He has film-star good looks, has been hailed as Prince “Harry lite”, and has hung out with Nicki Minaj. Our hero is also nephew to one of the most famous women in the world, and set to inherit a 13,500-acre estate that has been in his family for 19 generations, a family arguably loftier than the Windsors. Despite this, no one – seasoned royal watchers included – appears to know much about Louis Spencer, Viscount Althorp. And that’s just the way this concertedly private young man wants it. So who is Princess Diana’s 27-year-old nephew, and how did he become the latest symbol of a system that many see as a sexist anachronism requiring change? Louis Spencer was born on March 14 1994, fourth child to Diana’s brother, Charles, 9th Earl Spencer, and his first wife Victoria Lockwood (Prince Harry was a page boy at their wedding). One reason for his below-the-radar presence was that young Louis was not brought up in Britain. Instead, a year after he was born, his parents moved Louis, oldest sister Kitty, and twins Eliza and Amelia to Cape Town, seeking privacy. His mother remained there after the pair divorced, meaning that – instead of being educated at Eton or Harrow, until then traditional for Spencer heirs – Louis attended Diocesan College, known as “Bishops”, Cape Town’s most expensive private school. It was founded in 1849 on British educational principles, and is celebrated for its string of sporting alumni. Only afterwards did Louis return to Britain as a student at Edinburgh University. He and his Spencer siblings came to public attention at Prince William’s wedding in April 2011 – Louis a shy-looking 17-year-old, somewhat dwarfed by his three beauteous sisters. His next public “appearance” was four years later, when a photo of him popped up on rapper Nicki Minaj’s social media feed, of all places. Underneath a picture of them backstage at one of her concerts, she joked: “Check out our wedding photo”. Viscount Althorp looked as chiselled as a male model.