Raine, Countess Spencer, née McCorquodale, is the only child of novelist Barbara Cartland and Alexander McCorquodale, an British Army officer who was the heir to a printing fortune. Her parents divorced when she was a child. She made her debut in 1947, and shortly afterwards married the Hon. Gerald Humphry Legge, later 9th Earl of Dartmouth, with whom she had four children. She began to take a strong interest in local politics and at age 23, became the youngest member of Westminster City Council. She served in local government for the next 17 years, sitting on Westminster's town planning, parks and personnel committees, and was later elected to represent Richmond on the Greater London Council. She also chaired the Covent Garden Development Committee. Following a divorce from her first husband, in 1976 she married John Spencer, Lord Althorp, later Lord Spencer. As Countess Spencer, Raine wrote a book, Althorp: A Short History of Althorp and the Spencer Family. After the death of Earl Spencer in 1992, Raine married Count Jean-François Pineton de Chambrun, a member of a prominent French aristocratic family; the union was short-lived and the couple divorced in 1995. She's now known as the Dowager Countess Spencer.