Princess Diana's Twin Nieces Make Cannes Film Festival Debut — 35 Years After Their Royal Aunt's Appearance

Lady Amelia and Lady Eliza coordinated in black gowns on the red carpet for the Top Gun: Maverick screening

Lady Amelia Spencer and Lady Eliza Spencer
Photo: Gisela Schober/Getty

Princess Diana's nieces Lady Amelia and Lady Eliza aren't the first women in the Spencer family to bring glamour to the Cannes Film Festival red carpet.

Thirty-five years after Princess Diana and Prince Charles attended the event in 1987, the 29-year-old twin daughters of Diana's brother Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer stepped out for a screening of Top Gun: Maverick on Wednesday night.

The sisters coordinated their looks in black Alberta Ferretti gowns. Amelia went with a one-shoulder dress accentuated with statement earrings for Amelia, while Eliza opted for a dress with a halter neckline and intricate beading.

Lady Amelia Spencer and Lady Elisa Spencer are seen at the Martinez Hotel during the 75th annual Cannes film festival on May 18, 2022 in Cannes, France.
Lady Amelia Spencer and Lady Elisa Spencer. Arnold Jerocki/GC Images

Princess Diana walked the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival when she was 26, attending a gala night honoring actor Sir Alec Guinness alongside Prince Charles. She wowed in a powder blue strapless gown paired with a matching scarf that flowed behind her — an outfit by her frequent collaborator Catherine Walker (a go-to designer now for Kate Middleton!).

For more on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

Coincidentally, Eliza and Amelia's cousin Prince William is set to hit the red carpet on Thursday night for the Top Gun: Maverick premiere in London alongside his wife Kate.

Prince Charles And Princess Diana Arriving At The Cannes Film Festival For A Gala Night In Honour Of Actor Sir Alec Guinness. The Princess Is Wearing A Pale Blue Silk Chiffon Strapless Dress With A Matching Chiffon Stole Designed By Fashion Designer Catherine Walker. They Are Greeted By The Lady Mayor Of Cannes.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty

Lady Amelia and Lady Eliza were just 5 years old when Princess Diana tragically died. The sisters previously spoke to Tatler about their special connection to her as children.

"We always just knew her as our aunt," Lady Eliza said. "Growing up in South Africa, I really had very little idea of how significant she was in the world until I was much older."

Eliza added that Princess Diana was "incredibly warm, maternal and loving. She always made an effort to connect with us as children and had a talent for reading children's hearts."

Princess Diana In France For The Cannes Film Festival. She Is On Her Way To A Ceremony Honouring Sir Alec Guiness.
Princess Diana. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty

The twins also recalled when they were approached by a photographer during a beach outing with their famous aunt.

"Obviously it could have been quite terrifying for us, being so young and not understanding what was happening. But she turned it into a game of who could get back to the car first. It was amazing how she protected us in a way that made us feel safe and not frightened," Eliza said. "We had no idea what she was doing at the time."

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

"As a child, I realized the enormity of the loss for my father and family," she added. "It was only later that I came to understand the significance of the loss of her as a figure in the world."

Related Articles