Frances Shand Kydd (1936-2004) - Diana's Mother


If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

sophie25

Heir Apparent
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Messages
3,312
City
London
Country
United Kingdom
My elder sister, Pauline, travelled to Lourdes, France around five years ago with the Handicapped Children's Pilgrimage Trust, HCPT. She worked with Francis Shand-Kydd. My sister's recollection is that Diana's mum, as she hated being called, was the first to clean up after the sick but also the first to get the gin & tonics in after a gruelling days work. On entering a particuarly snobbish eaterie which wouldn't serve the volunteers drinks unless they bought food Francis said to Pauline, "Watch me do my thing" and within minutes, whatever she said, they were welcomed inside. According to my sister that was Francis all over, an aristocratic woman who used her connections to benefit others. On leaving Lourdes Pauline reached out to shake her hand only to be embraced and told "Oh no Pauline, were friends". The reality is that my teacher sister has exchanged confidences with the grandmother of the future King of England which she has never even disclosed to her own family (although we have seen the photographs). If only Diana could have been so fortunate in those to whom she confided in.
 
Originally posted by angela@Jun 18th, 2004 - 8:20 pm
My elder sister, Pauline, travelled to Lourdes, France around five years ago with the Handicapped Children's Pilgrimage Trust, HCPT. She worked with Francis Shand-Kydd. My sister's recollection is that Diana's mum, as she hated being called, was the first to clean up after the sick but also the first to get the gin & tonics in after a gruelling days work. On entering a particuarly snobbish eaterie which wouldn't serve the volunteers drinks unless they bought food Francis said to Pauline, "Watch me do my thing" and within minutes, whatever she said, they were welcomed inside. According to my sister that was Francis all over, an aristocratic woman who used her connections to benefit others. On leaving Lourdes Pauline reached out to shake her hand only to be embraced and told "Oh no Pauline, were friends". The reality is that my teacher sister has exchanged confidences with the grandmother of the future King of England which she has never even disclosed to her own family (although we have seen the photographs). If only Diana could have been so fortunate in those to whom she confided in.
What a beautiful story Angela!! :flower: Thank you for sharing that with all of us. ;) May Mrs. Shand-Kydd rest in peace.
 
Diana's mother, the Honourable Frances Burke Roche, was born in early 1936 to Baron Fermoy and his wife Ruth. She went on to marry Diana's father, Viscount Althorp in 1954 and gave birth to Sarah, Jane, John (died shortly after birth), Diana, and Charles.

Diana had a tumultous relationship with her mother due to the fact that her mother was a "bolter". She left her family for another man, Peter Shand-Kydd, in 1967. A bitter divorce and custody case followed where Frances' mother, Lady Fermoy, testified against her own daughter in favor of her son-in-law (basically because he was an aristocrat). Her mother was a Lady of the Bedchamber to the Queen Mother and was scandalized by what her daughter did. Frances lost custody of her children but married Peter Shand-Kydd. Many years later, Peter Shand-Kydd left Frances to go back to his first wife.

I think at first her mother was proud of her daughter marrying the heir to the British throne, but eventually changed her mind when she saw what was happening to her daughter. She also fought much with Diana; supposedly their last fight was about Diana dating people outside her "race" i.e. Hasnat Khan. Diana was still not speaking to her mother when she died in 1997.
 
Last edited:
Diana's mum left her first husband for another man, in the custody battle her own mother who was lady in waiting for the queens mother testified against her and she lost custody of her children, especially harmed were her 2 youngest children, Diana and her brother, as they were young and sent off to a boarding school. She had to suffer hostility from everyone, only to have her own husband leave her for another woman. What goes around, comes around...
 
I don't know how true it is, but I have heard that there may have been spousal abuse in the marriage and the then Viscount Althorp may have had a drinking problem. Pile that on top of their age difference, the loss of one child soon after birth (the boy born before Diana) and the pressure brought on Frances to have a male heir, it's no real wonder that Frances might have wanted to get out of the marriage. (As with Charles and Diana, there's many factors that go into the disintegration of a marriage.)

As for Diana and her brother Charles, children of that class are sent off to boarding school routinely (after all, Diana let her own children go to boarding school). It might have actually been worse for them to stay with either parent during the turmoil.

It is a shame that the Althorps weren't able to work out a civil method of separating without harming their children, especially the younger pair.
 
