Diana Churchill

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Diana Spencer-Churchill

Diana Spencer-Churchill (11 July 1909 – 20 October 1963) was the eldest daughter of British statesman Sir Winston Churchill and Clementine Churchill, Baroness Spencer-Churchill (née Hozier).

Personal life[edit]

She attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she spent five terms,[1][2] without any real intention to become an actress. On 12 December 1932, she married John Milner Bailey (15 June 1900 East Grinstead – 13 February 1946 Cape Town, South Africa) (became the Bailey baronet Sir John Milner Bailey, 2nd Bt), but the marriage was unsuccessful and they divorced in 1935. On 16 September 1935, she married the Conservative politician, Duncan Sandys (later life peer Lord Duncan-Sandys). After having three children, that marriage also ended and they were divorced in 1960.

On 11 April 1962, her name was legally changed back to Diana Churchill.

Children[edit]

With Duncan Sandys she had three children:

  • The Honourable Julian Sandys (19 September 1936 – 15 August 1997) he married Elisabeth Martin in 1970. They have four children:
    • Lucy Diana Sandys (born 1971); she married David Pite in 2007. They have two children:
      • Iona Susan Pite (b. 2010)
      • Clementine Elisabeth Pite (b. 2014)
    • Duncan John Winston Sandys (b. 1973); he married Mary Brown C. Brewer and divorced in 2016. They have one son:
      • Julian George Winston Sandys (b. 10 April 2008)
    • Jonathan Martin Edwin Sandys (b. 1975); he married Sara Hill in 2009. They have two children, who are the first descendants of Sir Winston Churchill to be born in the United States (Texas):[3]
      • Jesse Benjamin Sandys (b. 2014)
      • Arizona Jane Sandys (b. 2016)
    • Roderick Julian Frederick Sandys (1977 – 9 December 2007)
  • The Honourable Edwina Sandys (b. 22 December 1938); she married Piers Dixon in 1960 and divorced in 1973. They have two sons. She married Richard D. Kaplan in 1985.
    • Mark Pierson Dixon (b. 1962)
    • Hugo Duncan Dixon (b. 1963)
  • The Honourable Celia Sandys (b. 18 May 1943); she married Michael Kennedy in 1965 and divorced in 1970. They have one son. She remarried Sir Dennis Walters in 1970 and were divorced in 1979. They have one son. She remarried Maj.-Gen. Kenneth Perkins in 1985. They have two children.
    • Justin Kennedy (b. 1967)
    • Dominic Walters (b. 1971)
    • Alexander Winston Duncan Perkins (b. 1986)
    • Sophie Rachel Perkins (b. 1988)

Military service[edit]

She was an officer in the Women's Royal Naval Service during the Second World War.

Health issues and death[edit]

Diana had several nervous breakdowns. In 1962, she began working with the Samaritans, an organisation created for suicide-prevention. In 1963, she died, at age 54, from an overdose of barbiturates. A coroner later concluded that the death was a suicide.[4] She is buried with her parents (who both outlived her) and siblings at St Martin's Church, Bladon, near Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

References[edit]