January 1, 1970

In 2004 it was claimed that a blue and yellow macaw that had belonged to Churchill was still alive – aged 104. ‘Charlie’ was said to have been born in 1899, bought by the Churchills in 1937 and, eventually outliving both its owners, ending up in a garden centre in Surrey, UK. It was reputed to be a great mimic and Churchill was said to have taught it to utter a string of profanities about Hitler and the Nazis. Churchill’s daughter, Lady Soames, dismissed this as untrue; Churchill never owned a foul-mouthed parrot, although he did own an African Grey Parrot named ‘Polly’ (not foul-mouthed) but sold the bird before assuming the role of Prime Minister.

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