Princess Diana pleaded ‘if you loved me, you wouldn’t leave me at school’ says ‘proud’ brother

By Staff

The late Princess of Wales is said to have emotionally urged her father John Spencer not to make her board at Riddlesworth Hall School, Earl Spencer said on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg on BBC One this morning

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Earl Spencer asked about Diana’s emotional plea to her father

Princess Diana pleaded with her father not to send her away to boarding school, her brother Charles Spencer has revealed.

The late Princess of Wales is said to have emotionally urged her father John Spencer not to make her board at Riddlesworth Hall School, telling him “If you loved me, you wouldn’t leave me here”

Earl Charles Spencer shared the heartbreaking remarks in an interview on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg on BBC One this morning, during which he spoke about both their experiences being sent to boarding schools at a young age.

After quoting Diana’s line to Earl Spencer, Kuenssberg asked the 59-year-old: “Do you think she was also hurt or affected by being sent away?”

Earl Spencer said he was “so proud of (Diana) for saying that, it’s so incredibly impactful, to the point that my father remembered it.” The father-of-seven went on to argue that no child should be sent away from their home to live at a private school at such a young age.

“I would say any child, I believe, under teenage years, under 13, I think – I don’t think they should be sent away, I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think they can possibly understand what’s going on,” he said.

Diana was sent to Riddlesworth Hall, in Norfolk, at the age of nine after her mother, Frances Roche, separated from her father John for wallpaper millionaire Peter Shand-Kydd.

Earl Spencer recently revealed through an extract from his memoir that he suffered sexual assaults and beatings when at Maidwell Hall boarding school which has left him with lifelong “demons”.

“When you were there in that terrible environment, you write about how you were self-harming, you were making yourself sick, it was very poignant to read of that, of course also with people being aware of what Diana went through. Did you ever discuss those experiences with her?” Kuenssberg asked the earl.

He replied: “No, so I’ve not been diagnosed with anything from that time, but it’s quite clear to me I had bulimia at one stage. And mine was very much of a – connected to a need for some attention. I was – I say it in the book, I was – I felt like I was drowning in an adult sea.

“We had metal chamber pots under our bed, in case we were sick in the night, and I used to make myself vomit, and I’d take it to the matron, to show her. And it was, I realise, a complete cry for attention and help.

“And I never discussed that sort of – the mental illness things really with Diana, and certainly not – we grew up together, I don’t remember ever discussing anything from boarding school at all.”

When asked what Diana would’ve made of her brother’s childhood torment so many years on, Earl Spencer suggested she’d have been “pretty cross” and “appalled”.

In the same interview, he also said how his older sisters were given laxatives from a different nanny as a punishment for when they behaved badly. “It was just normal. You leave it to the nanny to deal with this. A different nanny was punishing them (his older sisters) by ladling laxatives down them, and my parents couldn’t work out why they were constantly ill,” the earl said.

Meanwhile, in passages from his memoir that have been serialised in the Mail on Sunday, Earl Spencer told of his sexual abuse by a female staff member at his boarding school. He said that it began when he was 11 and left him with such trauma that he self-harmed over the notion she may leave the school.

Earl Spencer writes: “There seemed to be an unofficial hierarchy among her prey… she chose one boy each term to share her bed and would use him for intercourse. Her control over mesmerised boys was total, for we were starved of feminine warmth and desperate for attention and affection.”

As a result of the experience, Earl Spencer says he lost his virginity to an Italian sex worker at the age of 12. He writes that he was a victim of the school staffer’s “perverted attention.” He added: “There was no joy in the act, no sense of arrival, no coming of age.”

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