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21 February, 2011

Earl of the Hour:
Charles Edward Maurice Spencer,
9th Earl Spencer

Born in 1964 (20 May), this 46-year-old earl (pictured below) is the younger brother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales and uncle to HRH Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales (28; born 21 June, 1982), heir of the heir apparent to the throne, and HRH Prince Henry “Harry” Charles Albert David of Wales (26; born 15 September, 1984).

Earl Spencer was educated at Eton and Oxford, is the holder of five noble titles, including the earldom, and is worth an estimated ₤100 million.  A man with a past, the notorious earl is twice divorced (1997; 2009) in heavily publicized proceedings, with both wives making allegations of infidelity.  His third wife is slated to be Canadian divorcée Karen Gordon (38; née Villeneuve).  The couple announced their engagement on 15 February, 2011, and the wedding is to take place at Earl Spencer’s estate at Althorp on 18 June, 2011.

Until the "I do" is final, however, he is still a "single peer," and, particularly in Earl Spencer’s case, one can’t really blame us for profiling him.  Perhaps the 3rd-and-a-half time's a charm?  Earl Spencer’s engagement and subsequent split in the same year from prospective third wife Bianca, Lady Eliot, earned him the #6 ranking on The Single Peer's 2010 Ten Lords-a-Leaping list.

Earl Spencer has written a number of books related to his family’s history and estate.  He has been a TV news correspondent and has been involved in numerous charitable and humanitarian endeavors, an interest he has in common with Mrs. Gordon.  There is some speculation as to whether the couple will live at Althorp or in California, which would facilitate Mrs. Gordon’s work as founder and CEO of Whole Child International.  Earl Spencer lived in South Africa for many years with his first wife and their children, so this is not out of the question.

Earl Spencer has six children from his two previous marriages, including two sons, who will likely be in much demand when they come of age, given their breeding, wealth, and connections to the Royal Family.  Earl Spencer’s two sons are his heir apparent, The Right Hon. Louis Frederick John Spencer, Viscount Althorp (16; born 14 March, 1994), and The Hon. Edmund Charles Spencer (7; born 6 October, 2003).

Earl Spencer


Althorp Park, Great Brington, Northamptonshire NN7 4HG

Spencer House, St James's, London SW1 (leased out)



  1. Shouldn't The Prince of Wales be considered the heir apparent, not heir presumptive?

  2. Quite right! 'Twas late at night and no disrespect meant to HRH Prince Charles. Thank you for the correction.

  3. There are a couple of typos in this article. Viscount Althorp is missing an "l", and presumably his DOB is incorrect as the date given would make him 26, in which case he would have "come of age" a long time ago.

    Also, to be pedantic, he shouldn't be referred to as *The* Viscount Althorp as he only uses the title by courtesy.

  4. Hi, Jonathan - obviously this teaches me not to post late at night. Thank you for the corrections. There was a name typo, and the date should have read 1994. I have made the other change you have suggested; however, there is some dispute as to whether "The" should be used with courtesy titles, and I have often seen it done.