Prince Harry's Cousin Lady Kitty Spencer on Waking Up to Fame After Royal Wedding

The royal also opened up about body image, dating and her childhood in South Africa.

While some may wake up the morning after their cousin’s wedding tired, hungover or wondering where they left their phone, Lady Kitty Spencer had a whole other level of confusion the morning after her cousin, Prince Harry’s, wedding to Meghan Markle last May.

The 28-year-old model -- who is the daughter of the late Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer -- found herself in the spotlight as she arrived at St. George’s Chapel in a floral green dress. Little did she realize that she would acquire a newfound level of global fame the very next day.

“It was definitely unexpected,” she tells the new digital issue of Harper’s Bazaar. “[My Instagram followers] went from 17,000 to half a million in one night. I thought I had someone else’s phone when I woke up the next morning.”

“I had to turn my notifications off because my phone was going to die,” she adds. “[I thought] ‘Can I still FaceTime my cat and put it on my Stories?’”

It was only the beginning of a string of surreal experiences for the young royal. The blonde beauty recalled one particular pinch-me moment during Milan Fashion Week in September.

Getting to walk the runway alongside the likes of Naomi Campbell and Helena Christensen, she described the experience as “insane.”

“We were all standing on the stage, and I was at the back,” she explains. “And, when the curtains opened, they were going to shine the spotlight and everyone had to stand in their pose, but I was so busy being in awe of these goddesses, I just stood there staring at everyone. I completely forgot to stand in any way that was photogenic or photographable.”

“I do feel like I sort of snuck through the back door and no one’s noticed yet,” she adds, about feeling a sense of imposter syndrome. “That’s the feeling I get, especially at shows. I keep thinking that this is potentially short-term and a really exciting moment, so I’m trying to embrace it for what it is. And then when it does end, just being grateful because it was something I never imagined in the first place.”

Indeed, walking the runways of Milan and appearing on the covers of American magazines was likely far from Spencer’s mind when she was a young girl growing up in South Africa.

Reflecting on her upbringing, she said she feels lucky to have grown up somewhere “so free, just natural and relaxed.”

Natural is an important quality for Spencer -- she also discussed the importance of not trying to change her body to fit the standards often expected of models, and instead “doing things on my own terms.”

“I don’t think it’s my job to starve to fit into an outfit,” she says. “If I’ve agreed to do something for a brand or whatever, I look after myself but I’m not obsessive or unhealthy. If a brand wants to work with me, and think their designs look good on me, then they can give them to me in my size.”

Alex Bramall / Harper's Bazaar
Alex Bramall / Harper's Bazaar

Spencer was photographed by Alex Bramall for the magazine’s Spring digital cover. As well as opening up about fame, her upbringing and body image, she also talked about her love life.

“I’ve been really lucky. I’ve always had really lovely, straightforward boyfriends,” she shares. “Whenever anything exciting happens in my life, or sad, the serious boyfriends I’ve had will be the first to get in touch and the first to be supportive. I don’t see the appeal of going for anyone who’s too complicated or not trustworthy…The men that I’ve been with have been kind and still are. And, it’s lovely because it’s like a greater form of friendship in a way.”

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