Dianas mother was Frances Shand Kydd born 20 january 1936. She was love mother to Princess Diana and she married Peter 1988. Frances married John Earl of Spencer many years after they divorced.Earl of Spencer married lady Raine of Darmouth Cartland is daugheter to famous wrote Barbara Cartland. Barbara Cartland was born 1901 9 july and she death 2000 may.Barbara was near 99th year before she death. Lady Raine was much friend to Princess Diana after his father death 1991. Frances have five children and many grandchildren,sister. Frances was sorry much after her daugheter Dianas death 1997.
Diana was daughter to Earl and Frances of Spencer and stepdaughter to Raine Cartland.Diana was stepgrandchildren to Barbara Cartland.Frances have farewell to Princess Dianas funeral 1997 and stepmother Raine come Princess Dianas funeral,she farewell to Princess Diana. His mother Barbara sitting on his house in London and tv on Princess Dianas funeral.Dianas mother Frances death 3 june 2004 68 yearin Scotland. She have hosue on Scotland Island,much she love on house many years to Frances dies.Frances children and grandchildren,husband Peter and Frances sister,sisterschildren,sistergrandchildren on Frances funeral.Queen Elizabeth and prince Philip,brothers,sister to Prince Charles,Dianas exhusband Prince Charles telegrams flowers to Frances funeral.
 
The wedding of the Honourable Frances Burke Roche and Viscount Althorp was huge deal social event in 1954, as evidenced by the fact that they were married in Westminster Abbey. That was the reason (at least one) why Diana did not want her wedding at Westminster (the site of most weddings for the British Royals); it reminded her of her parents' bitter divorce.
 
Last edited:
I think the wedding was held at St. Paul's more for the need for additional seating than out of consideration for Diana's feelings.
 
Frances was fairly young when she married Johnny Spencer, and though it was a love match at first, after a few years the marriage really deteriorated. Diana grew up largely in an atmosphere of hostility and bickering. One month after her divorce became final Frances married Peter Shand Kydd, whom the Spencer children apparently liked. (He later left Frances for another woman). Some sources say that Frances and Diana were not spekaing at the time of her death, others say they were. I guess the bottom line on Frances would be that she managed the typical still upper lip of the aristocratic class until she found Peter Shand Kydd, and then she threw over her marriage and children in a way that her own mother, Lady Fermoy, never forgave her for. I think it was this kind of childhood that contributed to Diana's insecurities and hypersensitivity.:(
 
i read Diana's books they says Diana dont talking her mother anymore on her phones and Diana got slammed by the phones at her mother for more reasons on Hello magazines they her mother talking about Diana married to Prince Charles and her mother proud of Diana married to Prince Charles but Diana dont listen to her mother till she died on August 31st they her mother got shock about Diana's accident.

Sara Boyce
 
sara1981 said:
i read Diana's books they says Diana dont talking her mother anymore on her phones and Diana got slammed by the phones at her mother for more reasons on Hello magazines they her mother talking about Diana married to Prince Charles and her mother proud of Diana married to Prince Charles but Diana dont listen to her mother till she died on August 31st they her mother got shock about Diana's accident.

Sara Boyce

Diana apparently would be estranged from different members of her family at different times. they would always work it out though.

her mother has spoken out very strongly against some of Mohammed Al Fayed's more ridiculous conspiracy theories. I like that she did that.
 
tiaraprin said:
had a tumultous relationship with her mother due to the fact that her mother was a "bolter". She left her family for another man, Peter Shand-Kydd, in 1967. A bitter divorce and custody case followed where Frances' mother, Lady Fermoy, testified against her own daughter in favor of her son-in-law (basically because he was an aristocrat). Her mother was a Lady of the Bedchamber to the Queen Mother and was scandalized by what her daughter did. Frances lost custody of her children but married Peter Shand-Kydd. Many years later, Peter Shand-Kydd left Frances to go back to his first wife.

How sad that Diana's mother Frances' mother testified against her. For one's mother to turn on her like that must have been devastating & then to loose your kids? Frances must have been terribly unhappy in that marriage probably unbearable. It's obvious why she and Diana had trouble communicating. Frances had a terrible relationship with her mother and maybe did not know how to make a solid relationship with her daughter as a result of that. Does anyone know if Frances' mother, Lady Fermoy ever regretted testifying against her daughter? Were there ever any words said by her about it?
 
lashinka2002 said:
How sad that Diana's mother Frances' mother testified against her. For one's mother to turn on her like that must have been devastating & then to loose your kids? Frances must have been terribly unhappy in that marriage probably unbearable. It's obvious why she and Diana had trouble communicating. Frances had a terrible relationship with her mother and maybe did not know how to make a solid relationship with her daughter as a result of that. Does anyone know if Frances' mother, Lady Fermoy ever regretted testifying against her daughter? Were there ever any words said by her about it?

