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Death of the Duke of Marlborough

The 11th Duke of Marlborough Was a Godson of Winston Churchill and Honorary Member of The Churchill Centre

Duke_Marlborough_Blenheim11th Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim PalaceThe Churchill Centre lost one of its oldest friends last month with the death of the 11th Duke of Marlborough.  The Duke passed away peacefully at Blenheim Palace on October 16th at the age of eighty-eight. He was a first cousin twice removed of Winston Churchill as well as being a godson of the prime minister. His Grace was a longtime honorary member of The Churchill Centre and hosted our members on tours of his home, which was the birthplace of his famous godfather. Richard M. Langworth has written a full tribute to the Duke that will appear in the next issue of our quarterly journal Finest Hour.

Born in 1926, John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer-Churchill stood a towering six and half feet tall. He was son of the 10th Duke of Marlborough and grandson of “Sunny”, the ninth Duke, who was first cousin and close friend to Winston Churchill. He was educated at Eton and served seven years in The Life Guards in which he achieved the rank of Captain. Upon inheriting the Dukedom in 1972, he took over the management of Blenheim Palace and the Blenheim estate. In order to fund the maintenance of the house, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Duke opened it to visitors and film crews as well as establishing a number of businesses. The Duke is survived by several children and grandchildren with his eldest son succeeding to the title and becoming the 12th Duke.

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