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Princess Diana’s Brother Reveals Childhood Abuse Memoir

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  • Charles Spencer, the younger brother of Princess Diana, has revealed in his new memoir, “A Very Private School,” that he was sexually abused as a child at an elite English boarding school.
  • Spencer was 42 when he first disclosed the abuse to a therapist, and he has now decided to share his experience publicly to shed light on the alleged trauma he and other students endured.
  • Spencer claims the abuse was part of a broader culture of brutality and cruelty at the school, which was attended by generations of his family and other privileged children from England’s upper classes.

In his new memoir, “A Very Private School,” Charles Spencer, Princess Diana’s younger brother, has publicly disclosed a devastating family secret. He recounts his traumatic experience of being sexually abused as a child at an elite English boarding school, Maidwell Hall.

The 9th Earl Spencer was 42 when he first shared his ordeal with a therapist, during a period of deep introspection and therapy. He recalls, “My therapist said to each of us, ‘Whisper to me one secret you’d never told anyone.’ I whispered to him that I was sexually abused as a child by an adult. And I remember him looking so shocked, and he had heard it all. Afterward, he took me aside and said, ‘This is very serious stuff.’”

Spencer was prompted to confront his past after hearing similar stories from other former students of Maidwell Hall. “As I listened to their stories, I was appalled,” he said. One former student recounted his daily experiences of feeling worthless and being sexually assaulted at the age of nine by someone who was supposed to protect him.

Spencer’s memoir details the brutal culture at the boarding school, which he claims was staffed by a small number of teachers who were either perverted or would never speak out against the headmaster, a “sadistic pedophile.” He alleges that the students were subjected to daily beatings and other forms of abuse.

He said, “There were 72 boys and at least a half dozen of us would be beaten every day. Your time came around very quickly. I don’t think the parents had any knowledge of that.” He also claimed that one student was whipped so severely that his dried blood and clothing stuck to his skin, taking two weeks to heal.

In his book, Spencer alleges that he was groomed and sexually abused at age 11 by an assistant matron at the school. He also claims that this led him to lose his virginity by secretly paying a sex worker while on a trip to Italy with his mother when he was just 12 years old.

After two failed marriages and years of keeping his abuse a secret, Spencer sought help. “I was so confused by my endless romantic disasters, deep unhappiness and two divorces,” he explained. “I also wanted to do something for my children. Actually, that was the spur. I wanted to get better for them, so I could be a better father.”

Today, Spencer is undergoing post-traumatic stress disorder treatment and practicing Tai Chi and breathing exercises. He says he has “really turned a corner” in the last three to four months, especially after writing his book.

He lives about 10 miles from Maidwell Hall and hopes the school will now confront its past “in an honest way.” He said, “I would tell [my younger self] it wasn’t his fault. As a child, you’re always thinking it’s your fault. I used to think I must have failed as a son to be sent away to such a place and not be part of the family. … But I would tell him, ‘You’re fine. You’ve come out on the other side.’”

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. David Wayne Deel

    March 23, 2024 at 12:28 pm

    Now here is a thought, let’s build a prison, then sentance them there

    for five or ten years of hard labor, then put them through the exact same

    thing they did to their victims, them execute them SLOWLY.

  2. Camille Gilliam

    March 23, 2024 at 12:35 pm

    That is such a sad story, I am glad you are getting help dealing with what you went through. When men get caught doing this to children there is only one way to end it. Surgery, we have to make them afraid to get involved in this disgusting behavior.
    Good luck and God Bless you for coming forward.

  3. Hill Cheryl

    March 23, 2024 at 4:18 pm

    It is in embracing the truth and giving testimony to truth that we are set free…. It is the keeping of the secret that shame imprisons us… He is truth and He heals those who come into the Light… I encourage you to find Him

  4. Rosemarie Kaupp

    March 23, 2024 at 5:21 pm

    This is one thing I cannot understand about the upper class Brits. They send their kids away to boarding school when they are SO young. Anything could happen to them—bullying, molestation, food & sleep deprivation, physical abuse. And they are totally unaware because generations of their families have gone to the same school. Are they that anxious to have the status of the right school!!!! So far into denial they can’t buck family traditions. I am sure Maidwell is not the only boarding school like this. There was a boarding school near me, not UK, with an excellent reputation that also had a sordid, secret reputation of sexual abuse & molestation for years. Finally got reported. They had to get rid of the Director who told kids the “sexual abuse was their obligation for being able to attend such a fine school.” And many of the faculty were fired. All faced criminal charges. Again generations of same families & parents in denial.

  5. Joseph T. Kinge

    March 25, 2024 at 12:39 pm

    God have mercy on anyone who molests any of my family, because I won’t!!

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