Twins Lady Amelia and Lady Eliza Spencer spoke about their relationship with their late aunt Princess Diana in a new interview with Tatler.
The 28-year-olds star on the cover of the latest issue of the magazine, with Lady Eliza saying of Diana: “We always just knew her as our aunt. Growing up in South Africa, I really had very little idea of how significant she was in the world until I was much older.”
Eliza added that the royal was “incredibly warm, maternal and loving. She always made an effort to connect with us as children and had a talent for reading children’s hearts.”
The twins, who are the children of Diana’s brother Charles, 9th Earl Spencer, also recalled a time when a photographer approached them during an outing with their aunt.
“Obviously it could have been quite terrifying for us, being so young and not understanding what was happening. But she turned it into a game of who could get back to the car first. It was amazing how she protected us in a way that made us feel safe and not frightened,” Eliza shared, according to People. “We had no idea what she was doing at the time.”
“As a child, I realized the enormity of the loss for my father and family,” she said of Diana’s tragic death in 1997. “It was only later that I came to understand the significance of the loss of her as a figure in the world.”
The twins added that although they grew up in South Africa with their mother, they have fond memories of Althorp, the Spencer family home in the U.K. where Diana grew up.
“It is a truly special and beautiful place,” Eliza shared. “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. And, of course, it conjures up memories of family Christmases as children, with our extended family all together.”
Amelia revealed her father had even suggested Althorp as a possible wedding location when she ties the knot with Greg Mallett.
“It’s our family home, it’s beautiful,” she gushed. “We would be very lucky to get married there, but Cape Town is where we grew up and there is a possibility that we might do it here, too.”