A Young Princess Diana With Her Guinea Pig, Peanuts

February 23, 2021

The Princess That Never Got To Be Queen

There is one thing that members of the British royal family all seem to have in common and that is their love of animals. As you can see in this colorized photograph from 1972, Princess Diana, then simply Lady Diana Spencer, loved animals from an early age. Shown here is an eleven-year-old Diana with her beloved guinea pig, Peanuts. 

A colorized photo of Lady Diana Spencer with her pet guinea pig, taken in 1972. (https://www.reddit.com/r/ColorizedHistory/comments/6wkypk/young_princess_diana_wit)h_her_guinea_pig_peanuts/

Diana had a relatively unhappy childhood and an even more unhappy marriage to Prince Charles. Perhaps the princess found the unconditional love she so wanted from the many pets that she had during her life. 

A Troubled Childhood

Lady Diana Spencer had an unhappy childhood. (oprahmag.com)

Sure, the Spencer family enjoyed a 500-year-long noble lineage that afforded them a life of luxury, but life was not a fairytale. Diana’s father was John Spencer, Viscount Althorp and, later, the 8th Earl of Spencer. Her mother was Frances Ruth Roche. The couple wed at Westminster Abbey in 1954. Together they had five children. One, a boy named John Spencer, died just hours after his birth. The others were Lady Sarah, Lady Jane, Lady Diana, and Charles Spencer. It was an unhappy marriage. Frances left her husband to be with her lover, Peter Shand Kydd. The divorce was a long, drawn-out affair with multiple court dates to air their dirty laundry. Frances Spencer eventually had to relinquish custody of the kids. Although Diana often said she was raised by her father, in truth, she was raised by nannies and boarding schools.