady Amelia, left, given to Tatler
Lady Eliza admitted neither of them had any idea of Diana’s impact on the world until years after her death.
‘We always just knew her as our aunt,’ she explained, adding that she remembers her as ‘incredibly warm, maternal and loving’.
‘Growing up in South Africa, I really had very little idea of how significant she was in the world until I was much older… She always made an effort to connect with us as children and had a talent for reading children’s hearts.’
Eliza recalled how on one occasion, the twins went with their aunt to Noordhoek, a beach known for its freezing water, and were approached by a photographer.
‘Obviously it could have been quite terrifying for us, being so young and not understanding what was happening,’ she said.
The glamorous twins, both 28, are the daughters of Charles Spencer and Victoria Aitken, and star on the cover of Tatler’s March 2021 issue
‘But she turned it into a game of who could get back to the car first. It was amazing how she protected us in a way that made us feel safe and not frightened.
‘We had no idea what she was doing at the time. As a child, I realised the enormity of the loss for my father and family. It was only later that I came to understand the significance of the loss of her as a figure in the world.’
The society beauties told how they have very fond memories of Althorp, the Spencer family seat, where they’d stay with their father during the school holidays.
Poignantly, many of the staff at Althorp worked there when Lady Diana was a child and would regale the twins with stories about her.
‘It is a truly special and beautiful place. Having spent the first three years of our lives at Althorp, exploring and discovering it as children, and being part of a long heritage of Spencers that have lived there, it has always felt like another home,’ Lady Eliza said.
‘And of course it conjures up memories of family Christmases as children, with our extended family all together.’
Lady Amelia, who got engaged to her university beau Greg Mallett in July last year after 11 years of dating, hasn’t ruled out holding the wedding at Althorp, after her father suggested it as a venue.
Society beauty Lady Amelia met her real estate beau Greg Mallett while they were both studying at the University of Cape Town. Pictured after getting engaged
‘It’s our family home, it’s beautiful,’ she said. ‘We would be very lucky to get married there, but Cape Town is where we grew up and there is a possibility that we might do it here, too.’
Lady Amelia said she and Lady Eliza – the younger sisters of Lady Kitty, 30, and older siblings of Louis Spencer, Viscount Althorp, 26 – have always been close and are ‘very similar’.
‘We love doing the same things and share the same friends,’ she said. ‘You’re guaranteed to have a best friend there always – you can’t really compare it to anything else.’
She added that they are a ‘very open family’ and value the importance of talking about mental health.
‘We have come a long way in terms of the conversations, and I hope there will come a time when the stigma is completely removed and that people will be able to ask for help and not feel judged for having mental health issues or struggling emotionally,’ Lady Amelia said.
‘It was never something that we felt afraid to talk about when we had our own struggles,’ Lady Eliza added.
The March issue of Tatler is available on newsstands and via digital download on Monday 1 February. Visit https://www.tatler.com/