Frances Ruth Shand Kydd-- Diana's Mother
Frances Shand Kydd died on June 3rd in 2004, She was then
aged 68. She had been living alone on the Isle of Seil, a remote
Scottish Isle. Suffering from a combination of Parkinson's Disease
and a motor neuron disorder as well as a progressive neurological
ailment, conditions that often left Frances appearing unsteady on
Known most famously as the mother of Diana, Princess of Wales,
she was often brought into the focus of attention against her own
wishes. The death of her daughter was perhaps the most notable
of Frances' struggles in life and cast her back into a limelight that
she did not relish. .
Many years before the event in Paris France of Diana's death in
1997 Frances had suffered other losses, some of which had to do with
Diana. Frances had lost a child, a first born son, who died within hours
of birth. She had not been allowed to see nor hold the child. Due to having split with Diana's father, Earl Spencer,
Frances found herself suffering yet another loss. Ultimately she lost custody of her four living children: Sarah, Jane,
Diana and Charles.
Shortly after the marital split, having returned Diana and Charles to their father for the Christmas Holiday, when
Frances returned to pick up Diana and Charles to take them back to her then London home the Earl Spencer shut
the door in her face. She was denied access to the children. A bitter custody battle ensued in which Frances' own
mother Ruth Fermoy, to placate her employers the Royals, testified against Frances. Frances lost the custody battle.
It would seem that the rights of a mother bear little weight against the rights of British entitlement.
Even in the time surrounding Diana's death Frances and brother Charles had battles with the Royals. Even so far as
being informed of Diana's death forbidden to speak about it to anyone until it was officially announced. Naturally
packing a suitcase to fly to Paris was then further insulted by not being invited, her place superseded by her other
two daughters Sarah and Jane, once again meaning this Roman Catholic mother being denied the opportunity of
saying her final goodbyes to her child. Similarly The Royals wanted a quiet unobtrusive burial. Prince Phillip had not
wanted the men walking behind the funeral procession and only the intercession of Diana's sons settled the issued
and gave the world the poignant vision of the Spencers and the Windsors trailing after Diana. Frances was very
proud of the eulogy given by brother Charles, perhaps because it criticized the lack of support from the Royals
toward Diana. Sadly Diana had not been speaking with either her mother nor her brother at the time of her death.
Another burden that Frances had to no doubt endure in her grief.
Frances, being at the birth of her famous daughter Diana, should have known better than anyone what time the child
was delivered of her. However the official royal palace version had Diana's birth time as 7:45 p.m. Frances' own
version, quoted below from an article in Hello Magazine, June 15th 2004 edition, seems to refute the official palace'
statement of Diana's birth: "The day she was born it was sunny and beautiful and the Sandringham cricket team
were playing outside on the local pitch." --- Frances Shand Kydd
Long after Diana's death an earlier friend and confidant of Diana's met with Andrew concerning his channeling of
Diana, but only after posing a question to him. That question was regarding Diana's actual time of birth. Diana
herself, via the use of Andrew, once again told this friend that she had been born at 2:00 p.m. in time for the start of
men's play at Wimbledon. This friend of Diana's, having been told this very thing by Diana while Diana still lived, knew
instantly that in spite of the wrong information put forward by the palace that she had been given the correct time by
no one less than the woman who had corrected her in the first place...Diana! Diana had been told this fact about her
birth by her own mother and a mother does indeed remember the birth of her child!
Frances Shand Kydd did not walk an easy path through life. She had her share of heartache and misery but
hopefully her pathways now are of freedom and joy.
"Miss me but let me go when I come to the end of the road
and the sun has set for me. I want no tears in a gloom
filled room. Why cry for a soul set free? "