Lady Sarah McCorquodale

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Lady Sarah McCorquodale
Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer

(1955-03-19) 19 March 1955 (age 67)
EducationRiddlesworth Hall
West Heath
Known forOne of two older sisters of Diana, Princess of Wales
Neil Edmund McCorquodale
(m. 1980)
Parent(s)John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer
Frances Shand Kydd
RelativesDiana, Princess of Wales (sister)

Lady Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia McCorquodale (née Spencer; born 19 March 1955)[1] is one of the two older sisters of Diana, Princess of Wales, the other being Jane Fellowes, Baroness Fellowes.

Early life

Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer was born with the honorific "The Honourable"; she acquired the courtesy title "Lady" 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.[2] She was educated firstly at Riddlesworth Hall School in Norfolk and secondly at West Heath boarding school near Sevenoaks in Kent. After passing O Level exams, she left West Heath to work in London.


Sarah married Neil Edmund McCorquodale (born 4 October 1951), son of Alastair McCorquodale and Rosemary Sybil Turnor, on 17 May 1980 in Northamptonshire, England. Neil is a 2nd cousin once removed of Lady Sarah's stepmother, Raine Spencer.

Neil and Lady Sarah McCorquodale have three children:

  • Emily Jane McCorquodale (2 July 1983); she married James T. R. Hutt on 9 June 2012.[3] They have two children:
    • Isabella Rosemary Hutt (18 June 2014)
    • Henry George Thomas Hutt (25 March 2016)
  • George Edmund McCorquodale (17 November 1984); he married Bianca Moore, daughter of Gavin Moore, on 6 August 2016 in South Africa.[4]
    • Sybil McCorquodale (12 May 2017)
    • Molly McCorquodale (31 January 2020)
    • Joseph McCorquodale (30 March 2022) [5]
  • Celia Rose McCorquodale (1989); she married George Woodhouse on 16 June 2018 at St Andrew and St Mary's Church, Stoke Rochford, Lincolnshire, England. For her wedding, Celia wore the Spencer Tiara, which her mother and aunts Jane and Diana wore on their wedding days.[6]
    • Walter George Spencer Woodhouse (27 November 2020)


She and her family reside near Grantham, Lincolnshire where she served a one-year term as High Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 2009.[7][8] She became a master of the Belvoir Hunt in May 2010.[8] Lady Sarah was also president of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, which raised £100 million for various charities.[9][10] The Fund unsuccessfully took legal action in 1998 against the Franklin Mint over the unlicensed use of Diana's image.[9] The Fund closed at the end of 2012.[11]


Diana, Princess of Wales

In 1977, Sarah's relationship with Prince Charles led to the first meeting between Diana and her future husband.[12] Sarah later commented on her sister's marriage saying: "I introduced them. I'm Cupid."[13] During the period in which Sarah 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.[14]

Sarah 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. Sarah also declared that she would not marry Charles "if he were the dustman or the King of England."[14] When the article was released, Sarah showed it to the prince, who was infuriated by it.[14] 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 Sarah was one of the few people Diana trusted. Later in their lives, Sarah often accompanied Diana on official visits as one of her ladies-in-waiting.[15]

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 was president of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Sarah attended the wedding of her nephew Prince William to Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011. It is said that William and Catherine are close to Lady Sarah, with whom they spent a weekend on the 16th anniversary of Diana's death.[16] Sarah also attended the wedding of her other nephew Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on 19 May 2018.


In 2018, Sarah spoke publicly in support of George Grant, an employee of Belvoir Hunt whom she had known for 27 years, after he assaulted foxhunt saboteurs. Grant, along with his son and other men, assaulted the hunt saboteurs who were affiliated with the League Against Cruel Sports. Sarah, who served as joint master of the Belvoir Hunt, claimed that Grant's actions were out of character.[17][18]



  1. ^ "Lady Sarah Spencer Mccorquodale". Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Life of luxury stripped sparse by tragedy". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 4 June 2004. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  3. ^ Nikkhah, Roya (10 June 2012). "William, Kate and Harry celebrate the wedding of Princess Diana's beloved niece who beat cancer". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Prince Harry attends wedding of Princess Diana's nephew in South Africa". Hello!. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  5. ^ "Bianca McCorquodale on Instagram: "💙Joseph Daniel Turnor💙 We welcomed our son on 30th March 2022. Convinced we were having another girl, we've had to adjust to him being a he and not a she! Sybil and Molly absolutely adore their baby brother ❤️ #itsaboy #familyof5 #girlsandboy #outnumbered #daddysgirls #mommysboy #allineed"".
  6. ^ Maloney, Maggie (18 June 2018). "Princess Diana's Niece Just Wore the Spencer Tiara at Her Wedding". Town & Country. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  7. ^ "No. 59011". The London Gazette. 19 March 2009. p. 4924.
  8. ^ a b Walker, Tim (19 March 2010). "Lady Sarah McCorquodale, sister of Diana, Princess of Wales, becomes a master of the hunt". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  9. ^ a b "Lady Sarah McCorquodale can look forward to having some free time". Daily Express. London. 14 October 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Was the £100m Diana Fund a disaster?". Daily Express. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  11. ^ Alleyne, Richard (20 July 2011). "Princess Diana's memorial fund to wind up". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  12. ^ "Prince Charles and his relationships". The Telegraph. 10 November 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Charles 'amazed' by Lady Di's yes". The Guardian. 25 February 1981. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  14. ^ a b c "I took Lady Sarah for lunch and spoiled her chances of marrying Prince Charles". The Mirror. 20 February 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Diana, Princess of Wales' Ladies-in-Waiting". Uniserve. Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Royals pay tribute to Diana in secret". Daily Express. London. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  17. ^ "Princess Diana's sister pleads with judge for hunt assault man to avoid jail". Leicester Live. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Belvoir Hunt attack: Princess Diana's sister vouches for attacker". BBC News. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  19. ^ Williamson 1981a.
  20. ^ Williamson 1981b.


  • Williamson, D. (1981a). "The Ancestry of Lady Diana Spencer". Genealogist's Magazine. 20 (6): 192–199.
  • Williamson, D. (1981b). "The Ancestry of Lady Diana Spencer". Genealogist's Magazine. 20 (8): 281–282.

External links