Diana Spencer was born on July 1, 1961. She was the third child born to John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and Frances Ruth Burke Roche, Viscountess Althorp (later known as Frances Shand Kydd). The Spencer family is one of Great Britain's oldest and most important families. They have been closely allied with the royal family for over five hundred years. Since they were initially expecting a boy, they had no name when she was first born. A week later they settled on Diana Frances, after a Spencer ancestress and her mother.

Diana Spencer's Family Tree