Mary Soames, Baroness Soames, LG, DBE, FRSL (née Spencer-Churchill;
15 September 1922 – 31 May 2014) was the youngest of the five
Winston Churchill and his wife, Clementine. She was the
wife of Christopher Soames.
3 Titles from birth
7 External links
1945 photo at
Lady Soames' Garter banner at St Martin's Church, Bladon
Churchill and Soames grave at St Martin's Church, Bladon
Mary Spencer-Churchill was born and brought up at Chartwell, and
educated at the
Manor House at Limpsfield. She worked for the Red
Cross and the
Women's Voluntary Service
Women's Voluntary Service from 1939 to 1941, and joined
Auxiliary Territorial Service
Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1941 with whom she served in
Germany in mixed anti-aircraft batteries, rising
to the rank of Junior Commander (equivalent to Captain). She also
accompanied her father as aide-de-camp on several of his overseas
journeys, including his post-VE trip to Potsdam, where he met with
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin. In 1945, she was appointed a Member
Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire (MBE), in recognition of
meritorious military services.
She served many public organisations, such as the International
Churchill Society, as a Patron;
Church Army and Churchill Houses; and
Royal National Theatre
Royal National Theatre Board of Trustees between 1989 and
1995. She was Patron of the National Benevolent Fund for the Aged.
A successful author, Lady Soames wrote an acclaimed biography of her
mother, Clementine Churchill, in 1979. She offered insights into the
Churchill family to various biographers, prominently including Sir
Martin Gilbert, who became the authorised biographer of Sir Winston
Churchill after the death of Churchill's son, Randolph, in 1968.
Additionally, she published a book of letters between Sir Winston and
Lady Churchill, editing the letters as well as providing bridging
material that placed the letters in personal, family, and historical
In 1980, Lady Soames was promoted to Dame Commander of the Order of
the British Empire (DBE) for her public service, particularly in
One of her more notable public appearances came on 29 April 2002 when
she dined with the Queen at
Buckingham Palace as part of the Golden
Jubilee celebrations, alongside Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the
four surviving former prime ministers at the time, as well as several
relatives of other deceased prime ministers.
She was made a Lady Companion of the
Order of the Garter
Order of the Garter (LG) on 23
April 2005, and was invested on 13 June at Windsor Castle.
On 31 May 2014, Lady Soames died at her home in
London at the age of
91 following a short illness. Her ashes are buried next to
those of her husband within the Churchill plot at St Martin's Church,
Bladon, near Woodstock, Oxfordshire.
Six months after her death, on 17 December 2014,
auctioned 255 items out of her collection on behalf of her heirs,
including paintings by and memorabilia attached to her father, Winston
S. Churchill. The sale far exceeded pre-auction estimates.
Mary Soames married the Conservative politician Christopher Soames
(later created Baron Soames) in 1947 and they had five children:
The Rt. Hon. Sir
Nicholas Soames (12 February 1948). He married
Catherine N. Weatherall on 4 June 1981 and they were divorced in 1988.
They have one son. He remarried Serena Mary Smith on 21 December 1993.
They have two children, a son and a daughter.
The Hon. Emma
Mary Soames (6 September 1949). She married James
MacManus on 4 July 1981 and they were divorced in 1989.
The Hon. Jeremy Bernard Soames (25 May 1952). He married Susanna Keith
in 1978. They have three children.
The Hon. Charlotte Clementine Soames (17 July 1954). She married
Richard Hambro in 1973 and they were divorced in 1982. They have one
daughter. She remarried
William Peel, 3rd Earl Peel
William Peel, 3rd Earl Peel on 15 April 1989.
They have one daughter.
The Hon. Rupert
Christopher Soames (18 May 1959). He married Camilla
Rose Dunne in 1988. They have three children.
