From wild child to society bride! Diana's niece ties the knot

From royal wild child to society bride! Inside newlywed Lady Amelia’s tumultuous upbringing in South Africa to ‘drifting apart’ from Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer

  • Lady Amelia, 30, has married long-term boyfriend Greg Mallett in South Africa
  • Read More:  Inside the glamorous 17th century farm where Lady Amelia Spencer married her beau Greg Mallett in South Africa

She may have been born into one of the UK’s most famous aristocratic families – but Lady Amelia Spencer’s upbringing was anything but smooth sailing.

After losing her aunt at the age of five, the model, 30 – who has married her long-term boyfriend Greg Mallett in South Africa – also had to deal with the fall-out of her parents’ high profile separation.

As a teenager, the daughter of Earl Spencer and his first wife Victoria Aitken frequented the nightclub scene in Cape Town.

In recent years, she also appears to have grown apart from her father Earl Spencer – who does not appear to have flown out to South Africa with the rest of his family to attend Lady Amelia’s wedding, having also missed his elder daughter Kitty’s nuptials in 2021.

Following the socialite’s wedding, FEMAIL takes a look back at Amelia’s tumultuous childhood, wild student days, flourishing career in fashion and her 13-year romance with her new husband.

Princess Diana’s niece Lady Amelia Spencer pictured with her arms around her new husband Greg Mallett at their wedding welcome party in Cape Town over the weekend 

Earl Spencer and his first wife Victoria Aitken with their daughters Kitty, Amelia and Eliza before their move to South Africa in 1995

Tumultuous Childhood

Earl Spencer and his first wife model Victoria Aitken – who were already parents to Lady Kitty – welcomed twins Lady Amelia and Lady Eliza in July 1992. 

When Lady Amelia was just four years old, the family moved from the Althorp estate in Northamptonshire to Cape Town in South Africa in a bid to give their children more privacy.

At the time, reports were beginning to emerge of Earl Spencer’s alleged infidelities while Victoria was also struggling with anorexia. 

But despite hopes that their relocation would give them another go at family life, the couple separated in 1997 – the same year Princess Diana tragically died in a car accident in Paris at the age of 36.

In 1998, Earl Spencer moved back to the UK – leaving Victoria to raise their family in Cape Town.

During their 1999 divorce hearing, a letter Charles had written to a girlfriend was read out in court in which he described himself as ‘vicious, cruel and a bully’ towards Victoria. 

Although South Africa is where her parents’ marriage finally broke down, the country still holds a special place in Lady Amelia’s heart.

Earl Spencer and his first wife Victoria pictured at their wedding in 1989. The ceremony was held at St Mary’s Church, Great Brington

Lady Kitty Spencer (left) pictured with her younger sisters Lady Amelia and Lady Eliza in the 1990s. The children’s parents moved the family to South Africa in 1995 to avoid the spotlight

Earl Spencer pictured with Amelia (far left), Eliza (centre left),  Louis (centre right) and Kitty (right) at the opening of the Princess Diana memorial playground in 2000

Speaking to The Telegraph in 2021, Lady Amelia and her sister Eliza explained how they don’t use their titles outside of the UK and had a ‘normal, happy childhood’. 

They said: ‘Growing up, the house would always be busy, full of extended family and friends.’

Meanwhile they also described volunteering at a local crèche for orphans, ‘just giving them love’, and remembered walking the streets selling artwork to raise money for food for stray cats and dogs. 

Discussing her move to London two years ago, Amelia added: ‘Cape Town was all about the sea, hiking, horse riding, tennis, netball… After high school and university we were so happy that we didn’t feel the need to move.’ 

Earl Spencer pictured with Lady Amelia and Lady Eliza outside the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Diana in August 2007

Pictured: the Althorp estate where Lady Amelia and her siblings spent much of their childhood while visiting their father in the UK

 As part of Charles and Victoria’s custody agreement, the children also spent significant time at the Althorp estate following their parents’ divorce. 

‘It is a truly special and beautiful place,’ Lady Eliza previously told Tatler. ‘Having spent the first three years of our lives at Althorp, exploring and discovering it as children, and being part of a long heritage of Spencers that have lived there, it has always felt like another home.’

