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Frances Shand Kydd
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Celebrity's Relative
    (January 20, 1936-June 3, 2004)
    Born in Sandringham, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Frances Ruth Roche
    Daughter of Edmund Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy
    Married John Spencer, Viscount Althorp (1954-69) and wallpaper heir Peter Shand Kydd (1969-90)
    Mother of Princess Diana
    She was named the ‘other woman’ in Janet Shand Kydd’s divorce suit.
    She lost custody of her children to her first husband.
    Her mother Ruth testified against her in her divorce and custody suits.
    Her license was suspended for a year after she was convicted of driving while intoxicated (1996).
    Her willingness to talk to the tabloids ticked off Diana.
    At the time of Diana’s death, the two had not spoken for four months and her letters to Diana were returned unopened.
    Her marriage to Spencer at Westminster Abbey was attended by members of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth.
    Her and Spencer’s son John died ten hours after birth (January 12, 1960).
    She preferred a quiet life, but was forced into the spotlight when her daughter became engaged to Prince Charles: ‘The media descended here [in 1981] and have never left me since. I’ve now accepted they never will.’
    She said media attention contributed to the break-up of her marriage to Peter Shand Kydd.
    She converted to the Roman Catholic church (1994) and devoted herself to Catholic charities.
    Diana said she was a role model for coping with adversity: ‘I've got what my mother's got. However bloody you're feeling you can put on the most amazing show of happiness. My mother is an expert on that.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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