A tribute to our Patron Her Majesty The Queen

A tribute to our Patron Her Majesty The Queen

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty The Queen. Her Majesty has been our Royal Patron since our foundation and a continuing source of support over many years. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this very sad time.

HM The Queen meeting Fellow John Cowie during our 50th anniversary celebration at Buckingham Palace in 2015.Download image
"Her Majesty has shown invaluable support for our work and the work of our Fellows and we are deeply grateful for her Royal Patronage of 57 years.” – Jeremy Soames, Chairman

Our Chairman Jeremy Soames said: “We are extremely sad to learn of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, who has been the Patron of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust since its inception in 1965. During this time, Her Majesty has shown invaluable support for our work and the work of our Fellows and we are deeply grateful for her Royal Patronage of 57 years. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this very sad time.”

Her Majesty became our patron when we were established in 1965 on the death of Sir Winston Churchill, who was her first Prime Minister. The creation of the Churchill Fellowship had also benefited from close involvement from HRH the Duke of Edinburgh prior to its launch.

HM The Queen leaving No 10 Downing Street after dinner with Sir Winston and Lady Churchill in 1955.Download image

In May 1990, to mark 25 years since the Fellowship was founded, Her Majesty presented the Churchill Medallions to Fellows at our Awards Ceremony in the Guildhall, London.

HM The Queen presenting the Churchill Medallions to Fellows at our Award Ceremony at the Guildhall in 1990. Fellow Helen Apsimon is being awarded.Download image

In her speech, Her Majesty spoke of the value of the Fellowship:

“I feel sure that Sir Winston would have derived enormous pleasure from the wide variety of people who have benefitted from the scheme which commemorates him in this particular way. Those who will receive their medallions today come from every part of the UK and their Fellowships made it possible for them to visit as many parts of the globe as their projects covered a wide range of activities. The reports which have been submitted by them to the Trust bear ample witness to the value of the scheme.

“I had a good example close to home of the way in which the Fellowships reach out. One of our Jersey herdsmen at Windsor was granted a Fellowship to broaden his knowledge of his craft in Canada and the USA. Just two days ago I met another Churchill Fellow at London Zoo. The Fellowships do not come to an end when I hand over the commemorative medallions. A Churchill Fellowship is for life and it bestows not just the cachet of having held it but continuing responsibilities as well.

“Fellows are expected to share the benefits of new experience and knowledge or skill with others for the good of the community as a whole. And are also expected to maintain the personal and professional links with the countries which they have visited. I know that these high expectations which we repose in the Fellows will not be disappointed.”

HM The Queen addressing our Award Ceremony at the Guildhall in London, 1990.Download image

To mark our 50th anniversary in 2015, Her Majesty hosted a special reception at Buckingham Palace. This was attended by 245 Fellows representing every decade of the Fellowship, alongside representatives from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust in Australia and the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States. At this event she was presented with a copy of the new Churchill Medallion, which was designed by architectural artist Professor Brian Clarke (CF 1974) and based on the celebrated Karsh photograph of Sir Winston.

HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh are shown the new Churchill Medallion by Professor Brian Clarke CF, who designed it using the celebrated Karsh photo of Sir Winston.Download image

In 2019 Her Majesty graciously permitted all Fellows to use the honorific ‘CF’ after their names, as an indication of their lifelong status as a Churchill Fellow. This now serves as a lasting legacy of Her Majesty’s commitment to the Fellowship.