Peter Shand Kydd

Husband of Diana Princess of Wales's mother PETER Shand Kydd, the man for whom Diana Princess of Wales's mother, Frances, abandoned her family in 1968, has died at the age of 80.

Born in 1925, he was the son of Norman Shand Kydd, a member of a wealthy wallpaper manufacturing family (who were said to have invented flock wallpaper), of Horton Hall, Buckinghamshire.

His half-brother, Bill, was a gambler, horseman and playboy chum of the fugitive Earl of Lucan. He later married Christina Duncan, the sister of Lucan's wife.

Peter Shand Kydd's first wife was Janet Munro Kerr, scion of a Glasgow shipping family, and a granddaughter of John Martin Munro Kerr, a leading gynaecologist.

Shand Kydd sold the family business in 1962 and moved his family to Australia where he became a sheep farmer.

After selling the sheep farm and returning to England, he left his wife and three children to marry Diana's mother, the then Viscountess Althorp, after an affair which saw her leave her family when Diana Spencer was only seven.

Shand Kydd's second marriage, in 1969, followed an unpleasant court case in 1968 in which Viscount Althorp obtained custody of the children and it was noted that Lady Fermoy (Frances Althorp's mother) took his side against her daughter, whom she considered to be a bolter.

Thereafter the young Spencer children had a disorganised upbringing. This was further complicated when their father inherited the earldom and the estate of Althorp in 1975 and soon afterwards married the Countess of Dartmouth (Raine, the daughter of Barbara Cartland).

Shand Kydd and Frances lived in Buckinghamshire and Itchnour, West Sussex, finally settling on a farm on the remote Scottish island of Seil. After he left her for a younger woman, they separated in June 1988 and divorced in 1990, nine years after Frances's daughter had become wife of the heir to the throne. Frances died in 2004, aged 68.

He leaves a daughter, Angela, and a son, Johnnie, a photographer. Another son, Adam, a writer, died from a suspected drug overdose.