A 1950s grey pinstripe suit worn by Sir Winston Churchill has gone on display at his birthplace Blenheim Palace. The suit was made by British fashion retailer Austin Reed and includes a label dated *16/9/53 RT Hon Sir Winston S. Churchill K.C.G. It is on show as part of an exhibition dedicated to the ‘greatest Briton’ and his lifelong association with the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The suit, which was purchased at auction, is accompanied by a two-page letter confirming its authenticity and stating it was given by his wife, Lady Churchill, to a Mary Williams in the Sixties.
Kate Ballenger, Keeper of Palace and Collections said, “This suit is a great addition to the exhibition and provides another tangible link to the life of one of the 20th century’s most famous and influential figures.
“It forms part of a much wider collection of historical artefacts, letters and photographs detailing his life and his enduring connection to, and love for, Blenheim”, she added.
The former Prime Minister and wartime leader was born at the Palace on 30 November 1874. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was the youngest son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. His mother, Lady Churchill, was at Blenheim with her husband attending a St Andrew’s Day ball when she unexpectedly went into labour. As well as being his birthplace, Blenheim is also where he proposed to his beloved wife Clementine in the Temple of Diana during a summer rainstorm.
He is quoted as saying, “At Blenheim I took two very important decisions, to be born and to marry. I am content with the decision I took on both occasions.”
He returned to Blenheim often throughout his long life, attending parties, painting and spending time with his cousin and close friend ‘Sunny’, the 9th Duke of Marlborough. Churchill is buried, alongside Clementine, in Bladon churchyard on the edge of the estate.
To learn more about this exibition, visit the Blenheim Palace website.