Titles from birth
A list of the titles Lady Soames held in chronological order from
15 September 1922 – 6 April 1945: Miss Mary Spencer-Churchill
6 April 1945 – 11 February 1947: Miss Mary Spencer-Churchill, MBE
11 February 1947 – May 1965: Mrs. Christopher Soames, MBE
17 May 1965 – 1 January 1972: The Hon. Mrs. Soames, MBE
1 January 1972 – 19 April 1978: The Hon. Lady Soames, MBE
19 April 1978 – 14 June 1980: The Rt Hon. The Lady Soames, MBE
14 June 1980 – 23 April 2005: The Rt Hon. The Lady Soames, DBE
23 April 2005 – 31 May 2014: The Rt Hon. The Lady Soames, LG, DBE
Coat of arms of Mary Soames
Lady of the Garter since 2005
A coronet of a Baroness
Gules, a chevron Or, between in chief two hammers of the last and in
base two wing Argent; impaled with quarterly, first and fourth Sable a
Lion rampant Argent, overall on a quarter of the last a cross Gules;
second and third grandquarterly 1st and 4th Argent 2nd and 3rd Gules a
fret Or overall a bend Sable charged with three escallops Argent; in
chief an escutcheon Argent a cross Gules thereon an inescutcheon Azure
three fleurs-de-lys Or.
Dexter: A winged lion Argent gorged Gules. Sinister: a falcon Or
holding a cord Gules and Argent.
FIEL PERO DESDICHADO
Spanish: Faithful but Unfortunate
Order of the Garter
Order of the Garter circlet.
Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire Commander's neck badge (Civil).
Books written by
Mary Soames (titles may vary between UK and US
Clementine Churchill: The Biography of a Marriage (1979)
Family Album: A Personal Selection from Four Generations of Churchills
The Profligate Duke: George Spencer Churchill, Fifth Duke of
Marlborough, and His Duchess (1987)
Winston Churchill: His Life as a Painter (1990)
Speaking For Themselves: The Private Letters of Sir Winston and Lady
Clementine Churchill: The Revised and Updated Biography (2005)
A Daughter's Tale: The Memoir of Winston and Clementine Churchill's
Youngest Child (2012)
^ "Lady Mary Soames, Winston Churchill's daughter, dies". BBC. 1 June
2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
^ Wrigley, Chris. (2002). Winston Churchill: A biographical companion.
Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. pp. 123–125.
^ a b "No. 37025". The
London Gazette (Supplement). 6 April 1945.
^ David Reynolds Obituary: Lady Soames, The Guardian, 1 June 2014
^ "Mary Soames: biography". Random House Group. Archived from the
original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
^ a b "No. 48212". The
London Gazette (Supplement). 13 June 1980.
^ "Queen dines with her prime ministers". BBC News. 29 April
^ a b "No. 57622". The
London Gazette. 25 April 2005.
^ "The Queen [...] today held a Chapter of the Most Noble Order of the
Garter [...] Her Majesty invested the Baroness Soames with the
Insignia of a Lady Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter."
Court Circular 13 June 2005.
^ Mary Soames, daughter of Winston Churchill, dies at 91 - The
^ "Lady Soames, Winston Churchill's last surviving child, dies aged
91". The Daily Telegraph. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
^ "Auction Results: Daughter of History:
Mary Soames and the Legacy of
Churchill". Sotheby's. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 27 November
^ a b "Person Page 10626". Thepeerage.com. Retrieved 20 February
^ Ennoblement of her mother
Clementine Churchill as "Baroness
Spencer-Churchill" on 17 May 1965
^ Knighthood for her husband
Christopher Soames on 1 January 1972.
^ Her husband
Christopher Soames was created a life peer on 19 April
1978 as "Baron Soames", of Fletching in the County of East Sussex.
^ The Heraldry Gazette. New Series 105 (September 2007), pp.1-2. ISSN
^ This book engages itself with the gardens in Blenheim and
Mary Soames on IMDb
Appearances on C-SPAN
Booknotes interview with Soames on Winston & Clementine: The
Personal Letters of the Churchills, 2 May 1999.
