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Outdoor photography exhibition of Sir Winston Churchill and the Queen in her Platinum Jubilee launches at Chartwell, Sevenoaks


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A photography exhibition charting the special relationship the Queen and Sir Winston Churchill will be staged at his former family home during her Platinum Jubilee year.

Churchill and the Crown, featuring a series of hand-selected archive photographs telling the story of the special relationship between the young Queen and Sir Winston will be held at Chartwell near Westerham.

Queen Elizabeth II chats to Sir Winston Churchill while awaiting the arrival of the Queen Mother at Waterloo Station on her return from visiting Canada and America.24th November 1954 Picture: TopFoto
Queen Elizabeth II chats to Sir Winston Churchill while awaiting the arrival of the Queen Mother at Waterloo Station on her return from visiting Canada and America.24th November 1954 Picture: TopFoto

The Queen will become the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee this year, having acceded to the throne in 1952 during Churchill’s second term as Prime Minister. The two had a close and genuine relationship, having first met when the Queen was just two years old.

Churchill became the Queen’s trusted advisor through the earliest years of her reign, and she meant a great deal to him. This enduring relationship is illustrated by the photograph of her on her Coronation Day, which Churchill hung on the wall of his study at Chartwell.

The exhibition, which will run from Saturday, January 15 to Sunday, February 27, is in partnership with TopFoto, and feature reproduced photographs enlarged and displayed on the Terrace Lawn, overlooking the winter gardens and estate.

Katherine Carter, Chartwell’s curator and lead creator of the new exhibition said: "The relationship between HM The Queen and her first Prime Minister was a longstanding one. From Churchill’s warm friendship with her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, through to Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation and the earliest years of her reign, these archive photographs encapsulate a truly remarkable friendship that changed the course of history."

In a speech broadcast ahead of her coronation, Churchill referred to the Queen as ‘a Lady whom we respect because she is our Queen and whom we love because she is herself’, showing just how fond he was of her.

View from the Terrace Lawn in January at Chartwell Picture: National Trust Images/Andrew Butler
View from the Terrace Lawn in January at Chartwell Picture: National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Years later, when asked which Prime Minister she enjoyed meeting with the most, the Queen said: “Winston of course, because it was always such fun.”

One of her household staff even remarked “I could not hear what they talked about, but it was, more often than not, punctuated with peals of laughter, and Winston generally came out wiping his eyes.”

Katherine added: "By exploring photographs of these two iconic individuals, we can see a genuine warmth and friendship which extended beyond that of monarch and counsel, and it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate their relationship here at Churchill’s former home."

Churchill and the Crown is open from 10am to 4pm daily and is included with normal admission. The Terrace Lawn is accessible for wheelchairs. Find out more about visiting by clicking here.

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