With strong ties to South Africa and a shared interest in fashion, Lady Kitty Spencer and her husband Michael Lewis have more in common than first meets the eye – given their 32-year age gap.
The model, 32, caught the eye of business tycoon Lewis, 64, when they met through mutual friends in 2018, and got married in a sumptuous Italian wedding ceremony on 24 July 2021.
Lady Kitty, who is the niece of the late Princess Diana, has made a name for herself in the fashion world, as a spokesmodel for Dolce & Gabbana, who supplied five dresses for her wedding, and walking in several Fashion Weeks across the globe.
Meanwhile, Michael knows a thing or two about fashion as well, being the chairman of the Foschini Group, which owns British high street chains Whistles and Phase Eight.
The tycoon is believed to be worth £80million, with a £19million property in London and another home in his native South Africa, where his wife grew up after her Charles, the 9th Earl Spencer and his first wife, Victoria Lockwood, divorced.
Lady Kitty Spencer, 32, tied the knot with South African business tycoon Michael Lewis in 2021 in Italy – pictured in July 2021 before their honeymoon
Who is Lady Kitty Spencer?
Lady Kitty was born on 28 December 1990 at St Mary’s Hospital in Westminster.
She is the eldest daughter of Earl Spencer, and has three siblings: twins Lady Eliza and Amelia, and brother Louis Spencer, Viscount Althorp, who is the heir to their father’s earldom.
The socialite got her first modelling gig at just one years old when she appeared on the cover of Harper Bazaar UK with her mother in 1992.
Kitty and her siblings also have four half-siblings from their father’s second and third marriage to Caroline Freud and Karen Villeneuve, respectively in 2007 and 2011, and their mother’s second marriage to Jonathan Aitken in 2005.
The aristocrat is the niece of the late Princess Diana, which makes her a first cousin of Prince William, 40 and Prince Harry, 37.
The model was raised in South Africa, where she attended Reddam House in Cape Town.
When her parents divorced, she began splitting her time between South Africa and the UK, where she stayed at Althrop, the family’s seat in West Northamptonshire.
The socialite was raised in South Africa until her parents divorced when she was seven, after which she began spending her time between Cape Town and the UK (pictured in London in September 2021)
She was introduced to society at a debutante ball in Paris in 2009, when she was 19 and went on to study psychology, politics, and English literature at the University of Cape Town.
The savvy royal later got a master’s degree in luxury brand management from the European Business School London.
Kitty has been signed to the Storm modelling agency for nearly a decade and made her print debut in 2015 for Tatler.
In 2017, she walked for Dolce & Gabbana at Milan Fashion week and she has since become a spokesmodel for the brand.
The brand supplied Kitty with five bespoke creations for her wedding celebrations in 2021.
On top of a flourishing modelling career, Lady Kitty is also a philanthropist, and an ambassador for the youth homeless charity Centre Point.
She is also a trustee and patron for the charity Give Us Time, which helps members of the military rehabilitate into society and reconnect with their families after their service.
A keen volunteer, she has helped raise funds for Sir Elton John’s AIDS Foundation, raising £140,000 in 2017, and Save the Children.
Who is Michael Lewis?
Unlike his blue-blooded model wife, fashion tycoon Mr Lewis prefers to stay out of the public eye and off social media.
Born and raised in South Africa, Michael comes from wealth, thanks to his grandfather’s furniture retail business, which was founded in the 1930s.
Stanley Lewis, Michael’s father, bought a stake in the closing retailer Foschini Group in the 1980s, with Michael later taking his place on the Foschini Group board.
The tycoon has been the board’s chairman since 2015 and presides over a vast retail empire.
Michael, who is five years older than Lady Kitty’s father, wed his first wife in 1985, and the pair welcomed three children before eventually calling it quits.
It is thought that the businessman and Kitty met through friends in 2018, with their relationship being made public when the pair were spotted leaving a New York hotel together in 2019.
He proposed to the society model shortly before Christmas 2019 and their engagement became public in January 2020.
His three adult children from a previous marriage attended his and Lady Kitty’s Italian nuptials in 2021, and the socialite is understood to have formed strong relationships with her husband’s children.
When and where did they get married?
The couple wed at the Villa Aldobrandini in Frascati, a stunning country mansion with views of Rome, on July 24, 2021.
The celebrations stretched across four days and were attended by close friends including the pop star Pixie Lott and the Marchioness of Bath. An expert estimated the day itself would have cost in excess of £1million.
Photographs shared at the time gave snapshots of the day, including the bride’s wardrobe of bespoke Dolce & Gabbana gowns, including her wedding dress.
Domenico Dolce later said of Kitty’s wedding wardrobe: ‘She told us she had thought of us immediately, and we were very happy with that!’
The par got married in a sumptuous wedding ceremony on 24 July 2021, pictured. Dolce and Gabbana supplied five bespoke gowns for the celebrations
The designers said they had only four fittings to get it right. ‘They’ve been beautiful and emotional moments,’ said Dolce. ‘One of the inspirations is definitely her love for Italy. Kitty is in love with our beautiful country and its rich history, art and culture.’
Stefano Gabbana said: ‘But she is also a girl who is very attached to her origins, to England; to her heritage of the great Victorian era. And like all the English people, she has a great passion for all kinds of flowers.’
The high-neck, Victorian inspired lace gown featured feminine puff sleeves and a cinched waist. Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda division spent around six months creating the wedding dress at their embroidery factory and Milan atelier.
Lady Kitty walked down the aisle flanked her brother Louis Spencer, Viscount Althorp and her half-brother, Samuel Aitken.
Her father Charles was noticeably absent from the lavish celebrations, after a source claimed their relationship went downhill following his third marriage.
The couple exchanged vows in between floral arches. Music was provided by a pianist and a singer positioned to the right of the couple.
Mr Lewis wore a kippah, and it is thought Lady Kitty received instruction in the Jewish faith ahead of the ceremony.
The smiling newlyweds walked back down the aisle hand-in-hand as guests tossed pastel-coloured confetti in the air.
Ahead of her nuptials, Lady Kitty had a week-long hen party in Italy with some of her closest friends.
The official pre-wedding events kicked off with a rehearsal dinner at the Galleria Del Cardinal, a high-end events space in Rome. Guests dined on a menu including a classic veal and tuna salad, beef broth and pumpkin cream ravioli and baked eggplant.
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