Lady Kitty Spencer is a Dolce & Gabbana model, British It-Girl, and bona fide bombshell who is “Diana Princess of Wales most ravishing niece.” She and her two sisters – Eliza and Amelia – first caught Britain’s attention at the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and many believe that with her golden hair and blue eyes, she resembles the late People’s Princess.
Kitty is making waves in London and is one of the U.K.’s most eligible bachelorettes. But instead of being a super-discreet, dull member of the royal circle, she is a warm and fun beauty who enjoys being the center of attention.
She is the oldest daughter of Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer and British model Victoria Lockwood, and in 1995 at the age of four, her family moved to South Africa for a fresh start and sunshine. But not long after, Princess Diana died tragically, and her parents went through a nasty, public divorce that aired the family’s dirty laundry – including the fact that he was a philanderer and she had a substance abuse problem.
Kitty and her sisters ended up living with their mom in the Cape Town suburb of Constantia, and Lockwood ended up getting sober, remarrying, and becoming a psychologist and addictions counselor who is extremely close to her three girls.
Meanwhile, Kitty attended college at the University of Cape Town and studied psychology and politics, but remained close to her mother – who she calls “mumcat” – and talks to her up to five times a day.
She eventually moved back to London, earned her Master’s Degree, and got a job with the Give Us Time charity. And now, with a blossoming modelling career, she is becoming famous in her own right and taking the fashion world by storm.
20 A Flair For Fashion
When she was alive, Princess Diana had a flair for fashion, and it looks like Kitty does too. Even though she has a voluptuous figure, she is a print and runway model for Dolce & Gabbana, and she is the spitting image of her late aunt when wearing evening wear (and sometimes even a tiara) for the popular fashion label.
The 27-year-old is the star of the brand’s Spring/Summer 2018 ad campaign, and she doesn’t let worries about things like weight consume her. Even though she grew up with a mom who had an eating disorder, Spencer says there were never any scales in her house, and her mom protected her from the pointlessness of worrying about weight. She says she could never care about that kind of stuff even if she wanted to because it is too boring.
19 The Most Sought After Bachelorette
In 2014, Tatler magazine named her the most sought-after bachelorette because of her, beauty, style, net worth, and royal contacts, referring to her network in high society as “social viagra.” Even though she spent her childhood away from the spotlight, she had a change of heart when she got older and moved back to England.
But she isn’t just a pretty girl with status. She attended Reddam House, a private school in South Africa. And, after getting her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Cape Town, she completed her MA in Luxury Brand Management at Regent’s University London. She also supports several charities, including Centre Point – a charity for the homeless – and Give Us Time, an organization that serves military servicemen and their families.
18 No Spotlight
When she talks about growing up in South Africa, Spencer says it is the kind of environment any parent would want to give their child, and she loves that her parents gave her the opportunity to live there.
“I don’t think there really is a spotlight in South Africa,’ says Lady Kitty, who was four at the time her family moved. “I don’t think anyone knew anything about my family. It was good to grow up in an environment where people built each other up. In South Africa, you would be judged if you weren’t nice to people.”
Even though now she calls London home, she says that South Africa will always have a place in her heart because it is the kind of place that does that – it stays in your soul.
17 Still Single
For three years, Spencer was in an on-again, off-again relationship with Italian property tycoon Niccolò Barattieri di San Pietro – a man twice her age –, but the pair split last summer. The divorced father of three lived in the affluent London neighbourhood of South Kensington, and he and Kitty introduced their relationship to the world via various pictures on Instagram.
When the couple split, Spencer jetted off to the Hamptons to mend her broken heart, then went to New York City to take in some sights, including the building used as the exterior of the Friends apartment.
When posting the pic on Instagram, she captioned it with "Anyone who knows me knows how ecstatic I am to be standing in front of the Friends building. My obsession knows no bounds."
16 A Dream Job
As the new face of Dolce & Gabbana, Spencer shared some behind-the-scenes pics on Instagram of her recent Venice photo shoot with the Morelli brothers, and the images were stunning. Along with the pics, Spencer captioned them by saying it was one of the happiest days she can remember.
She also posted a video that revealed her pre-modeling “grooming” process of getting her makeup and hair done. Spencer starred in the ad campaign with other millennials who have blue blood backgrounds, including heiress Isabel Getty, Frankie Herbert – niece of the Earl of Carnarvon and real-life resident of Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle –, Sabrina Percy, relative of the Duke of Northumberland, and Eleonore Habsburg, a descendant of the Austrian royal family.
15 First-Time Cover Girl
Before we saw her at the 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Spencer followed in her mom and Aunt Diana’s footsteps by gracing the cover of magazines. When she was 18, she made her debut on the cover of Tatler wearing a corset-style ivory mini-dress.
