Winston Churchill married Clementine Hozier on 12 September 1908 at St. Margaret’s, Westminster. As is well known, the marriage proved a great success and lasted more than fifty-six years until Sir Winston passed away early in 1965. For both bride and groom, the moment was their finest hour. But it might have turned out differently.
Both Winston and Clementine had given serious consideration to other matrimonial partners before making their final decision. Winston had shown some interest in the actress Ethel Barrymore. He gave even more attention to Pamela Plowden, who later became the Countess of Lytton. Fortunately for all, nothing came of these early infatuations.
Clementine had come even closer to tying the knot. She had broken off two engagements with men who were some years older and wealthy. Both it seemed were simply too dull. If intellectual stimulation and a life that would be anything but dull was what she was after, Clementine succeeded completely when she agreed to marry Winston after a swift courtship.
Speaking at the 2008 International Churchill Conference in Boston on the precise date of his grandparent’s 100th anniversary, Winston Churchill’s namesake grandson observed that among all those gathered that evening he and his son (now ICS President Randolph Churchill) had the most reason to be thankful for the event since “if it had not happened, we would not be here at all!”