Raine Spencer
Countess Spencer was married to Diana's father Earl Spencer from 1976 to 1992. Getty

Raine Spencer, stepmother of Diana, Princess of Wales, has died. The 87-year-old countess passed away on Friday morning (21 October) after a short illness, her son William Legge, the Earl of Dartmouth, confirmed.

A short statement released by her family revealed she died peacefully at her home in London.

Spencer− who was the daughter of romance novelist Dame Barbara Cartland−married Diana's father John Spencer in 1976 when the future Princess of Wales was just 15 years old. Following his death in 1992, she wed Count Jean-Francois de Chambrun a year later.

During the inquest into Diana's death she opened up about her relationship with the royal, saying that the People's Princess appreciated her genuineness.

"She always said I had no hidden agenda," she said in her evidence. "So many people, because she was so popular and so world famous, wanted something out of her. It was a very draining life."

The pair were last pictured together in June 1997 when Spencer attended a private viewing of Diana's dresses that were being auctioned by Christie's. Lady Di was killed in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris two months later.