Countess Raine Spencer, the stepmother of Diana, pictured in 2004Credit:Ian West/PA Raine Spencer, the stepmother of Diana, Princess of Wales, has died aged 87 after a short illness, her family has said.Countess Spencer died on Friday morning at her London home, her son William Legge, the Earl of Dartmouth and a Ukip MEP, confirmed.She was the daughter of Dame Barbara Cartland, the romance novelist who died aged 98 in 2000. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Countess Spencer’s marriage to Earl Spencer, Diana’s father, was the second of three in her life for 16 years to 1992In a short statement the family said: “Raine, Countess Spencer, died peacefully at her home in London on 21st October, 2016, after a short illness.” Barbara Cartland with her daughter Countess Raine SpencerCredit:PA Raine Spencer, who has died after a short illness, with her third husband Count de ChambrunCredit:Martin Hayhow/PA Her life began in Mayfair, when she was Raine McCorquodale, with her prolific novelist mother Barbara Cartland, who schooled her very much her own way.The war years were spent outside London, at first in Montreal, before returning to England and a cottage in Bedfordshire.When the war was over, she came out in society in 1947, and in 1948 married her first husband, the Hon. Gerald Legge, the heir to the Earl of Dartmouth. Raine became a countess, upon her husband’s accession to the Earldom.In 1971, she met John Spencer, who would soon become Earl Spencer, the man whose family she owes her relative fame.Within five years, she was divorced from the Earl of Dartmouth and remarried to Spencer, moving into Althorp, where she enjoyed a period of tricky stepmothering to Diana, Charles (now Earl Spencer) and their siblings. After Johnnie died in 1992, she was married again in two years – this time to Count Jean-François Pineton de Chambrun.In 1995, having reconciled her relationship with Diana, around the time of her divorce from Prince Charles, Mohamed Al-Fayed offered her a job at Harrods.Two years ago, she remained a director of Harrods International and Harrods Estates, and told how she travelled around the world for the company.