Lady Fermoy was from the "Old School". One's place in society was the most important thing. If one's marriage was bad, one stayed no matter what due to position and scandal. Lady Fermoy was embarrassed by her daughter's "defiance" of the social pecking order and testified against her. I don't believe Lady Fermoy ever regretted her choice. She even sided against Diana when her marriage crumbled. Lady Fermoy was a courtier, through and through.
 
It does make the Fermoy-Spencers seem like social climbers. The Fermoys was only a Baron. Francis got married to an Earl. And her daughter did one better to get hitched with the heir to the throne.
 
Incas said:
It does make the Fermoy-Spencers seem like social climbers. The Fermoys was only a Baron. Francis got married to an Earl. And her daughter did one better to get hitched with the heir to the throne.

It's the way of the British aristocracy, after all.

And the Spencers had profited by serving the monarchy for hundreds of years.
 
Diana's mother "reconciled" with her mother on Lady Fermoy's deathbed. But the bitterness was there for years. Unfortunately, Frances did not have the chance to reconcile with her own daughter after giving an interview saying she was glad her daughter had lost her HRH title. I've read a number of books which portray Frances as a lost soul who lived a very lonely life after her last divorce. There are a few reporters who duly reported what she told them, then let the word slip out she was slurring her words and liked to drink. And she was arrested for drunk driving several years before her death. I think Diana was very wounded by all the tumult in her family and felt her mother had sold her out when she gave these interviews about her. I mean, if you can't confide in your family and expect some privacy and confidentiality, who can you really trust? And that seems to be one of Diana's biggest issues: She just didn't know who to trust and often questioned people's motives.
 
To be fair to Frances, the slurring reporters noted might have been caused by the condition that ultimately killed her. I'm not totally sure, but it sounded like Parkinson's to me.
 
iowabelle said:
I think the wedding was held at St. Paul's more for the need for additional seating than out of consideration for Diana's feelings.

This is true. When courtiers complained there would not be enough guards to line the route, Charles told them "Space them further apart". Diana was given a paltry amount of invitations for her family and friends. Most seats went to royals and foreign dignitaries.
 
I knew Francis and Peter divorced because he left her for another woman..but I didn't realize he went back to his first wife. Its a shame..but what goes around comes around.

One of the best quotes...When a man marries his mistress he creates a vacancy stated by Sir James Goldsmith. (It could have come from some earlier...but thats who I first heard it from).

I agree..it was rather foul of Lady Fermory to stand with her son-in-law...but it was a different time and place. Not to retread an issue which I am sure has been discussed in the past...but I believe (again just my opinion) if Diana had accepted Camilla as Charles mistress. Things could be very different today. Mind you..I am not saying I would (if in the same situation) accept my husband having a mistress but to a lot of people (who are trying to maintain a certain life sytle) that is their reality.
 
That's true. Mr. Burrell, whose loyalty I now question, said Diana referred to her mother as a "drunk." But who knows if Diana even knew her mother had this condition. And Mr. Burrell likes to spin things and I believe attributes comments of his own to Diana--now that she's no longer around to refute them.:mad:
iowabelle said:
To be fair to Frances, the slurring reporters noted might have been caused by the condition that ultimately killed her. I'm not totally sure, but it sounded like Parkinson's to me.
 
You know..lately I too have questioned Paul Burrell's motives. In the last issue of Majesty magazine (with the Duchess of York on the cover) it is suggested that he had something to do with Diana's estrangement from Sarah. Basically he told Diana that Sarah supposedly said some things about her...before I heard she (Diana) was mad how Sarah depicted her in her book.

Now..I know some question Sarah's methods but it does beg the question: Did Paul Burrell (in order to increase Diana's dependency on him) put little bugs in her ear regarding her relationships with other people? Thus leading to her estrangement from certain people.
 
Oh, yes!!! Without a doubt. He let Diana know what Sarah had said on various TV shows--and wasn't entirely accurate in his portrayals. I think he definitely had "issues" with Diana and wanted to isolate her from friends/family. She never called him "her rock." That was entirely his concoction. Or so say Lucia Flecha de Lima and Lana Marks--and somehow as neither have tried to make a dime off of Diana, I think they are more credible than Paul Burrell. He seems like a very manipulative man who was too nosey and tried to insert himself too closely in Diana's life. And if he cared so much about "the Boss," why write a book which would hurt her sons and hang onto things which belonged to them? He took them through the house after her death when they decided what they wanted of hers. He could've handed over the letters, photos, etc., then and there and privately.
Zonk1189 said:
You know..lately I too have questioned Paul Burrell's motives. In the last issue of Majesty magazine (with the Duchess of York on the cover) it is suggested that he had something to do with Diana's estrangement from Sarah. Basically he told Diana that Sarah supposedly said some things about her...before I heard she (Diana) was mad how Sarah depicted her in her book.

