Princess Diana’s Brother Charles Spencer Reveals Rare Portraits of Their Ancestors Taken in the Early 1900s

Plus, he shared little-known deets about their lives

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Every now and then, Charles Spencer (aka Princess Diana’s younger brother) will give royal fans a glimpse into his family history,  whether that means sharing a rare throwback photo of a beloved family member or a sketch of a distant ancestor. But this time, the history connoisseur has shared not one, but two family portraits of relatives we rarely get to see.

Earlier this week, the author shared the throwback photos on his personal Instagram page. The first slide features an old grainy photo of his great-aunt Lavinia, great-uncle Georgie and grandpa Jack. Per the caption, the ancestors (who were kids at the time) were playing with their dog, Jock, outside.

In the snap, Lavina, Georgia and Jack smile at the camera while sitting in a giant shrub. And written below the throwback picture are all three of their names in black ink. Meanwhile, the second slide shows a black and white photograph of Spencer’s great-uncle, Cecil, swinging his great-aunt Margaret from side to side. 

“Two family photographs from the early 1900s,” Spencer wrote in the caption. “My great-aunt Lavinia, great-uncle Georgie and my grandfather (Jack), playing with their dog, Jock, in the garden; while the second is of my great-uncle Cecil, swinging my great-aunt Margaret in the air, on his return from Dartmouth, where he was training to become a Naval officer.”

The royal also shared some interesting tidbits about his great-uncles and aunts. “Cecil received a chest full of medals (including the DSC and Bar, and the Légion d’Honneur) serving in the Royal Navy as a Motor Torpedo Boat captain in World War 1,” the 59-year-old added. “He died after a fall from his horse while playing polo in Malta in the ‘20s. Lavinia became Lady Annaly and lived across the valley from Althorp at @holdenbyhouse A very heavy smoker, she died in her 50s from cancer.”

Spencer continued, “Georgie was very charming, by all accounts, but was considered something of a black sheep—sadly, we children were never allowed to meet him. Margaret was a wonderful character, who I knew well and adored. She wrote a beautiful book, in her eighties, called ‘A Spencer Childhood’. Lovely to see them all looking so happy together, when young.”

We never get tired of learning about the Spencer family.

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Assistant Editor, News And Entertainment

Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...