In an accompanying interview, she talked about her late aunt and revealed that her memories were vague since she was only seven at the time of Diana’s death. Spencer also talked about her mom’s battle with substance abuse and her life in South Africa with her sisters and brother.
On growing up in a foreign country, Spencer said: "I've never had to sacrifice one or the other because my mother's in South Africa and my father's [in London], so I've always gone between the two.”
14 No Royal Talk
Spencer has admitted that she is “wary of saying anything” about her royal relatives, and out of respect for them, she has a rule that she won’t discuss Prince William, Kate Middleton, or Prince Harry. But, she understands why people want to talk about them. She doesn’t mind the media’s interest in her because it hasn’t been too much of a negative experience. She says the attention gives her the opportunity to speak about things that are important to her, and she is all for putting herself out there on social media for fans to see her life.
The 27-year-old says that Instagram is a positive thing that has allowed her to share her love of travel and the struggles she has with her cat, plus she gets to post endless selfies.
When she isn’t online, she focuses on her charity work and travels around the world for her modeling career.
13 Special Memories
Princess Diana may be gone, but she is not forgotten – especially when it comes to her family – and Spencer continues to hold on to the moments she shared with her aunt.
"I was so young [when Diana was alive]. There are only a few memories, but special memories and happy memories, and I’m so lucky to have those," Spencer said.
Even though her hair is longer than Diana’s, at first glance, there is something familiar about Kitty, because of those big blue eyes that look unmistakably like those of her late aunt. She also speaks softly as Diana did, but instead of a distinctly British pronunciation of her words, she still has her South African lilt that hasn’t faded in the six years she has been back in the U.K.
12 Feeling British
House party at @daviddownton's crib 🎄✨💫 #Repost @daviddownton . . . BEAUTIES. The Claridge's Christmas Tree Party means there is no going back; The season is upon us! This year, the tree was designed by Karl Lagerfeld and London's beauties came out in force to celebrate....@erinoconnor @amandaharlech @virginiabateslondon @kitty.spencer
Even though she moved to South Africa when she was four years old, Spencer always knew that at some point she would make her way back to London because she has always felt tied to the city, and a lot of her family is there, so it was a logical step for her to go back.
"Now, I love being in London, and it makes sense to be here, and it's a really exciting place to be in your 20s. South Africa's such an amazing place to grow up and have a childhood but, right now, I . . . really wanted a big city,” said Spencer.
But life isn’t all polo matches and afternoon tea with the Queen. She enjoys things that any other woman her age does. She loves Lena Dunham, knows every episode of Friends, and is a huge fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
11 Royal Wedding Guest
As a close cousin of William and Harry, Spencer, of course, snagged an invite to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding seven years ago, and she will once again be on the royal guest list – this time for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Her younger twin sisters Eliza and Amelia will also attend the May 19th event at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, along with their younger brother Louis, the heir apparent to the earldom.
Other cousins in attendance will include Arthur Chatto, Harry’s second cousin and grandson of Princess Margaret, his older brother, Samuel, and Lady Amelia Windsor and Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor, the daughters of the Earl and Countess of St. Andrews.
10 Fashionable Career Plans
Lady Kitty has plans for a creative career in the fashion industry, but just because she isn’t sporty, it doesn’t mean she isn’t competitive. She says her siblings were sporty growing up, but she focused on academics. And, she always needs to be doing something and doesn’t want to be idle.
She currently juggles several roles, including her modeling (the Storm agency represents her), serving as an ambassador for Centrepoint, and being a trustee for the military charity Give Us Time.
The focus on family drew Spencer to Give Us Time – an organization founded by Dr. Liam Fox MP – because she likes that it nurtures the family unit, and it is the first one of its kind she had heard about.
9 A Simple Idea
The idea of Give Us Time is simple: the organization matches one-week vacations donated by hotels and timeshares with a military family in need of some time away together after tours of duty. The trips can be at home or abroad, and the important thing is to bring families together in a nice place, so they can recover.
“When someone comes back from a tour the family dynamic has shifted, so we find that giving them neutral territory is great,” says Spencer.
She says it isn’t an amazing fix, but they have found that the concept definitely works. Spencer shared that one couple got engaged on a Give Us Time trip, while another returned from their vacation no longer in need of counseling.
Spencer says that charity work keeps her grounded and is a lesson in gratitude and awareness.
8 A Wholesome Upbringing
Born on December 28, 1990, Kitty is the eldest daughter of Diana’s brother Charles Spencer 9th Earl Spencer and former model Victoria Lockwood, and the first question she always gets from people is “What is your family like?”
Her parents divorced in 1997, and her dad moved back to the UK to take charge of the Althorp estate, while Kitty and her siblings stayed in South Africa with their mother.