A film clip ALLIES TAKE KISKA ETC. (1943) is available at the Internet
Winston Churchill as historian
Winston Churchill as painter
Winston Churchill as writer
Winston Churchill in politics, 1900–1939
Statement on Atrocities
European Advisory Commission
Honours of Winston Churchill
Later life of Winston Churchill
The Other Club
The Story of the Malakand Field Force
The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898)
Savrola (1899 novel)
The River War
The River War (1899)
London to Ladysmith via Pretoria (1900)
Ian Hamilton's March
Ian Hamilton's March (1900)
Randolph Churchill (1906)
The World Crisis
The World Crisis (1923–1931, five volumes)
My Early Life
My Early Life (1930)
Marlborough: His Life and Times (1933–1938, four volumes)
Great Contemporaries (1937)
Arms and the Covenant
Arms and the Covenant (1938)
The Second World War (1948–1963, six volumes)
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (1956–1958, four volumes)
"Blood, toil, tears, and sweat"
"Be ye men of valour"
"We shall fight on the beaches"
"This was their finest hour"
"Never was so much owed by so many to so few"
Palace of Westminster statue
Parliament Square statue
Washington, DC, statue
Churchill College, Cambridge
Churchill Archives Centre
The Churchill Centre
US Churchill Museum
Siege of Sidney Street
May 1940 War Cabinet Crisis
Sword of Stalingrad
Randolph Churchill (father)
Jennie Jerome, Lady
Randolph Churchill (mother)
Jack Churchill (brother)
Clementine Churchill, Baroness Spencer-Churchill (wife)
Diana Churchill (daughter)
Randolph Churchill (son)
Sarah Churchill (daughter)
Marigold Churchill (daughter)
Mary Soames, Baroness Soames (daughter)
John Spencer-Churchill (grandfather)
Frances Anne Spencer-Churchill (grandmother)
Leonard Jerome (grandfather)
Clarissa Eden (niece)
Winners of the Wolfson History Prize
Michael Howard / Keith Thomas (1972)
W. L. Warren /
Frances Yates (1973)
Moses Finley /
Theodore Zeldin (1974)
Frances Donaldson /
Olwen Hufton (1975)
Nikolaus Pevsner /
Norman Stone (1976)
Denis Mack Smith /
Simon Schama (1977)
Alistair Horne (1978)
Richard Cobb /
Quentin Skinner /
Mary Soames (1979)
Robert Evans /
F. S. L. Lyons (1980)
John Wyon Burrow (1981)
John McManners (1982)
Martin Gilbert /
Kenneth Rose (1983)
Antonia Fraser /
Maurice Keen (1984)
Richard Davenport-Hines / John Grigg (1985)
J. H. Elliott /
Jonathan Israel (1986)
Rees Davies / John Pemble (1987)
Richard Evans /
Paul Kennedy (1988)
Richard A. Fletcher /
Donald Cameron Watt
Donald Cameron Watt (1989)
Colin Platt (1990)
John Bossy /
Allan Bullock (1991)
Linda Colley /
Robert Skidelsky (1992)
Robert Bartlett /
Barbara Harvey (1993)
Fiona MacCarthy /
John C. G. Röhl (1994)
H. C. G. Matthew (1995)
Orlando Figes (1996)
John Brewer /
Patricia Hollis (1997)
Antony Beevor /
Amanda Vickery (1998)
Joanna Bourke / Andrew Roberts (1999)
Ian Kershaw /
Mark Mazower /
Roy Porter (2000)
Barry Cunliffe / Jerry White (2001)
William Dalrymple /
Robert Gildea (2002)
Frances Harris /
Julian T. Jackson /
Diarmaid MacCulloch (2003)
Richard Overy / David Reynolds (2004)
Evelyn Welch /
Christopher Wickham (2005)
Chris Clark /
Vic Gatrell /
Adam Tooze (2006)
John Darwin /
Rosemary Hill (2007)
Mary Beard /
Margaret M. McGowan (2008)
Dominic Lieven /
Jonathan Sumption (2009)
Ruth Harris /
Nicholas Thomas (2010)
Susie Harries /
Alexandra Walsham (2011)
Susan Brigden / Christopher Duggan (2012)
Cyprian Broodbank /
Catherine Merridale (2013)
Richard Vinen / Alexander Watson (2014)
Robin Lane Fox
Robin Lane Fox /
Nikolaus Wachsmann (2015)
Christopher de Hamel (2016)
ISNI: 0000 0001 0983 910X
BNF: cb15948807s (data)