In 2006, Earl Spencer also purchased a £650,000 property in the wealthy suburb of Constantia to be closer to his children. 

What’s more, Amelia told the publication that she and her twin sister were always as children as they are ‘very similar’. 

‘We love doing the same things and share the same friends,’ she said. ‘You’re guaranteed to have a best friend there always – you can’t really compare it to anything else.’ 

Wild Child Years

After leaving £14,000-a-year Reddam House School in 2010, Lady Amelia moved into a luxurious waterfront apartment with her sister Lady Eliza, which was paid for by their father. 

For their 18th birthdays, Earl Spencer is said to have also given his twin daughters an Audi sports car each.

Lady Amelia pictured partying with her husband-to-be Greg Mallett when they were students at the University of Cape Town

Lady Amelia Spencer celebrated her upcoming nuptials with a glamorous poolside hen party in Cape Town with her friends and family this week

Lady Amelia Spencer (right) pictured with Lady Eliza on her recent Cape Town hen do. The sisters were pictured in pink heart-shaped glasses

Left: Lady Amelia and Lady Eliza Spencer pose for photos by the South African villa pool. Right: Lady Amelia blows a kiss to a friend

Around this time, Amelia was regularly pictured hitting the nightclubs with her peers and partying until the early hours of the morning. 

Judging by her lavish hen do in South Africa earlier this year, it appears as though the newlywed still has a partying streak in her.

Complete with their own private pool and hot pink floats, the villa Amelia and her closest friends stayed in could easily have been mistaken for the Love Island complex. 

Writing on her Instagram, Amelia said the party was her ‘dream bachelorette’, adding she had ‘one of the best days of my life with my favourite girls.’ 

The first cousin of Princes Harry and William was joined by her twin sister Lady Eliza Spencer, who wore a vibrant, floral mini-dress for the sun-soaked hen party.

Meanwhile, Amelia opted for bridal white, in a stylish two-piece by Reformation.

She paired her ensemble with chunky gold link heels from Versace and matching bag, and swept her hair back into a sleek ponytail.  

Later in the day, Amelia changed into a white mini-dress with a deep V-neck.

In photos posted on social media, Amelia was seen posing in front of a rose gold balloon arch and donning a pair of pink heart-shaped sunglasses. 

Finding love as a student

Lady Amelia and her new husband Greg Mallett pictured at a friend’s wedding last year. The couple are expected to tie the knot in South Africa in coming days

Lady Amelia Spencer and Greg Mallett at the Atlantis Royal in Dubai last year. The couple have flown out to South Africa for their wedding

In 2010, Lady Amelia reportedly met her future husband Greg Mallett while they were both studying at the University of Cape Town. 

The 32-year-old estate agent is the nephew of former South African national rugby coach Nick Mallett.

Born and raised in South Africa, Greg has also dabbled in sport and reportedly played water polo and rugby too. 

The couple were together for 11 years before Greg popped the question at the exclusive Clouds Wine & Guest Estate in Stellenbosch in July 2020.

Announcing their engagement on Instagram, Greg wrote: ‘So this was the best day of my life. 22nd of July 2020, I asked the love of my life to spend the rest of her life with me and she said YES. 

‘Couldn’t be happier and I love you with all my heart @ameliaspencer15.’

Speaking to Hello magazine shortly afterwards,  Greg explained how he presented Amelia with a pink box – which contained eight smaller ones.

He said: ‘In each box was a photograph of a “first time”. The final box contained a note instead of a picture, that said: “But most importantly, I know that you will remember tonight as the night that I proposed.” 

Pictured: Greg’s gushing Instagram post after proposing to his girlfriend of 11 years Lady Amelia Spencer

Lady Amelia Spencer and Greg Mallett (left) pictured with Lady Eliza Spencer and her partner Michael Lewis

‘As Amelia was reading the note, I dropped to one knee with the ring.’

‘I burst out crying,’ Amelia added. ‘I was in shock, I said: “Yes, yes, yes!” and gave him a hug and a kiss. I’m used to Greg being very romantic but I really had no idea.’ 