Both of her parents have since remarried – her dad twice and her mom once – and there are now seven Spencer children. Kitty remains close to her parents and often plays backgammon with her dad, and she calls her mom constantly.
She says that she talks to her mom 100 times a day, and instead of saying “goodbye,” they say, “speak to you in a bit.”
7 Living Life On Social Media
Spencer’s Instagram feed doesn’t look much different than the average young woman in her 20’s. It features filtered photographs of things like plates of gnocchi and selfies with her friends at parties. But her circle of friends includes people like fashion designer Matthew Williamson, her cousin Celia McCorquodale (daughter of Princess Diana’s older sister, Lady Sarah), and Philippa Cadogan (the granddaughter of Earl Cadogan).
However, she is still wary of social media and believes it can be “dangerous” for young girls because it is an edited, filtered version of life.
“Younger girls think that’s reality and something that they can strive for, and if they fall short of that then they’ve somehow failed,” says Spencer.
And, the pressure to look good is something that one would think is an issue close to heart after all the things her mother went through.
6 Finding Mr. Right
Kitty says that she is very sentimental, and it is hard to find good people and completely opening up to someone is a very difficult thing to do. She has had a couple of boyfriends, who are both still her best friends because she says that even if things don’t work out romantically, you should “still see the benefit of having a good soul in your life that knows you.”
Her modeling career and charity work help her enjoy the single life, and in her downtime, she loves playing board games and watching television quiz shows like QI, Weakest Link, and University Challenge.
She also says she is “addicted” to backgammon.
Kitty also loves to travel – going to places like Milan, Florence, Prague, and Paris – and documents her adventures on Instagram.
5 Fashion Princess
When not walking the runway, Spencer is a front-row fixture at fashion shows and loves to glam it up for the cameras with other “it” girls like Ellie Goulding and Lottie Moss.
The Bardot-esque bombshell also loves to strut her stuff for Dolce & Gabbana and recently did so in the “Secrets & Diamonds” show in Milan. She also loves to rub elbows with stylish socialites, celebrities, and fashion insiders from around the world, but her best friends are singer Pixie Lott, Violet Manners, and Violet Von Westenholz – the woman who introduced Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Spencer wouldn’t describe herself as a feminist because it is a word that generates such strong emotion, but she is all for both genders having the same opportunities.
4 Unique Style
Spencer’s sense of style is constantly changing because her confidence level and where she is in life are huge style influences. For example, when she is in her hometown of Cape Town, she keeps things relaxed because the environment does not have much emphasis on fashion. But when in London, a fashion-forward city, she doesn’t play it safe.
"I think only over the past year or so did I really feel like I've engaged with fashion or style to have fun and express who I am through what I wear," she said.
She does love the classic 50’s Made Men style and says if she wouldn’t get weird looks, she would wear it every day. Spencer sees her personal style as a learning experience but prefers things that are both classic and feminine.
3 The Family Real Estate
Spencer says that in general she is pro-gender equality but when it comes to her family’s estate, she believes it is “correct” that her brother Louis will be the one inheriting it. She says that she wants to see Althorp House remain in her family’s name.
She says that she is glad it will be her brother’s responsibility and that is the right way.
"I like that the house stays within the same family with the same surname. I wouldn't want it any other way for the Spencers. And I just know my brother is going to do an impeccable job," admits Kitty.
Althorp House has belonged to the Spencer family for more than 500 years, and it was Princess Diana’s home before she married Prince Charles. Her father acquired the 90-room property in 1992, and tradition dictates that the first-born male child will inherit it.
2 A Model Life
Spencer actually landed her first magazine cover at the age of one when she and her mom appeared on the cover of Harper & Queen (now known as Harper’s Bazaar). She says that growing up she never thought she would be a model, and it was never on the list of things she wanted to be.
Agencies did scout her while she was in school, but her mom always protected her and had her focus on academics. Spencer says she understands why her mom made that choice, and she respected the decision to put school first.
But once she moved back to London to continue her education, she casually started taking modeling jobs and fashion just naturally started to become a big part of her life.
1 Living A Fairy Tale
In Spencer’s world, dressing up means wearing fairytale-worthy couture gowns and vacation means lounging on luxury yachts in exotic locations. She is also a fashionista who showcases her style on her popular Instagram account.
She has an incredible collection of jewelry made up of pieces from the best high-end fashion houses, and she no doubt enjoys her accessories. She wore a sparkling crown when she walked the runway in February, and she showcased a number of designs during the show, including a pastel blue cherub printed jumpsuit made from the finest chiffon.
When it comes to her budding modeling career, she says, "I have a relaxed attitude toward [modeling]. I appreciate that it takes me to new places and you get to dress up and wear beautiful things and live in a little bit of a fairy tale for a day."