the gentlewoman

Raine, Countess Spencer

Countess of Dartmouth, Countess Spencer, Comtesse de Chambrun, Acid Raine – these are just some of the titles and names Raine Spencer has been called over the last 60 years. In one aspect she has been constant since birth, however: being fabulous. Daughter of the romance novelist Barbara Cartland, when Raine made her entrance into London high society in 1947 she was named “Debutante of the Year”. She is, perhaps, best known as stepmother to Diana, Princess of Wales, but she is equally famous in the British press for her supremely coiffed hair, her outré tastes and outspoken statements. Raine, Countess Spencer is now director of Harrods International – an ultra-glamorous ambassador for the venerable London department store – though you may occasionally see her in the menswear department advising on shirts and ties.