Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, divorcing wife Karen after 13 years of marriage: ‘Immensely sad’

Karen Spencer and Charles Spencer
Karen Spencer and Charles Spencer.

Charles Spencer, the younger brother of the late Princess Diana, is getting divorced from his wife Karen Spencer.

The 9th Earl Spencer, 60, announced the split to the Daily Mail on Saturday.

“It is immensely sad,” Charles said.

Charles Spencer and Karen Spencer at the Whole Child International’s Inaugural Gala in LA on October 26, 2017. Rich Polk/Getty Images for Whole Child International
Charles Spencer and Karen Spencer at the Whole Child International’s Inaugural Gala in LA on October 26, 2017. Rich Polk/Getty Images for Whole Child International

“I just want to devote myself to all my children, and to my grandchildren, and I wish Karen every happiness in the future,” he added.

According to the Daily Mail, Charles and Karen, 52, are divorcing partly because of “the strain” it took on Charles writing about the physical and sexual abuse he experienced at boarding school in his memoir, “A Very Private School.”

Charles Spencer and Karen Spencer at the Royal Ascot on June 18, 2015. Getty Images
Charles Spencer and Karen Spencer at the Royal Ascot on June 18, 2015. Getty Images

Charles and Karen were married since June 2011.

Their wedding took place at Althorp House in Great Barington, England, two months after Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding.

Charles Spencer and Karen Spencer at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May 2018. AFP via Getty Images
Charles Spencer and Karen Spencer at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May 2018. AFP via Getty Images
Karen Spencer in an Instagram photo posted in March 2023. Instagram / @karenspencer
Karen Spencer in an Instagram photo posted in March 2023. Instagram / @karenspencer
Karen Spencer’s engagement ring. Instagram / @karenspencer
Karen Spencer’s engagement ring. Instagram / @karenspencer

They have a 12-year-old daughter, Charlotte Diana.

Karen has two other daughters from her previous marriage to Hollywood producer Mark Gordon, while Charles has six children from his first two marriages to Victoria Lockwood and Caroline Freud.

In his memoir that came out in March, Charles revealed that he was sexually abused as a child while attending Maidwell Hall, an elite English boarding school.

He said that he made the revelation for the first time to a therapist.

“I whispered to him that I was sexually abused as a child by an adult. And I remember him looking so shocked, and he had heard it all,” Charles wrote.

Charles Spencer at the Invictus Games Foundation 10th Anniversary Service on May 8, 2024. WireImage
Charles Spencer at the Invictus Games Foundation 10th Anniversary Service on May 8, 2024. WireImage

“Afterward, he took me aside and said, ‘This is very serious stuff.’ “

The father of seven continued: “By that stage, I had children. I suddenly put it into context. What if one of my children of either gender had been subjected to this as an 11-year-old? It made my blood boil. I then started to allow myself to feel the full devastation of what had happened to me.”

Charles claimed that his parents “had no idea of the level of cruelty and perversion” that he dealt with at the school.

“They would never have sent me there,” he said. “I think they probably had an old-fashioned view that corporal punishment, the beatings, would probably be part of the school. But they were such a ritual part of every day. There were 72 boys and at least a half dozen of us would be beaten every day. Your time came around very quickly. I don’t think the parents had any knowledge of that.”

Charles Spencer at Kensington Palace in London on July 1, 2021. AFP via Getty Images
Charles Spencer at Kensington Palace in London on July 1, 2021. AFP via Getty Images

In the memoir, Charles also opened up about his late sister, who died at 36 years old from injuries she sustained in a car crash in 1997.

Princess Diana died in 1997. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Princess Diana died in 1997. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

“She was the closest person to me growing up,” he said. “We had two much older sisters and a baby brother who had died. Then there was Diana and me. We were very close.”

“And, actually, that was one of the devastations of being sent away,” he added. “She was sent a year ahead of me, but for the first few years of my life, we went everywhere together.”