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Lady Sarah McCorquodale

Lady Sarah McCorquodale
Born The Honourable Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer
(1955-03-19) 19 March 1955 (age 60)
Residence Stoke Rochford, Lincolnshire
Nationality British
Education Riddlesworth Hall
West Heath
Known for Older sister of Diana, Princess of Wales
Title The Lady Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer
Spouse(s) Neil Edmund McCorquodale (m. 1980)
Children Emily Jane McCorquodale (b. 1983)
George Edmund McCorquodale (b. 1984)
Celia Rose McCorquodale (b. 1989)
Parent(s) John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer
Frances Shand Kydd
Relatives Diana, Princess of Wales (sister)

Lady Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia McCorquodale (née Spencer; born 19 March 1955) is the elder sister of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Early life

Sarah was born The Honourable Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer; she acquired the courtesy title The Lady Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer in 1975, when her grandfather died and her father became the 8th Earl Spencer. She suffered from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa in her early twenties.[1] She was educated firstly at Riddlesworth Hall School in Norfolk and secondly at West Heath boarding school near Sevenoaks in Kent. She left West Heath after passing O Level exams to work in London.


Sarah married Neil Edmund McCorquodale (born 1951), son of Alastair McCorquodale and Rosemary Sybil Turnor, on 17 May 1980 in Northamptonshire, England.[2] Neil McCorquodale is a nephew of Lady Sarah's stepmother, Raine Spencer.

Neil McCorquodale and Lady Sarah McCorquodale have three children

  • Emily Jane McCorquodale (born 2 July 1983) married James Hutt on 9 June 2012[3]
  • George Edmund McCorquodale (born 17 November 1984)
  • Celia Rose McCorquodale (born 1989)

She and her family reside near Grantham, Lincolnshire where she served a one-year term as High Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 2009.[4] She is a master of the Belvoir Hunt.[5]

Lady Sarah was accompanied by her husband and children to the Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Diana at Westminster Abbey on 6 September 1997. Sarah was the lover of Charles, Prince of Wales, prior to his marriage to her younger sister Diana.


Diana, Princess of Wales

In 1977, Sarah's relationship with Prince Charles led to the first meeting between Diana and her future husband. During the period in which she dated the prince, she allegedly met two reporters, James Whittaker and Nigel Nelson, at a restaurant and gave them an exclusive report on her royal connection. She is said to have admitted to having been diagnosed with anorexia, having "thousands of boyfriends", a past problem involving alcohol, and that she had started keeping a scrapbook of all the press clippings about her royal romance that she intended to "show" future grandchildren. "Her head seemed to be turned by the publicity", the two reporters later said. When the article was released, she showed it to the prince and he replied, "You've just done something incredibly stupid". The relationship dissolved soon after that. Some have stated the relationship between her and Diana was strained, because of her long resentment of the Prince marrying Diana and not her, though others (including Diana's biographer Andrew Morton) have said she was one of the few people Diana trusted. Later in Diana's life, she often accompanied Diana on official visits as one of her Ladies in Waiting.[6]

Upon the death of Diana on 31 August 1997, Sarah flew to Paris with her younger sister, Jane, and Prince Charles to accompany Diana's body back to England. She contributed to the readings at Diana's funeral. She was co-executor of Diana's will and is president of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.[2] Sarah also attended the wedding of her nephew Prince William to Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011.

Other siblings

Sarah has shared a lifelong close relationship with her younger sister Lady Jane. Author Anne Edwards, who wrote a best selling biography on the life of Diana, said Diana's two older sisters were extremely close and loyal to each other. Sarah gave her first child, Emily, the middle name of 'Jane' in a tribute to her younger sister. Her relationship with younger brother Earl Spencer has been volatile at the best of times. As the eldest and the youngest of the Spencer children, they have clashed frequently in adulthood and childhood. In recent years, possibly due to the death of their sister, the siblings appear to have settled previous differences.



  1. ^ "Life of luxury stripped sparse by tragedy". Scotsman. 4 June 2004. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Geoffrey Levy; Richard Kay (2 July 2010). "Yesterday was Diana's 49th birthday". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "William and Harry among the guests as their cousin Emily McCorquodale marries". Telegraph. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 59011. p. 4924. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2009.
  5. ^ Walker, Tim (19 March 2010). "Lady Sarah McCorquodale, sister of Diana, Princess of Wales, becomes a master of the hunt". Daily Telegraph. 
  6. ^ "Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Diana, Princess of Wales' Ladies-in-Waiting". Uniserve. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 

External links

  • Lady Sarah McCorquodale picture Lady Sarah McCorquodale leaving the high court at her sisters (Diana, Princess of Wales) inquest.
  • picture The Princess Royal and Lady Sarah McCorquodale during the prize giving ceremony at Burghley Horse Trials.