Tag Archives: Winston Churchill
Blenheim Palace: a magnificent rival to Versailles. Blenheim is only a few miles out of Oxford at the edge of the little town of Woodstock. It was built on land given to John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, by Queen Anne to celebrate his victory over the French at Blenheim in 1704. His success prevented Louis XIV from dominating Continental Europe and, as his descendant Winston Churchill wrote, ‘changed the political axis of the world’. Vanbrugh was commissioned to design a palace suitable for the hero, and £240,000 was voted for it by Parliament.
It was a still night with a sea-mist. As the men clambered over the side of the ship into the small boats below, their officers were terrified that the sound of muttered curses and boots scraping on steel decks would reach the Turkish lines a few miles across the water. At last the boats were full, crammed with men, ammunition and rations for three days.
On 10th December 1936, Princess Elizabeth of York was with her sister, Margaret, in their London home, 145 Piccadilly, when she became aware of people shouting for her father outside. Her father was away and her mother was ill in bed. Finally, she went to ask a footman the reason for the commotion. He replied that her beloved uncle, Edward VIII, had abdicated and her father was king.
The results of the election came as a surprise to almost everyone when they were announced on 26 July, including Clement Attlee (1883 – 1967): Labour had been swept to power on a landslide, winning just under 50% of the vote, to the Conservatives’ 36%. Labour won 393 seats, giving them a majority of 146 seats.The new government had an unusually clear idea of what it wanted to achieve, and backbenchers were instructed to avoid private members’ bills and concentrate on voting the government’s legislation through.