Who is Princess Diana’s niece, Lady Kitty Spencer?

Who is Princess Diana’s niece, Lady Kitty Spencer?
Fashion model and aristocrat married fashion mogul Michael Lewis in Rome over the weekend

Lady Katherine “Kitty” Eleanor Spencer, a niece of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, married fashion businessman Michael Lewis over the weekend.

Kitty’s wedding to Lewis, 62, took place in a lavish Italian ceremony at Villa Aldobrandini just outside of Rome and saw Spencer donning five bespoke Dolce & Gabbana gowns over the three-day event.

But who is Kitty Spencer and what does she do?

Who is Lady Kitty Spencer?

The 30-year-old aristocrat is the eldest child of Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, and Victoria Lockwood. She has been a professional model since 2015, when she debuted in the December issue of Tatler.

Spencer was born in London on 28 December 1990, but grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. Following her parents’ divorce in 1997, she divided her time between the UK with her father and South Africa with her mother.

Princess Diana was her paternal aunt, and Prince William and Prince Harry are her first cousins.

Her first experience with modelling came at the age of one, when she appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar UK with her mother, who was also a model, in 1992.

Spencer walked for Dolce & Gabbana in September 2017 in a fashion show during Milan Fashion Week and again for their Christmas show at Harrods. That same year, she was the June cover girl of Hello! Fashion Monthly and also featured on the cover of Vogue Japan.

Earl Spencer and his daughters, including Kitty (centre)

Spencer became a brand ambassador for BVLGARI in May 2018, having previously modelled for the jewellery designer to showcase its “Diva’s Dream” diamond necklace.

She became a favourite for Dolce & Gabbana, walking in the luxury fashion house’s Secrets & Diamonds fashion show during the 2018 Milan Fashion Week, and again for the Spring 2019 collection.

Philanthropy also makes up part of Spencer’s work, and she is an ambassador for Centrepoint, a charity supporting homeless young people. She is also a trustee and patron for military charity Give Us Time.

Spencer announced her engagement to Lewis in January 2020. Lewis, a South African-born British businessman, is the chairman of the Foschini Group, which owns Whistles and Phase Eight.

Will Lady Spencer inherit the Althorp estate?

Although Spencer is the eldest child of the Earl Spencer, she will not inherit the title and family estates, Althorp and Spencer House.

Instead, according to the succession of the Earldom of Spencer, these will be inherited by her younger brother, Viscount Althorp, due to primogeniture.

Primogeniture refers to the right of a firstborn legitimate child to inherit the parents’ entire or main estate, and usually means the inheritance of the firstborn son.

Despite the system having been described as “archaic” by Lady Kinvara Balfour, Spencer has said she believed her brother should inherit Althorp to keep the property within the family name.

She told Tatler magazine in 2015: “In general, I’m totally pro gender equality. But I’m quite happy that that’s [going to be]my brother’s responsibility. I just think it’s the correct 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.”