Did Princess Diana’s sister Sarah Spencer date Prince Charles before her?

Who fell in love with him first?

Prince Charles and Diana's sister Sarah Spencer
(Image credit: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

We're all well acquainted with Prince Charles and Princess Diana's relationship but did Diana's sister Sarah Spencer actually date Charles first?

Although The Crown season five won't premiere until 2022, viewers are already wondering who will play Princess Diana in the newest series after she well and truly made her mark in the fourth series of Netflix drama. As season four ended viewers were left wondering how much of the Crown is true as the show covered royal events around the time Diana dated Prince Charles.

One question on everyone's lips was did Princess Diana's sister Sarah Spencer—now known as Lady Sarah McCorquodale—start a relationship with Charles first?

And some viewers will be surprised to learn that Diana's eldest sister lady Sarah Spencer—born Elizabeth Sarah Lavinia Spencer in 1955—did in fact date Charles before Diana.

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Sarah Spencer and Prince Charles had a brief relationship back in 1977 when the pair were in their twenties.

At the time they were both renowned for their fleeting romances—with reports Charles dated 20 women in 10 years to get over Camilla Parker Bowles—to whom he is now married to.

At the time, Charles' girlfriends were dubbed "Charlie's angels". Meanwhile Sarah is said to have had "thousands of boyfriends."

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How did Sarah Spencer and Prince Charles' relationship end?

It's understood their brief fling ended after Sarah told reporters she would not marry the Prince “if he were the dustman or the King of England”—something which Charles was said to be furious about.

And that was that. So how did Charles and Diana end up meeting?

Well, it was Lady Sarah that introduced Charles to her younger sister at Althorp House, which was the Spencers’ ancestral home—and the grounds of which the late Princess Diana is now buried.

At the time of the initial meeting, Prince Charles was there for a pheasant hunt and Sarah admitted afterwards in an interview with the Guardian, “I introduced them; I’m Cupid.”

The portrayal of the introduction is much more charming in the Netflix serial—but sadly in reality Diana was not wearing a Midsummer Night's Dream costume.

Aside from brother Charles, the Spencer sisters have another sister Cynthia Jane. They all grew up in close proximity to the royal family, with their home situated on the Sandringham Estate.

Their infant brother, John, died shortly after his birth one year before Diana was born.

Who is Princess Diana's sister Sarah Spencer now married to?

Sarah married Neil Edmund McCorquodale in 1980 and became Lady Sarah McCorquodale and they have three children George, Celia and Emily.

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

She has remained close to the royal family and often spends time with nephews, Diana's sons, Prince Harry and William.

We can't wait to see what else The Crown season five will unearth...

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She has covered all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand.