The former country home of Sir Winston Churchill is to play host to a new exhibition featuring objects belonging to him and his descendants which have never been put on display.
The exhibition, In The Blood, tells the story of the wartime prime minister’s Anglo-American ancestry and considers how the two branches of his family shaped his life and character.
His story is told through the display of objects at his former home, Chartwell in Kent, which are on loan from private collections belonging to Churchill’s descendants.
Highlights include duelling pistols and a Garter Star belonging to Churchill’s 17th century ancestor John, 1st Duke of Marlborough, builder of Blenheim Palace. Diamond, ruby and sapphire rings given to Churchill’s father, Lord Randolph, have been reunited especially for the exhibition, which opens today.
Also on display are locks of children’s hair taken from Churchill and his brother Jack, along with a photograph of their nanny, as well as Churchill’s silver christening cup. The National Trust said that half of the 50 objects have never been on public display before and have been brought together especially for the exhibition, which runs until next February
Randolph Churchill, Winston’s great-grandson, said: “This exhibition shines a light on Winston’s parents and his forefathers who were so important in giving him the backbone he had in the dark days of 1940.
“Indeed, he later wrote of that time, ‘I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial’.”