Without Winston Churchill’s inspiring leadership, Britain would not have survived its darkest hour against the Nazi menace. Without his wife Clementine, however, he might never have become Prime Minister.
Watch Royal Oak lecturer Sonia Purnell as she discusses her extensive research on Clementine Churchill and her understated significance in British history.
Not only was Clementine Winston’s emotional rock and most trusted confidante, she was involved in crucial decisions of war and exerted influence over him and the government that would seem scandalous to modern eyes. Her charm and humanitarian efforts earned her deep respect from the public and behind closed doors at Whitehall.
However, Clementine’s childhood was far from gilded. Born into impoverished aristocracy, her mother was a known adulteress and gambler, and by the time Clementine entered society she was the target of cruel snobbery. In Winston, she found a partner, and in his career she found her mission as Britain’s ‘First Lady.’ Ms. Purnell explores the peculiar dynamics of this fascinating marriage based on her book First Lady: The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill.
From personal and political upheavals, through the Churchill’s’ ‘wilderness years’ in the 1930s, to Clementine’s efforts during World War II, Ms. Purnell presents the inspiring but often ignored story of one of the most important women in modern history.