Who Is Kitty Spencer? Meet The Beautiful Niece Of Princess Diana
The world was devastated upon hearing the news of the death of Princess Diana in 1997. Adored around the world, Diana's loving spirit touched many lives. When she passed away in a terrible car accident she left behind her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. But what about Diana's other relatives, on the Spencer side of the family? Rarely do we hear about William and Harry's cousins on Diana's side, but that all changed when Kitty Spencer was photographed at Harry and Meghan's wedding. Here's what you should know about the niece who bears a close resemblance to her late aunt, Princess Diana.
She's The Daughter Of Diana's Brother
So how is Lady Kitty Spencer related to the family? She's the eldest daughter of Princess Diana's brother, Earl Charles Spencer. Before the couple divorced, Charles and his wife Victoria Lockwood had five children together.
Born in late 1990, Kitty is currently 29-years-old and was raised in Cape Town, South Africa. After her parents' divorce in 1997, she began splitting time between South Africa, where her mother lives, and the UK where her father is.
She Caused A Buzz At Harry And Meghan's Wedding
Lesser-known than some of William and Harry's famous cousins, people wondered who Kitty was when she was photographed at Harry and Meghan's royal wedding in May 2018, although she looked familiar.
Accompanied by her mother Victoria, Kitty attended the wedding wearing an elegant kelly green Dolce & Gabbana dress with a skirt adorning colorful embroidered flowers. She paired it with a matching hat with netting, natural makeup, and a diamond necklace.
She's Recognized In Britain
Tuning in for the royal wedding in 2018, most Americans and those outside of the UK didn't recognize Kitty. However, she's begun making a name for herself in Britain as a fashion model. She's appeared on the cover of multiple magazines, including Hello Fashion Monthly and Vogue Japan, and has walked the runway in a Dolce & Gabbana fashion show.
The same year as the wedding, Kitty became a spokesmodel for Bulgari, an Italian jewelry brand, and went to Milan to walk in Dolce & Gabbana's show for their Spring 2019 collection.
Kitty Has Features Similar To Diana
During her 36 years of life, Princess Diana never had a daughter. Many look to Prince William's daughter, Princess Charlotte, to see if she bears resemblance to Diana as she grows older, and maybe one day Prince Harry will welcome a daughter with his wife Meghan.
But looking at Kitty, she shares many physical features with her late aunt. In fact, she could nearly pass as her daughter. Both women have thick blonde hair, brilliant blue eyes, and distinctive cheekbones.
Kitty Was Six-Years-Old When Diana Passed Away
While she bears a close resemblance to Princess Diana, Kitty regretfully admits that she didn't have a chance to spend much time with her aunt, as she was only six-years-old at the time of Diana's passing.
She told The National Post, "Sadly, I have very few memories of my aunt. I was so young when she [passed]." Kitty also spent her early years in South Africa, while Diana was in London.
Kitty Was Named "Britain's Most Eligible Woman"
While Princess Diana married at the young age of twenty, Kitty instead chose to pursue a career in modeling before settling into marriage. Her single status wasn't a secret, either. Tatler magazine named Kitty "Britain's Most Eligible Woman" as the 29-year-old turns heads around Britain.
However, that was about about to change! In January 2020, Kitty announced that she was engaged, much to the disappointment of single men around Britain and beyond.
She Married a South African Billionaire, 32 Years Her Senior
On July 24, 2021, 30-year-old Lady Kitty Spencer married 62-year-old South African billionaire Michael Lewis. A chairman in the fashion industry and owner of clothing company Whistles, Lewis has dual citizenship in both South Africa and Britain (as does Kitty). Previously married, Lewis has three adult children with his ex-wife, all of whom are older than his new bride.
Neither Prince William nor Prince Harry was in attendance for Kitty's remarkable wedding in Rome. The bride wore five different custom gowns on her big day, all made by Dolce & Gabbana.
Kitty Works With Various Charities
Like her beloved late aunt, Kitty is invested in charity work and giving back. She's worked with her cousins Prince William and Prince Harry as an ambassador of Centrepoint, a UK charity that aids young homeless people.
She's also a trustee of the military charity Give Us Time. Following in the footsteps of Diana, who sought to de-stigmatize AIDS, Kitty helped raise £140,000 in 2017, for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Her Parents' Divorce Played Out In The Public Eye
Anyone whose parents have divorced knows what a tough experience it can be, especially as a child. Like many kids, Kitty watched her parents' marriage crumble. In 1995, the Spencer family decided to relocate to Cape Town, South Africa to avoid the British tabloids.
However, they couldn't completely escape the spotlight, as news of their marriage woes were published for all to read. Her father, especially, wasn't portrayed in the best light, as he previously had two failed marriages.
