Saturday, 24 January 2015

10 Facts You May Not Know About Winston Churchill

1. He was born into the Duke of Marlborough family, and actually born in a bedroom in Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire (well worth a visit if you're ever in the area

2. He was the last non-royal to be granted a State Funeral.

3. He was the first person to be awarded Honorary Citizen of the United States of America. President John F. Kennedy awarded it to him after being authorized to do so by an Act of Congress. He is one of only two people to have it awarded to them within their lifetime (the other was Mother Teresa).

4. He predicted he would die on the same day as his father. And he did: Winston Churchill died on 24th January 1965 (aged 90), and his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, died the same day in 1895 (aged 45).

5. He is also part of the Spencer family. His full name is Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill. 

6. Princess Diana, the Princess of Wales (Spencer is her maiden name) is his 7th cousin. And, guess what? Winston Churchill's first daughter was called Diana.

7. Queen Elizabeth II offered to create Winston Churchill the Duke of London, but he turned it down. His son, Randolph objected, as it meant he would inherit the peerage upon his father's death. This would mean he couldn't sit as an MP in the House of Commons.

8. Winston Churchill was the last non-royal to be offered a Dukedom. The latest person to be created a Duke was Prince William, eldest son of Prince Charles, upon his marriage to Kate Middleton. He was created the Duke of Cambridge, a vacant Dukedom that goes back hundreds of years. Winston Churchill's Duke of London would have been a new Dukedom, created especially for him.

9. The man who led Britain in a time of war, was not the man to lead Britain in a time of peace. Or, so it would seem. Winston Churchill lost the General Election in 1945, soon after winning the war. He would spend the next six years as Leader of the Opposition to a Labour Government.

10. He also lost the 1950 General Election, but stood firm as Leader of the Opposition, refusing to resign. But, as luck would have it, Labour didn't have the majority they wanted, so they called another General Election the following year, expecting a victory, but they lost. And Winston Churchill was back as Prime Minister.

1 comment:

Leigh Anderson said...

Well, if Winston Churchill was a Spencer, that means he was descended from Mary Boleyn, aka "The Other Boleyn Girl."