Earl Spencer shares the portrait of grandmother Cynthia with a surprising resemblance to Princess Diana

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Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, has unveiled a rare portrait of their grandmother – and fans have grown fond of the family resemblance to the late royal family.

Charles Spencer, 56, who lives at Althorp House, stunned royal fans after sharing a photo of Cynthia Spencer yesterday, with many saying she is Princess Diana’s ‘double’.

The image on Instagram, he said the photo was a charcoal drawing taken in 1919, the year she married Albert Spencer, and wrote: “ Locally a much loved and respected figure, her presence is still palpable: the local hospice is called her memory. She died in 1972. ‘

Royal fans were in awe of the image, with many saying that Cynthia, who died in 1972 at the age of 75, appeared to be the double of the late princess.

Princess Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, has unveiled a rare portrait of their grandmother Cynthia Spencer - and fans have gone mad for the family resemblance to the late royal family.

Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, has unveiled a rare portrait of their grandmother Cynthia Spencer – and fans have gone mad for the family resemblance to the late royal family.

With their big blue eyes and wavy blonde bob, the grandmother and Princess Diana look almost identical

With their big blue eyes and wavy blonde bob, the grandmother and Princess Diana look almost identical

With their big blue eyes and wavy blonde bob, the grandmother and Princess Diana look almost identical

One of them commented, “Your sisters bear her likeness.”

Another wrote, “I see Lady Diana,” while a third said, “At first glance I thought it was Lady D.”

“Beautiful portrait,” wrote another, “Princess Diana is very much like your grandmother.”

In the portrait shared today, Cynthia can be seen looking out for sketcher John Singer Sargent, an American expatriate artist, considered the ‘leading portrait painter of his generation’ for his evocations of Edwardian-era luxury.

Royal fans were stunned by the painting, with many saying that Cynthia, who died in 1972 at the age of 75, appeared to be the double of the late Princess.

Royal fans were stunned by the painting, with many saying that Cynthia, who died in 1972 at the age of 75, appeared to be the double of the late Princess.

Royal fans were stunned by the painting, with many saying that Cynthia, who died in 1972 at the age of 75, appeared to be the double of the late Princess.

A 1923 photograph of Cynthia is on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London, showing her with her toddler daughter Anne, then three, with her husband Albert Spencer.

She was a British peeress and Cynthia Hamilton married Viscount Althorp on February 26, 1919 at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London.

They had two children, Lady Anne Spencer, who died last year at the age of 100, and Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, who was the father of Princess Diana and Charles.

Countess Spencer was appointed Lady of the Bedchamber by Queen Elizabeth in 1937. She continued in the role after Elizabeth became Queen Mother in 1952, and remained in office until her death.

Lady Spencer died in 1972 in the Spencer’s childhood home, Althorp House, of a brain tumor, aged 75.

Pictured January 1, 1923: Lady Cynthia Elinor Beatrix Spencer with Lady Annaly, meeting at the Pytchley Hounds in Althorp Park

Pictured January 1, 1923: Lady Cynthia Elinor Beatrix Spencer with Lady Annaly, meeting at the Pytchley Hounds in Althorp Park

Pictured January 1, 1923: Lady Cynthia Elinor Beatrix Spencer with Lady Annaly, meeting at the Pytchley Hounds in Althorp Park

Cynthia is the paternal grandmother of Princess Diana (pictured, with her husband Albert and their son Edward at Eton College, June 4, 1937. John would grow up to be father Diana Spencer, the Princess of Wales)

Cynthia is the paternal grandmother of Princess Diana (pictured, with her husband Albert and their son Edward at Eton College, June 4, 1937. John would grow up to be father Diana Spencer, the Princess of Wales)

Cynthia is the paternal grandmother of Princess Diana (pictured, with her husband Albert and their son Edward at Eton College, June 4, 1937. John would grow up to be father Diana Spencer, the Princess of Wales)

She was little known outside of court and local circles until twenty years after her death, when Andrew Morton wrote that the Princess of Wales “believes her grandmother is taking care of her in the spirit world.”

Charles-named Cynthia Spencer Hospice was founded in 1972 to help alleviate cancer in Northamptonshire and raise funds for ongoing care.

The 7th Earl Spencer agreed to be the commission’s patron, and Cynthia Spencer House (as it was then called) is named after his late wife Lady Cynthia.

The Cynthia Spencer House Trust was formed to continue to support the unit, and in the following decade this led to a fundraising campaign to build a day unit opened in 1985 by the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Andrew Morton wrote that the Princess of Wales 'believes her grandmother is taking care of her in the spirit world' (pictured, Lady Diana Spencer at Coleherne Court, Kensington, London in 1980)

Andrew Morton wrote that the Princess of Wales 'believes her grandmother is taking care of her in the spirit world' (pictured, Lady Diana Spencer at Coleherne Court, Kensington, London in 1980)

Andrew Morton wrote that the Princess of Wales ‘believes her grandmother is taking care of her in the spirit world’ (pictured, Lady Diana Spencer at Coleherne Court, Kensington, London in 1980)