Lady Sarah Spencer was born on July 29th, 1787, in Northamptonshire. She was the eldest daughter and second child of George Spencer, the 2nd Earl Spencer, and Lady Lavinia Bingham. Sarah was one of nine children. Two of her brothers had positions in the Royal Household, and Sarah would go on to have a very important one.
Sarah married Sir William Henry Lyttelton, the 3rd Baron Lyttleton. They had five children: Caroline, George, Spencer, William, and Lavinia. George would go on to become the 4th Baron Lyttelton. After 34 years, Sarah was widowed in 1837 and was appointed Lady of the Bedchamber to the new queen, Victoria. She did not assume the position until a year later, after the period of mourning for her husband was over.
The Queen and her consort, Prince Albert, were both fond of Sarah, and she enjoyed working at court. Once Albert and Victoria had children and struggled to find someone to raise them, Sarah was appointed governess to the royal children. The children—there were just two at the time—loved Sarah, and the eldest, Vicky, nicknamed Sarah “Laddle”, which the children would call her well into their adulthood.
After Sarah’s daughter, Lavinia, died in childbirth, Sarah asked Victoria if she could retire to take care of Lavinia’s children. Victoria reluctantly agreed, giving Sarah a pension of 800 pounds yearly. Sarah was still very close to the royal family and attended Vicky’s wedding to the Crown Prince of Prussia, and they visited her in London ten years later. Sarah died on April 13th, 1870, aged eighty-two.