Hoping For A Normal Life In South Africa
Hoping to escape the press and possibly repair their marriage, the Spencer's moved to Cape Town in 1995. While it may have provided a chance for their five children to lead a more normal life away from the cameras, the move didn't do much to mend Kitty's parents' relationship.
In 1997, the same year that Princess Diana passed away, Kitty's parents officially divorced. The media caught wind of it and continued to publish stories of her father's infidelity to her mother, as well as her mother's struggle with addiction.
Managing A Shaky Home Foundation
Growing up, Kitty didn't have it easy. Although her family had money and she attended a top private school in South Africa, her father left the children behind and moved back to the UK. Kitty and her four siblings stayed in Cape Town with their mother, while she sought help for substance abuse problems.
Kitty and her two younger sisters and younger brother made the best of their life in Cape Town, surrounded by lush vegetarian and a stunning coastline.
Kitty Is An Aristocrat
While she doesn't have the British royal family blood, Lady Kitty Spencer is an aristocrat in her own right. The Spencer family has been prominent in Great Britain for centuries and Kitty's father is the 9th Earl Spencer.
That makes Kitty's official name and title Lady Kitty Eleanor Spencer. Although she was the firstborn to her father who holds the title, the family estates and succession of the Earldom of Spencer passes on to Kitty's younger brother, Viscount Althorp. That's because the Spencer family follows primogeniture, which passes on the responsibility only to the firstborn son.
She Has A Promising Career In Fashion
Kitty made her first magazine cover appearance when she was only one-year-old, appearing on the cover of Harper's Bazaar UK with her mother Victoria. It wasn't until 2015 that she officially signed on with Storm Model Management, making her professional modeling debut the same year.
Now in her late twenties, Kitty's modeling career is picking up steam. It doesn't hurt that she's engaged to a multimillionaire chairman in the fashion world.
She's A Self-Proclaimed Feminist
Kitty has been vocal about her belief in gender equality. The topic is close to her heart, as she's been born into a family with long (and sometimes outdated) traditions. This includes having the rule of only the first-born male in the Earldom of Spencer taking control of the title and family estates.
Graciously, however, Kitty has been noted staying she believes her younger brother should inherit the family's title and estates.
She's A Model But Doesn't Try To Be Skinny
Although Kitty works in the highly competitive fashion industry where weight and appearance are constantly critiqued, she vows to not cave to any unnecessary pressure to lose weight or look a certain way. In fact, she's even confessed to not owning a scale.
Both Kitty's mother, Victoria, and aunt, Princess Diana, have been known to struggle with eating disorders. As she grew up watching her mother fret over her weight and adopt extreme diets and eating habits, she knew she didn't want that life for herself.
Kitty Earned Her Master's Degree In Luxury Brand Management
Although she's held an interest in fashion and modeling since she was a little girl, Kitty made sure to work hard to get a proper education. In fact, she's highly educated, having attended top-rated private schools since elementary.
She's attended Reddam House and the University of Cape Town. She then studied art history and Italian in Florence, before completing her master's degree in luxury brand management at the European Business School London.
She Fell Into Fashion
Although she's on track to become an internationally-recognized model, fashion wasn't in the forefront of Kitty's mind at all, at one point. While she dabbled in runway shows and modeling for magazines, Kitty told Business Insider, "When I was growing up, when I had a list of things I wanted to be, I never thought a model."
But once she was in London, working towards her master's degree, she ended up taking modeling gigs here and there, which led her to a new career path.
Kitty Works For The Same Modeling Agency As Cindy Crawford
While she may be just starting out her professional modeling career, the best in the business already recognize the talent that Kitty has. That's why she was snatched up by one of the top modeling agencies in the world, Storm Management. They also represent the likes of Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss!
With such a powerful agency behind her, there's no doubt that we will be seeing more of Kitty on the runway and in the fashion magazines.
She's Got Curves
As mentioned, Kitty doesn't keep a scale in her home to check in on her weight every day. She's designed a healthy lifestyle for herself that doesn't focus on a number on the scale, and it shows. Kitty isn't afraid to flaunt her curves or walk the runway with a figure that's uniquely healthy in appearance compared to some of her peers.
And since she's gotten in the door with her particular attitude and figure, there isn't any stopping her now.
She's Heir To A Massive Fortune
While her younger brother may take the family title and the estates, Kitty will be given her fair share of the Spencer family wealth. She's set to inherit £115 million, or around $154 million, from her aristocratic family. She will also be marrying into wealth when she ties the knot with multimillionaire Michael Lewis.
Although the Spencer family isn't royal, but are aristocrats, they're bred and groomed to be top class citizens and viable candidates to marry into a royal family, as Princess Diana did.