Churchill’s granddaughter says he was ‘difficult man to be married to’

Churchill’s granddaughter says he was ‘difficult man to be married to’


Winston Churchill’s granddaughter Celia Sandys reveals he was ‘a difficult man to be married to’ as she opens up about his relationship with wife Clementine

  • Celia Sandys, 76, discusses marriage between Churchill and wife Clementine 
  • Former Prime Minister was a keen bricklayer and built wall at Chartwell House
  • Secrets of the National Trust airs tonight at 9:15pm on Channel 5  

Winston Churchill’s granddaughter has revealed the former Prime Minister was a ‘difficult man to be married to’ in Secrets of the National Trust.

The documentary which airs on Channel 5 tonight, focuses on Chartwell House in Westerham, Kent, where he lived with his wife Clementine. 

Sitting in the splendor of her grandfather’s former home, author Celisa Sandys, 76, speaks about her grandmother with host Alan Titchmarsh and discusses how she coped being wed to Winston.

‘He was a difficult man to be married to,’ she explains. ‘I mean, everything centered around him and she was someone who was very highly strung. 

‘So, she found life quite a strain because he was racing through life and everything was going at full speed.’  

Author Celia Sandys, 76, (pictured) is the granddaughter of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill. She opens up about her grandparents’ relationship in Channel 5 documentary Secrets of the National Trust which airs tonight  

Clementine and Winston Churchill (pictured) sitting together in their London home on 11 April 1960, five years before his death 

She adds: ‘He was once described as a young man in a hurry but he was a man in a hurry all his life and he was always pursuing his destiny, which of course came rather late.’

Celia, who is the daughter of the couple’s eldest child, Diana, who married Cabinet Minister Duncan Sandys, adds that Clementine ‘was an extraordinary wife’.

Winston and Clementine Churchill tied the knot on 12 September 1908 after meeting for the first time in 1904. 

They then honeymooned in Baveno, Venice and Moravia before returning to the city of London. 

The couple went on to have five children – Sarah, Mary, Marigold, Randolph and Diana, Celia’s mother. 

Asked by Titchmarsh what made Churchill the man he was, Celia responds almost instantly, saying: ‘Courage.’ 

Celia (pictured) next to her grandfather in family pictures. In tonight’s documentary, she tells how Winston Churchill would often take her with him on his travels 

The former Prime Minister and his wife Clementine pictured leaving a London airport for a holiday in the south of France in September 1852 

Clementine and Winston Churchill at 10 Downing Street. Pictured, Churchill gives the crowd his famous ‘V’ for victory sign

According to Celia, being married to a man such as Winston Churchill was no easy task, but Clementine was up for the challenge  

Giving a unique insight into the man himself, she adds that he ‘had the courage to, when he believed in something, not to be worried what other people said.’ 

‘He felt he had this destiny, so he had a purpose.’

Throughout the episode, viewers are offered a behind-the-scenes look at Churchill’s life – including his magnificent room, one of his actual cigars, a food-stained bow tie and a velvet ‘onesie’ that became a favoured part of his lounge-wear. 

The show also features a segment on a lesser-known hobby of Churchill’s – bricklaying. 

Alan Titchmarsh discovers that Churchill even built a wall at Chartwell House with the help of a professional and two gardeners. 

While he may not have been known for his prowess with bricks, one thing he was synonymous with was his smoking habits. 

Speaking of this, his granddaughter Celia says: ‘The cigar was always there. As he left the house he would have the cigar lit because the people expected him to be puffing away at the cigar, but it was very much part of him.’ 

The Secrets of the National Trust with Alan Titchmarsh airs tonight at 9:15pm on Channel 5. 

Winston and Clementine Churchill surrounded by their grandchildren. From left to right: Emma Soames, Winston Churchill, Young Winston Churchill (standing), Nicholas Soames (on the bench), Julian Sandys (standing) Clementine Churchill, Arabella Churchill

Celia says Churchill’s famous cigars were always in his house and were ‘very much a part of him.’ Former British Prime Minister leaving Admiralty House in London after lunch with Harold Macmillan on 8th February 1961

Lady Churchill on the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation on 2 June 1953. The couple met in 1904 and married in 1908

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