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There haven’t been many people who have been so loved as Diana, Princess of Wales. Her tragic death in 1997 cemented her position as a sympathetic figure, but while so many of us know about Princess Diana’s royal life, her family is a little less known.

Princess Diana’s family tree isn’t complicated, but there are some that she was closer to than others. While all of her family must have been devastated by her death, some people were suddenly bereft of a very close friend.

Princess Diana family members remember the beloved Princess of Wales, pictured here, sitting on a stoop
Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Princess Diana may have divorced herself from the royal family, too, but she still had one surprising royal family member that she was close to.

Princess Diana’s siblings were among those closest to her

In fact, one of them gave a beautiful eulogy at her funeral. Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, the Earl of Spencer, gave a moving eulogy at her funeral just a week after her death. His eulogy moved people to both applause and tears, and he has been vocal since in his criticism of actions that may have led to Diana’s death. 

She was also close to her sister. Lady Sarah McCorquodale is Diana’s older sister. In fact, her older sister dated Prince Charles first and introduced the two after she and Prince Charles broke it off.

According to Town and Country, Diana “hero-worshipped” her older sister. When Diana moved to London in the late 1970s, she moved in with her sister. 

Princess Diana was close to a surprising royal family member

With all the criticism surrounding the royal family regarding the treatment and death of Princess Diana, it might be surprising to know that one member of the royal family was one of her closest friends. 

Prince Philip was the one who took her under his wing. As the husband of the queen, Prince Philip was the patriarch of the family. He often sat with Diana at dinners and helped her navigate the ins and outs of royal life. 

She and Prince Philip exchanged letters even while her marriage with Prince Charles was falling apart. She addressed Prince Philip in those letters as “Pa.” It was clear that she was very close to him and loved him very much. 

That was in direct contrast to some of the criticism that most other members of the royal family, including the queen herself, didn’t offer Diana the support she needed.

Did Princess Diana come from a rich family?

One of the most common misconceptions about Princess Diana is that she was a commoner who married into the royal family. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, Princess Diana’s parents were not only wealthy but were also members of a noble family. 

Diana’s brother is now the ninth Earl of Spencer. Princess Diana already had a title when she married Charles; she was Lady Diana Spencer.

The Spencer family, though, tended to keep themselves out of the limelight. They do, however, have some history. Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister during World War II, was a member of the Spencer family, according to Heart

The Spencer family had wealth, and Diana and her siblings grew up with a generous amount of privilege. She was educated first at home, and then in a private school, reports Biography.

Princess Diana did not seem close to her parents or other siblings, but that may be because her parents divorced early in her life, and both very quickly remarried.

After the divorce, her father sued for custody of all the children and won. Diana had another sister, Lady Jane Fellows, who also steers clear of the spotlight.