Culture, UK

VC Day at Churchill’s Blenheim Palace

Just as the Great Old Man would say ‘We will never give in’ which is why May 17 will be celebrated as VC Day at Churchill’s Blenheim Palace, which is, of course, Victory for Churchill Day.

I spent the early part of the week visiting Blenheim Palace in Southern England.

Which is as it should be, how it was, and how it will be again.

Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire is, of course, the childhood home of the Second Greatest Ever Briton.

And it is throwing its doors open again to us now Covid restrictions have been relaxed.

It looks just like him

And we can all enjoy Winston Churchill’s beloved homestead again.

Churchill was born here

Winnie will be there to meet you himself.

In the guise of a newly commissioned model of the Old Bulldog which Jethro Crabb has sculpted for us.

Horsing around

There’s a model too of Young Winston’s childhood horse Rob Roy in The Stables Exhibition.

Where you can dress up and attempt to ride side saddle.

Whoa horsey: Rob Roy

Churchill, never short of a quip, said that the two most important decisions he made in his life happened at Blenheim.

‘To be born and to propose marriage to Clementine.’

McChurchill

Churchill, as well as being an MP for Dundee between 1908 and 1922, has other strong connections to us Scottish-type people.

The boy who would be PM

He came into this world on our national day, St Andrew’s Day, in 1874, when his parents were attending a ball.

And it was in Jockoland where he said ‘it was in Scotland I found the three best things in my life: my wife, my constituency and my regiment’.

Making an exhibition of himself

The Churchill Exhibition is the centrepiece of the new Blenheim Castle reopening.

And it is housed in the area of the Palace overlooking the Water Terraces which he used as an artist’s studio.

Man on the stomp

You can visit too the room in which he was born.

Probably with gnarled face and holding a pacifier between index and middle finger.

And for all the romantics out there you can take a stroll to the Memorial Garden and Walk in Churchill’s Footsteps.

You’ll discover his favourite places and the Temple of Diana, where he proposed to Clemmy.

Smokin’: Clemmy says yes to Winny

Wonder too at gardener par excellence Capability Brown’s work on your travels.

Have a cigar

The house itself is of course a treasure trove of history and thanks to Blenheim Palace and historian Dan Snow for filling us in on the gaps in our historical knowledge.

For VC Day at Churchill’s Blenheim Palace.

You can see the diamond-encrusted cigar box (with cigars) given to Churchill by the King of Yugoslavia.

And the snuff box Clementine gave her beloved husband.

While you can also gaze on Churchill’s well-thumbed passport which acts as an inspiration to all us travellers.

Portrait of a Princess: Princess Margaret

Blenheim Palace, of course, is a magnet to all manners of culture.

Takes some Beaton

And you can also enjoy the Cecil Beaton, Celebrating Celebrity Exhibition which will run from May 17-August 1.

And feast on images of Picasso, Dali, Marilyn, Mick Jagger and the Queen, Princess Margaret and Prince Charles.

See you on VC Day at Churchill’s Blenheim Palace.

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