Now..I know some question Sarah's methods but it does beg the question: Did Paul Burrell (in order to increase Diana's dependency on him) put little bugs in her ear regarding her relationships with other people? Thus leading to her estrangement from certain people.
 
Didn't Lana Marks made a hand bag and called it "Diana"? I remember seeing ads for it in Vogue. I'd call that making money off Diana. I saw an interview she gave in which she said she was asked to be Diana's friend and then met her. That's a real strange thing, I had always assumed they met first and became friends.
 
Yes, she indeed made a bag for Diana and then named it after her. It retails for about $20,000.00 USD--or did, two years ago when I was in a boutique and saw one. But I have to assume as she was producing the bag when Diana was alive and their friendship remained intact, Diana either signed off on it or didn't mind. She didn't mind when the house of Dior created the Lady Di bag and Grace Kelly didn't mind when Hermes created the Kelly bag.

It was odd that Lucia Flecha de Lima "screened" Lana Marks before her introduction to the Princess. She told Lana the Princess "needed a friend she could trust" and proceeded to tell her things which Lana could have told others or the tabloids. When she didn't, she apparently was deemed acceptable and her friendship with Diana began. The fact we'd never heard of her before Diana's death lends credibility to her discretion--and de Lima talks about the whole thing in one of the videos done after Diana's death. I wondered about their participation in the videos but it seems they wanted to set the record straight and say some kind things about their friend.

Incas said:
Didn't Lana Marks made a hand bag and called it "Diana"? I remember seeing ads for it in Vogue. I'd call that making money off Diana. I saw an interview she gave in which she said she was asked to be Diana's friend and then met her. That's a real strange thing, I had always assumed they met first and became friends.
 
You know..if we have learned anything from Diana's death..and the events after her death is this: sometimes its not a good thing to have so many letters, cards around detailing your inner thoughts. When the trial of Paul Burrell was going on..I was actualy quite critical of her mother and sister for shredding her documents. Now..I wish they had gotten rid of all of her personal letters (except those to and from her sons!). Why you ask...I think a lot of things have come out since her death..that she probably would have wished remained hidden.

I read this great chick lit book (Something Borrowed)..and the main character Rachel....stated the main reason she didn't keep a diary, or destroyed any personal communication was this...in the event of her death...she didn't want her parents to lose the image that they had of her and she thought something like that (diaries, letters, cards, etc.) would do that. I think Diana would agree.
 
It's very unfortunate Diana had so much lying about and that it fell into the wrong hands, giving people more chances to exploit her. She bought a shredder after her divorce; pity she didn't use it more often. Like you, I was critical of her family shredding so much but now I think it was a good thing to do--and more of this correspondence should have been eliminated.
Zonk1189 said:
You know..if we have learned anything from Diana's death..and the events after her death is this: sometimes its not a good thing to have so many letters, cards around detailing your inner thoughts. When the trial of Paul Burrell was going on..I was actualy quite critical of her mother and sister for shredding her documents. Now..I wish they had gotten rid of all of her personal letters (except those to and from her sons!). Why you ask...I think a lot of things have come out since her death..that she probably would have wished remained hidden.

I read this great chick lit book (Something Borrowed)..and the main character Rachel....stated the main reason she didn't keep a diary, or destroyed any personal communication was this...in the event of her death...she didn't want her parents to lose the image that they had of her and she thought something like that (diaries, letters, cards, etc.) would do that. I think Diana would agree.
 
After reading these posts it is very clear that on many levels Diana and her mother were very much alike. I think Diana may have felt that as well, and didn't want to end up like her mother.
 
gallery links

ABACA gallery This link is valid and gives you a search result for Frances Shand Kydd. Picture count: 23
In the third picture from the top row, you see behind at Diana's funeral Frances and Lady Sarah, Lady Jane's daughter Laura (in brown) and Lady Sarah's daughter Emily.
Behind them you see Lord Fellowes (then Sir Robert) with Alexander and Eleanor. In the back: Neil McCorquodale and son George.
In picture 14, you can see Diana walking with Harry (holding hands), Frances holding the hand of Eleanor Fellowes, and Prince William and Alexander Fellowes walking out front, in September 1989, during events around Diana's brother's wedding.
 
After reading these posts it is very clear that on many levels Diana and her mother were very much alike. I think Diana may have felt that as well, and didn't want to end up like her mother.

Her mother made her feel bad because he dated muslim men. I don't think she felt that she would end up like her mother.:ohmy:
 
Back
Top Bottom