John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer
|The Earl Spencer|
|Born||Edward John Spencer
24 January 1924
|Died||29 March 1992
Humana Hospital, Wellington, London, England
|Tenure||9 June 1975– 29 March 1992|
|Known for||Father of Diana, Princess of Wales and maternal grandfather of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry of Wales|
|Predecessor||Albert Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer|
|Successor||Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer|
|Spouse(s)||Frances Ruth Roche
Raine, Countess of Dartmouth
|Parents||Albert Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer
Cynthia Spencer, Countess Spencer
Early life, education and military career
Lord Spencer was born Edward John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, the son of Albert Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer, on 24 January 1924. He was educated at Eton, the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, and the Royal Agricultural College. A Captain in the Royal Scots Greys, Lord Spencer fought in the Second World War from 1944 to 1945, and was Mentioned in Despatches. From 1947 to 1950, he served as Aide-de-Camp to then-Governor of South Australia, Willoughby Norrie.
Politics and royal service
Spencer held the offices of County Councillor for Northamptonshire (1952), High Sheriff of Northamptonshire (1959) and Justice of the Peace for Norfolk (1970). He served as Equerry to King George VI (1950–52) and to Queen Elizabeth II (1952–54), and was invested as a member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in 1954. He was known by the courtesy title Viscount Althorp until 1975 when he became the 8th Earl Spencer upon his father's death.
On 1 June 1954 Spencer and Frances Ruth Roche, the younger daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy, were married in Westminster Abbey by Percy Herbert, Bishop of Norwich. The Queen and other members of the Royal Family attended the wedding ceremony. They had five children:
- Lady Sarah McCorquodale (born 19 March 1955), married Neil Edmund McCorquodale on 17 May 1980 and had issue.
- Jane Fellowes, Baroness Fellowes (born 11 February 1957), married Robert Fellowes, Baron Fellowes in March 1978 and had issue.
- John Spencer (12 January 1960), died within ten hours of his birth.
- Diana, Princess of Wales (1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997), married Charles, Prince of Wales, on 29 July 1981 and had issue.
- Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer (born 20 May 1964), married first Victoria Lockwood from 1989 to 1997 and had issue, married second Caroline Hutton from 2001 to 2007 and had issue, and married third Karen Villeneuve on 18 June 2011 and had issue.
John and Frances Spencer were separated in April 1969. Frances later married Peter Shand Kydd and Lord Spencer married Raine, Countess of Dartmouth on 14 July 1976, the former wife of the 9th Earl of Dartmouth, and the daughter and only child of the romantic novelist Barbara Cartland and Alexander McCorquodale.
Spencer died of a heart attack on 29 March 1992, aged 68.
Styles of address and coat of arms
Styles of address
- 1924–1954: Viscount Althorp
- 1954-1975: Viscount Althorp MVO
- 1975–1992: The Right Honourable The Earl Spencer MVO
Coat of arms
|Ancestors of John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer|
- "The 8th Earl Spencer, 68, Dies; Father of the Princess of Wales". The New York Times. 30 March 1992. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- "Person Page 100 earl daniel spencer was his great great grand father 89: Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer". The Peerage.
- "Diana, Princess of Wales biography". The official website of the British Monarchy.
Earl Spencer was Equerry to George VI from 1950 to 1952, and to The Queen from 1952 to 1954.
- "Princess Diana: The Earl's daughter, born to life of privilege". CNN. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Queen heads lists guests at wedding". The Montreal Gazetta (London). 1 June 1954. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- "Edward John Spencer; Earl Was Princess Diana's Father". Los Angeles Times (London). 30 March 1992. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer at Find a Grave
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer
Sir Gyles Isham, Bt
|High Sheriff of Northamptonshire
|Peerage of Great Britain|
9 June 1975 – 29 March 1992