Sarah Spencer and Prince Charles

The Crown: Did Prince Charles date Diana’s sister Sarah Spencer first?

Princess Diana's sister knew the heir to the throne rather well

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Sarah Spencer is introduced to fans in the fourth season of The Crown.

While viewers may already be familiar with much of Charles and Diana’s relationship history, some details may be surprising.

The Netflix series reveals that Sarah is not only the sister of the late princess, but also a former fling of the Prince of Wales.

But how true is this depiction? Did Prince Charles date Sarah Spencer first?

Who is Sarah Spencer?

Lady Sarah Spencer was born Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer in 1955.

She is Princess Diana’s eldest sister and the pair share one other sibling, Cynthia Jane.

The sisters all grew up in close proximity to the royal family, with their home situated on the Sandringham Estate.

Sarah married Neil Edmund McCorquodale in 1980 and became Lady Sarah McCorquodale.

The couple have three children George, Celia and Emily.

Lady Sarah Spencer
Lady Sarah spent time with Prince Charles during her twenties (Credit: Shutterstock)

After her sister’s death, Sarah became the president of Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, although it closed in 2012.

Lady Spencer has remained close to the royal family and often spends time with nephews Prince Harry and William.

Read more: The Crown: Did Princess Anne sleep with Andrew Parker Bowles?

When did she date Charles?

Sarah Spencer really did date Prince Charles.

The pair had a brief relationship in 1977, when they were both in their twenties.

Both Charles and Sarah were famous at the time for their fleeting romances.

According to The Daily Express, Charles dated 20 women in 10 years to get over Camilla Parker Bowles.

The press even referred to these women as “Charlie’s angels”.

Read more: The Crown’s portrayal of Prince Charles raises fears over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix deal

Sarah Spencer
Lady Sarah Spencer is still close to the royal family. (Credit: BBC)

Sarah was well known for her “thousands of boyfriends”.

However, the relationship was cut short when Sarah gave a damning interview to two reporters.

Less than 10 minutes into season 4 of The Crown and I am already pausing to Google about Sarah Spencer, Diana’s sister.

She claimed she would not marry the Prince “if he were the dustman or the King of England”.

Charles was reportedly furious.

The Crown fans were surprised to learn about the Prince’s dating history.

One Twitter user shared: “Less than 10 minutes into season 4 of The Crown and I am already pausing to Google about Sarah Spencer, Diana’s sister, I didn’t know Charles dated her prior to Diana!”

Netflix’s portrayal of Charles and Diana’s meeting is not accurate. (Credit: Netflix)

How did Charles meet Diana?

Little did Prince Charles know that this passing courtship would change the course of his life.

There is some truth in The Crown’s portrayal,  as Lady Sarah did introduce Charles to her younger sister.

In Netflix‘s dramatisation of the moment, viewers see the pair’s first meeting.

Diana Spencer appears in a Midsummer Night’s Dream costume, while the future King is visiting his then girlfriend.

Read more: Princess Diana said she would have ‘taken Prince Charles back in a heartbeat’

However, as charming as this encounter is, it is more fiction than fact.

Charles and Diana actually first met at Althorp, the Spencers’ ancestral home.

Prince Charles was there for a pheasant hunt.

Speaking to The Guardian, Sarah said: “I introduced them; I’m Cupid.”

The Crown Season 4 is currently available to stream on Netflix. 

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