Jane Fellowes, Baroness Fellowes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Right Honourable
The Lady Fellowes
Born Cynthia Jane Spencer
(1957-02-11) 11 February 1957 (age 61)
Nationality British
Education West Heath Girls' School
Known for Older sister of Diana, Princess of Wales
Spouse(s) Robert Fellowes, Baron Fellowes (m. 1978)
Children Laura Jane Fellowes
Alexander Robert Fellowes
Eleanor Ruth Fellowes
Parent(s) John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer
Frances Shand Kydd

Cynthia Jane Fellowes, Baroness Fellowes (née Spencer; born 11 February 1957) is one of the two older sisters of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Early life and education[edit]

Lady Fellowes is the second daughter of Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer (1924–1992) and the Hon. Frances Ruth Burke Roche (1936–2004). Her parents married in 1954 but divorced in 1969, she has always used her middle name of Jane (just as her elder sister also uses one of her middle names). One of Jane's godparents is Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, she was a bridesmaid at his 1961 wedding to Katharine Worsley.[1]

Like her sisters, Lady Fellowes was educated at West Heath boarding school near Sevenoaks in Kent. Sources say she was an excellent student, achieving the status of school Prefect and passing a good number of A-level exams. To paraphrase Andrew Morton, Lady Fellowes acquired a "hatful" of O-level and A-level exams,[2] her successful exams suggest that she is the most academically gifted of the three sisters.

Marriage and children[edit]

On 20 April 1978, Jane married her distant relation Robert Fellowes (b. 1941), then assistant private secretary to the Queen. During the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, Jane's sister Diana was a bridesmaid.

In June 1999, Robert Fellowes was granted a life peerage as Baron Fellowes, of Shotesham in the County of Norfolk, after first being knighted as Sir Robert Fellowes.[3]

Lord and Lady Fellowes have three children and four grandchildren:

  • The Honourable Laura Jane Pettman (19 July 1980); married Nick Pettman on 30 May 2009. The couple have two sons.
  • The Honourable Alexander Robert Fellowes (23 March 1983) he married Alexandra Finlay on 20 September 2013. They have two children:
    • Robert George Fellowes (10 April 2015)
    • Rose Jane Fellowes (10 August 2016)
  • The Honourable Eleanor Ruth Fellowes (20 August 1985)

These children are maternal first cousins of Prince William and Prince Harry. Laura is godmother to Prince William's daughter, Princess Charlotte.[4]

Lady Diana Spencer came up to Scotland in the summer of 1980 to help with her sister's newborn daughter, Laura Jane and, during that time, was allegedly courted by the Prince of Wales.

Relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales[edit]

Lady Fellowes was the only member of the Spencer family not to talk to the media about the death of the Princess of Wales or her life in the wake of her death. She finally granted an interview on the subject in 2013,[5] after Diana's death, conflicting views about the two sisters' relationship were voiced by different people. Diana's butler Paul Burrell stated that the relationship was strained because of Lord Fellowes's position as secretary to the Queen and that by the time of Diana's death they had not spoken in a number of years,[6] on the other hand, Diana's childhood nanny, Mary Clarke, author of memoirs about the nanny's experience raising Diana, stated that the relations between the Baroness and Diana were not as bitter as Burrell and others have said or assumed.[7] It is not clear when their relationship deteriorated (if it did), but the sisters were neighbours on the Kensington Palace estate, with Diana living at Numbers 8 and 9, and Lady Fellowes living at a house called the Old Barracks.[8] According to her 1998 interview, Lady Fellowes announced the news of Diana's death to their brother Charles, Earl Spencer with the words "I'm afraid that's it, she's dead."[citation needed]

Sarah and Lady Fellowes flew to Paris with their former brother-in-law Prince Charles to escort the Princess's body back for the public funeral. Many witnesses reported that Lady Fellowes was very upset and needed to be assisted into a chair after seeing Diana's body at the hospital in Paris. Sarah and Lady Fellowes played a part in the public funeral ceremony, since Diana's death, Lord and Lady Fellowes have led a largely private life along with their three children. Lady Fellowes also attended the wedding of her nephew Prince William to Catherine Elizabeth Middleton on 29 April 2011.[9]



  1. ^ "The Duke of Kent and Katharine Worsley Wedding". Friends Reunited. Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Andrew Morton, Diana: Her True Story.
  3. ^ House of Lords, Minutes and Order Paper – Minutes of Proceedings, 26 October 1999.
  4. ^ "Princess Charlotte to be christened at Sandringham". BBC News. 
  5. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/10389782/Princess-Dianas-sister-speaks-out-for-the-first-time.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Paul Burrell, A Royal Duty, 2003.
  7. ^ Mary Clarke, Little Girl Lost: The Troubled Childhood of Princess Diana by the Woman who Raised Her.
  8. ^ Lady Colin Campbell, Diana in Private...
  9. ^ "He said, she said: What the lip-readers saw at the royal wedding". The Telegraph. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Williamson 1981a.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t 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.