Was Princess Diana Related to Winston Churchill?

Princess Diana might have married into the royal family, but her own family lineage is quite impressive. The late princess — who was born Diana Spencer — came from one of the most distinguished aristocratic families in the United Kingdom. The Spencer family dates all the way back to the 15th century and many members held prominent roles in history (and, as it turns out, in the royal family). Was Princess Diana related to Winston Churchill? Find out more about the Princess of Wales’s family lineage, ahead.

Princess Diana

Princess Diana’s family has a long list of prominent people in history. | Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

Who was Winston Churchill?

Winston Churchill is most famously known as the United Kingdom Prime Minister that led England and the rest of the United Kingdom to victory during World War II. He held his role from 1940 to 1945 and 1951 to 1955. In addition to his Prime Minister title, Winston Churchill was also a statesman, writer, and army officer.

Was Princess Diana related to Winston Churchill?

As a member of the Spencer family, Princess Diana was related to a lot of prominent people in history. But, was Princess Diana related to Winston Churchill? According to Princess Diana’s family tree, the late princess and former Prime Minister were distant cousins and shared some of the same relatives. The two were allegedly related to a man named Charles Spencer (1675-1722), who was the third Earl of Sunderland and his wife, Lady Anne Spencer, whose maiden name was Churchill. The couple was Winston Churchill’s great-great-great-great-great-grandparents and Princess Diana’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents.

How did Winston Churchill end up with his great-great-great-great-great-grandmother’s maiden name? His great-grandfather, George Spencer, the 5th Duke of Marlborough, added Churchill to his name in 1817 to highlight his family’s history and add the connection to his prominent great-great-grandfather. George Spencer changed the family name to Spencer-Churchill and, as it turns out, it remains that way today. That said, some of its members — such as Winston Churchill — preferred to drop Spencer and just go as Churchill.

In addition to changing the name to Spencer-Churchill, George Spencer also changed the family coat of arms to combine both the Spencer and Churchill family’s coat of arms.

Was Princess Diana a commoner before marrying Prince Charles?

Technically speaking, Princess Diana was a commoner before marrying into the royal family. However, her aristocratic lineage and long family history of dukes and earls (and the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) says otherwise. As it turns out, Princess Diana was not that “common.”

Princess Diana came from a family with great political and social influence. She made that clear on her wedding day after she refused to wear the royal tiara Queen Elizabeth II offered her (the Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara). She instead wore the Spencer Tiara, as every Spencer woman (including those marrying into the family) do so on their wedding day. Even though she married into the royal family, the late princess wanted to stick to family tradition and honor her heritage.

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