Princess Diana would be ‘appalled and stunned’ at his school ordeal says brother

By Staff

Princess Diana would have been “appalled and stunned” if she knew of his ordeal at school, where he would make himself sick in a plea for help, said her brother Earl Spencer

Earl Spencer has told how Princess Diana would have been “appalled and stunned” if she knew he would make himself sick at school in a plea for help.

The younger brother of the late Princess of Wales has spoken out about sexual assault and beatings that he received while at Maidwell Hall boarding school in an extract taken from his memoir.

And now he has also said about his unhappiness as a child and how he felt like he was “drowning in an adult sea”. But while he believes that he suffered from bulimia he never spoke to Diana about it.

“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,” he told the BBC ’s Laura Kuenssberg,

“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.”

Asked about how Diana, who was known for her empathy and own battle with bulimia, would have reacted if she had known, Earl Spencer believes she would have been “appalled”.

He said: “I think she’d have been pretty cross, and um appalled. And yeah, I think she would have been stunned actually. See, we went to school, primary school together before, it was an idyllic school. And I have checked on this, it was called Silfield School – I remember that,” he said.

Meanwhile, in passages from his memoir that has 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 prostitute at the age of 12. He wrote that he was 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.” Earl Spencer’s book, A Very Private School, will be published on March 14.

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