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Famous Family History Winston Churchill Children

About the family of famous English Prime Minister Winston Churchill, history of his sons and daughters.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL (1874-1965),

British prime minister

His Fruits: Winston Churchill and Clementine Hozier (1885-1978), married in 1908, raised three daughters and a son. Another daughter died in infancy. Winston was as imposing a personage at home as anywhere else, telling his children to "say what you have to say, say it clearly, or don't say it at all." As a result, the youngsters learned to rehearse their lines rather thoroughly before confronting him. "It was not that he was unsympathetic to them," wrote author Robert Payne. "It was simply that he could not stand small talk, and most children talk small."

As an infant, Diana Churchill (1909-1963) was "the image of me," announced her father (who later remarked that "all babies look like me"). She worked as a Red Cross nurse during W.W. II and joined the Women's Royal Naval Service. Divorced from Tory politician Duncan Sandys in 1960, she became an active volunteer for the Samaritans, an organization that counsels would-be suicides. A coroner's inquest ruled her own death a suicide after she swallowed at least 17 sleeping pills.

Randolph Churchill (1911-1968), as thorny and patrician in his own way as his father, became a soldier, journalist, and the iconoclastic darling of the international social set. His relationship with his father, though strained at times, was fundamentally strong. "Substantially," he wrote, "I went along with my father all the way, but I was always looking for opportunities to establish an individual position, and it's very hard to do so, obviously, when you're living under the shadow of the great oak." A prolific writer, Randolph's main opus was his multivolume Winston S. Churchill. His son, Winston Spencer Churchill II (1940- ), is both a journalist and a Tory member of Parliament, two traditional Churchill occupations.

Today the most flamboyant member of a family not noted for its retiring ways is Sarah Churchill (1914- ), the widowed Lady Audley. During W.W.II, she served as a key aide to her father at Teheran and Yalta. Her accomplishments as an actress, along with her stormy personal life, have attracted considerable attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

Mary Churchill Soames (1922- ) seemed the least inclined to forge a spectacular independence. When she married government official Christopher Soames in 1947, she accepted the demanding role of politician's wife, thus emulating her mother.

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