Celia Lee was born in Northern Ireland in January 1946. She was educated at St. Columba’s Secondary School, Portaferry, where she undertook a course in commerce. From 1967, she pursued a career as a secretary and administrator in the City of London. In 1969, she met John Lee and they were married in Northern Ireland in 1970.
Celia studied for an honours degree in Humanities at the Open University, specialising in modern history and literature. Due to her interest in the Dardanelles Campaign, Celia was invited by her husband to join the British Commission For Military History, and she is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University Of Birmingham.
Celia wrote the biography of Jean, Lady Hamilton, the wife of General Sir Ian Hamilton, from Lady Hamilton’s diaries that are housed in the Liddel Hart Centre for Military Archives, King’s College, London. Jean, Lady Hamilton (1861-1941) was published privately in 2001, and was Book of the Week in the Spectator and gained a great deal of coverage in the tabloid press.
Celia is also a member of the Gallipoli Association; the Western Front Association; The Douglas Haig Fellowship; The International Churchill Society Chartwell Branch; The Polish Hearth Club (Ognisko Polskie), South Kensington, where she is the English speaking press Executive. Celia is joint chair with Mr Paul Edward Strong of a Women in War group that they set up in 2006.
An invitation to lunch by Peregrine Spencer-Churchill and his wife Yvonne, resulted in Peregrine asking Celia to write a new family history of the Churchills, giving Peregrine’s father, John Strange Spencer-Churchill (Jack) his rightful place in the family history. THE CHURCHILLS A Family Portrait was published by Palgrave Macmillan, New York and London. Celia and Paul Strong edited a collection of chapters, written by members of the Women in War Group about roles of women during wartime: WOMEN IN WAR From Home Front to Front Line, published by Pen & Sword. Celia’s latest book is HRH THE DUKE OF KENT A LIFE OF SERVICE, (co-author John Lee), which deals with Prince Edward’s 72 patronages, tennis prize giving at Wimbledon, his military career, and a number of clubs, pub. Seymour Books.
Celia will be speaking on Winston and Jack the Churchill Brothers at Dr John H. Mather’s Churchill Tennessee Chapter conference ‘Mine eyes have seen the glory’, on 24th March 2018, at Franklin, Tennessee. The Lees give joint talks, based on their books about the Hamiltons, the Churchills, and HRH The Duke Of Kent. Celia and Paul Strong, arrange for speakers from the Women in War group to give talks at the Polish Hearth Club and other venues. Subjects include the different aspects of the work carried out by women during the First and Second World Wars and other wars, and related subjects. They publish a Women in War newsletter several time a year.