Thursday, December 01, 2016

Raine Countess Spencer 1929-2016

She was d of Capt Alexander (Sachie) George McCORQUODALE (1897-1964), scion of the gentry family of that name, and his 1st w the novelist Dame (Mary) Barbara Hamilton CARTLAND DBE (1901-2000). She m 1st 1948 (div 1976) the 9th Earl of DARTMOUTH (1924-97) and had three sons and a dau, including the present 10th Earl. She m 2nd the 8th Earl SPENCER (1924-92). She m 3rd 1993 (div 1995) Jean-Francois de Chambrun COUNT DE CHAMBRUN. She resumed the style Countess Spencer after her 2nd divorce.

Telegraph obit 22 October 2016:
She was born Raine McCorquodale on September 9 1929, the daughter of Alexander “Sachie” McCorquodale, whose family had made a fortune out of printing, and of Barbara Cartland, who had then hardly embarked upon her career as a romantic novelist.
“What a lovely fat baby,” Princess Elizabeth (born in 1926) is supposed to have observed on seeing the infant Raine...
And so to the Season. “Eternally smiling” and an excellent dancer, Raine was voted Debutante of the Year in 1947. If she was not a flawless beauty, she gave an excellent impression of one. And when she met Gerald Legge, presumptive heir to the Earldom of Dartmouth, on a mountain in Switzerland, she immediately declared herself in love. They were married in 1948 and installed in a large house in Belgravia, with a staff of five...
As late as 1972 Lady Dartmouth was still telling journalists that her husband was “the Rock of Gibraltar and divine; so steady and strong and yet such humour”. A cousin of this paragon, however, observed that in private she was “beastly to him”.
But few read anything into Lady Dartmouth’s appointment of Johnny Spencer (deserted by his wife in 1967) as chairman of the Youth Panel for European Architectural Year. In fact, she had become infatuated with him.
Raine Dartmouth more or less moved into Althorp in 1975, after Spencer succeeded as 8th Earl, and endured as best she could the hostility of his children. In unguarded moments she was less restrained: “I could have them all for breakfast if I wanted to.” She was divorced from Dartmouth in 1976, and shortly afterwards married Spencer....
Raine Spencer’s connection with Althorp was abruptly ended by the death of her husband in March 1992. The new Earl immediately took steps to eradicate her influence.
It was reported, moreover, that when her maid packed her clothes into suitcases bearing the Spencer emblem, the Princess of Wales ordered that they should be removed and put into black bin liners instead.
But Raine Spencer was never one to repine. She had been left very well off, and in May 1993 announced her engagement to a French count, Jean-Fran├žois de Chambrun...
Within two months the new Contesse de Chambrun was obliged to deny rumours that she was separating from her husband; and within three years the rumours were denied no longer. The parting, it transpired, had been “very amicable”....

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