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Three Times a Countess

ebook / ISBN-13: 9780349134802

Price: £25

ON SALE: 22nd September 2022

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Biography: General

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Femme fatale. Evil stepmother. Astute businesswomen. Just some of the many labels thrown at the conspicuous Raine Spencer: Countess, socialite and stepmother to Princess Diana. But who was the real Raine? What was masked behind the public façade?

From middle-class London girl to Countess and wife of Earl Spencer, Three Times a Countess recounts Raine’s fascinating – and scandalous – life, demystifying her scathing tabloid reputation and uncovering how, after a tumultuous relationship with the Princess, she became one of Diana’s closest confidantes.

To her friends, Raine was shrewd, witty. To her enemies, overly flamboyant, ruthless. In any case, there was one certainty – Raine was certainly not devoid of character. Indeed, it was crystal clear from her upbringing that Raine was destined for a glamorous life. From being named Deb of the Year in 1947 to ‘Bride of the Year’ upon her first marriage to Hon. Gerald Legge; from a career spanning local politics (becoming the youngest ever female councillor in Westminster) to dealing with the fortunes of Althorp; from taking on the Spencer family estate to a later career with Harrods – it was evident that Raine’s power and intellect took her to high places, and yet it couldn’t sway the media who insisted on calling her, ‘Acid Raine’. Pitted against Diana at every turn, their fractious relationship began to reconcile towards the end of the Princess’ life, providing solace for both women and sending the press into a frenzy. Crucially, Raine also became a vital witness during the inquest into the Princess’ death, providing a gripping, unexpected and moving testimony.

Gaudoin’s vibrant history of the Countess sets the record straight once and for all, drawing insight from those who knew Raine most. A societal whirl of London Seasons, marshalling mamas, adulterous affairs, family feuds and more, Three Times a Countess also offers a gripping commentary on high society: a must-read for those fascinated by history, the inner workings of the Royal Family, or what life was really like for Diana behind closed doors.