Charles, the younger brother of the late Princess of Wales, previously revealed that Greg had asked for his blessing before proposing in South Africa.

Taking to Twitter last year, he said: ‘So happy for my daughter, Amelia, engaged to her boyfriend of 11 years, Greg – it’s wonderful to hear them both so excited about their future.

‘Sending them both love, and every good wish for their life together. I love that Greg asked my blessing before proposing. Very sweet.’

In 2021, the couple relocated from South Africa to London shortly after Amelia’s big sister Kitty’s lavish wedding in Rome – with celebrations being spread over four days.

Lady Amelia’s doting partner often posts pictures of them together on his Instagram.

Following their wedding welcome party on Sunday, Greg gushed: ”You’ll never not make me laugh. And I will never stop looking at you in awe.’

Flourishing modelling career

Both Lady Amelia and her sister Eliza have followed their elder sister Lady Kitty – who is a ambassador for Dolce & Gabbana – into the world of fashion. 

Last month, Lady Amelia appeared on the catwalk for designer Josh Birch Jones at their London Fashion Week

The stunning twin sisters are both signed to Storm model management and worked with luxury brands such as Parisian jewellers Chaumet and Carolina Herrera

 In 2015, the twin sisters – whose mother Victoria was also a model – made their modelling debut when they appeared on the cover of Tatler magazine with a 20-page spread.

Shortly afterwards, she signed with Storm model management – which allowed her to work with luxury brands such as Parisian jewellers Chaumet and Carolina Herrera.

Most recently, Lady Amelia and her sister appeared on the catwalk for designer Josh Birch Jones at their London Fashion Week.

Earlier this month, the bride-to-be shared a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their time in Milan for fashion week.

The sisters, who often coordinate their outfits but chose completely different looks for the occasion, posed for a few snaps with Andrea Santoni, the founder of Italian shoe brand Santoni. 

Princess Diana’s nieces Lady Amelia and Eliza Spencer shared a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their time in Milan for fashion week in February 2023

According to Lady Amelia’s Storm management page, she also worked as a wedding planner in South Africa and planned 36 events before focusing her energy on modelling.

‘Drifting apart’ from Earl Spencer

Although Earl Spencer claimed that his future son-in-law asked for his blessing before proposing to Amelia in 2020, he does not appear to have flown to South Africa yet to attend the wedding.

Princess Diana’s younger brother did not attend his eldest daughter Lady Kitty’s wedding to retail millionaire Michael Lewis in July 2021 – prompting rumours of a rift between the father-of-seven and his daughters from his first marriage.

Earl Spencer pictured with his daughters in 2000 at the official opening of the Princess Diana memorial playground in Kensington Gardens

Earl Spencer (pictured in December 2015) was noticeably absent from Lady Amelia’s wedding welcome party over the weekend. It comes after he missed his eldest daughter Lady Kitty’s wedding in 2021

Lady Amelia Spencer pictured with her mother Victoria Aitken and her brother Louis Spencer, Viscount Althorp in June 2017

Earl Spencer and his third wife Karen Spencer pictured arriving at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Windsor wedding in May 2018

Instead, Lady Kitty – who is 32 years younger than her husband – was walked down the aisle by her brother Louis Spencer, Viscount Althorp, 29, and half brother Samuel Aitken, whose father is businessman Jonathan Aitken.

A source told MailOnline at the time: ‘Kitty and Charles were very close when she was growing up, but their relationship has cooled and been more distant since his marriage to his third wife Karen in 2011.

‘Charles recently suffered an injury and perhaps that will be the reason for him not travelling, but it is just easier for everyone that he is not there.

‘The four children are all close to their mother Victoria and get on well with their step siblings, and their Spencer aunts and have forged their own relationships with one another without needing Charles to bind them together.’

MailOnline has contacted Earl Spencer for comment. 

Although Lady Amelia’s mother Victoria Aitken did not feature in photos from the welcome party, she was included on the guest list for Lady Kitty’s wedding in 2021 and is expected to attend her second daughter’s nuptials later this month.

Following their separation, Earl Spencer went on to marry Caroline Freud in 2001 before then tying the knot with entrepreneur Karen Spencer in 2011. 

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