Lady Kitty Spencer has become a famous face on the social scene and even runway thanks to her family ties with the late Princess Diana . As the niece of the People’s Princess, Kitty lived a quiet life in South Africa away from the international press. Once known as a Cape Town party girl, Spencer did a complete 180 on her image, looks and even her choice of men when she relocated back to the UK. STYLE took an exclusive look at Kitty’s incredible transformation over the years. Escaping the limelight In 1995, Lady Kitty Spencer’s parents, Charles Spencer and Victoria Aitken, moved their family from London to Cape Town to escape the spotlight. Kitty has described her childhood as a simple one, with her walking around barefoot and her dad making sure she lived on a budget, wanting to teach her the value of money. When she was 18, she posed for the cover of British high-end magazine Tatler in what was seen as her introduction to society. South Africa’s British royals: who are Princess Diana’s nieces and nephew? The South African Style Awards Although relatively unknown in South African social circles, Spencer soon made a name for herself as a party girl after being named the most stylish “model and person” in the country at the 2009 South African Style Awards. Royal rebels: the princesses who decided not to play by the rules Winning the award catapulted her into the A-list category in local circles and Kitty was seen at just about every social event from then onwards. Her soccer player boyfriend As Kitty’s fame grew, so did interest in her love life, and she was spotted canoodling with soccer player Larry Cohen. She eventually confirmed their romance, but carefully downplayed it, choosing instead to focus on her studies. She told the media that “getting a good degree is the most important thing to me”, when asked about Cohen, who played for Johannesburg’s Jomo Cosmos. Who is Princess Diana’s newly engaged niece, Lady Amelia Spencer? View this post on Instagram A post shared by Marie Claire Russia (@marieclairerussia) Now Kitty is engaged to 61-year-old billionaire Michael Lewis. Kitty, 29, was supposed to get hitched in Italy this year, but the wedding was put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. Engaged before? View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kitty Spencer (@kitty.spencer) Known for hitting the dance floor and being one of the last girls to leave a party, Kitty had to head for cover after a prank landed her in trouble with her family. She updated her Facebook status to say she and Cohen were engaged, causing her dad’s PR person at the time, Jill Grogor, to rush in and do damage control, telling South Africa’s Sunday Times : “I can categorically deny the rumours. They are not engaged. It was just a Facebook hoax. Kitty’s father and I had to smooth things out after those posts. It had big implications, her father was furious.” Why do the British royal family give each other cheap, tacky Christmas presents? Fashion queen? Not so fast She may be a coveted model, but 10 years ago, Kitty openly said she had no desire for labels. She said South Africans had a different sense of style to Europeans and she described herself as having a “quirky” sense of style, often shopping at Topshop and H&M. The body transformation Back in 2010, Kitty had a noticeably fuller figure. She has often spoken about getting backlash over her weight, explaining that many commented about her “chunky thighs”. At the time, she ignored the comments, saying she didn’t think she could stick to a diet, so didn’t bother. How did Princess Diana’s wedding ring end up on Kate Middleton’s finger? Fast-forward to a few years later, and her slimmer frame is evident. The corgis and the crown: the queen’s most faithful companions The life she never wanted Kitty, who currently lives in London, regularly posts snaps of herself out at fashion events. Many describe her as a society girl, a label she used to openly rubbish: in her very first interview, with a British tabloid aged 18, she said, “Being seen as a society girl is absolutely the last thing I need. Education is a wonderful opportunity and I just want to make the most of it.” Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .