Finest Hour 83

Winston and Clementine

By The Lady Diana Cooper, 1892-1986
Published in Finest Hour 83

Famed for her beauty and the “durable fire” of her marriage to Alfred Duff Cooper, First Viscount Norwich, Lady Diana Cooper was early admitted to a delightful friendship with Winston and Clementine Churchill. Few write better of the happiness they shared.


FROM the solemn moment when the world knew that Winston Churchill had breathed his last, a roll of honour of some seventeenth-century poet elusively haunted me. To lay it I asked friends, poets, and publishers, even All Souls College. All remembered it, but none could place the lines that say:

O that Sir Philip Sidney should be dead
O that Sir Walter Raleigh should be dead.

Many another glorious name is listed, and now we can add:

O that Sir Winston Churchill should be dead.
He above all these is not to be moumed. He lived his last years imprisoned by age, and now that the iron gates of life are opened, his spirit soars to the liberty he lived for. Nothing survives – not marble nor gilded monuments at Westminster Abbey, not even pyramids enclosing pharaohs. Only legend remains, and Sir Winston’s legend is as secure as that of any hero who fought and triumphed over evil. His fame will last when records are effaced, till legends become fables, and fables histories.

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The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill death, is the world’s preeminent member organisation dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill.

At a time when leadership is challenged at every turn, that legacy looms larger and remains more relevant than ever.