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Highlights 2010 and 2011

As the main author of THE CHURCHILLS – A Family Portrait (co-author John Lee), Celia Lee was invited by Miss Tina Santi Flaherty to give a series of talks about the Churchill family, in New York, in October 2010.

These were based on THE CHURCHILLS – A Family Portrait, pub. Palgrave Macmillan, New York and London 2010. Accompanied by her husband John, Celia gave the prestigious Hunter College lecture, and lunchtime talks at The University Club, and the Lotus Club. Miss Tina Santi Flaherty then hosted a glittering reception for Celia and John at her Fifth Avenue apartment, overlooking Central Park.

Tina, who is a highly successful businesswoman was the first woman President of Palm Olive, and at one time she had her on TV show. Author of WHAT JACKIE TAUGHT US: Scenes from the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Tina is currently researching a book on Winston Churchill’s greatness. Tina, who rented an apartment in the same block to Jackie Kennedy Onassis for thirty years, is a great friend to the Churchill Centre both in the US and in the UK, and her name appears on the honours list at the Chartwell House museum at Winston’s and Clementine’s former country home, Westerham, Kent, England. Mr Barry Singerwho runs the well-known New York Chartwell Book Shop and his staff were on hand with a supply of books for Celia and John to sign and write dedications to patrons. The bookshop specialises in Churchill books.

Celia Lee gave the inaugural lecture in 2011 to mark the setting up by Chairman Mr Nigel Guest and the Committee of the new Churchill Centre chapter at Westerham in Kent. Celia’s talk was on Lady Randolph Churchill’s (Jennie’s) charity and war work titled: White Roses and Lilac Orchids. It took place on Jennie’s 90th Anniversary, 29th June 2011, at Westerham Hall, Kent.

The brilliant American mother of Winston and Jack Churchill was portrayed as a tireless organiser and contributor in peace and in war in the interests of the UK. Jennie’s great-great-grandson, Mr Randolph L. S. Churchill who is President of the chapter, introduced Celia to the audience. Chairman, Mr Nigel Guest, officiated, and also operated a slide show of pictures of Jennie and her family, portraying scenes from her substantial life.

(Right) Mr Randolph L.S. Churchill, President of the Westerham Chapter of the Churchill Centre UK, introducing Celia Lee at Westerham Hall, Kent, June 2011.

(Left) A section of the audience at Westerham Hall, Kent 29th June 2011, attending the inaugural lecture given by Celia Lee in honour of Lady Randolph Churchill’s (Jennie’s) 90th Anniversary.


(Above) Jenny, Lady Randolph Churchill with her sons Jack (standing) Winston seated beside her.

In October 2011, Celia and John Lee were guests at the Churchill Centre Annual dinner, held at the Grosvenor Marriott Hotel in London.  Organised by Mr Allen Packwood, Director of Archive Services, Churchill College, Cambridge, and Mr Morice Mendoza, Chairman of the Membership Committee, over 300 people attended. There was a large presence from the US that included Mr Lee Pollock, US Executive Director of the Churchill Centre, Miss Tina Santi Flaherty, New York, Patron of the Churchill Centre, and Mr John David Olsen, editor of The Chartwell Bulletin.

(Left) Photographed at The Churchill Centre International Conference UK 2011, held at the Grosvenor Marriott Hotel, London

Left to right: Miss Tina Santi Flaherty, New York; Mayor of London, Mr Boris Johnson; Mrs Barbara Kaczmarowska Hamilton, artist and portrait painter; Mr Ian Hamilton, great nephew of General Sir Ian Hamilton; Mr John David Olsen, editor THE CHARTWELL BULLETIN




(Above) INGEBORG W. BENNER AND JOHN LEE attending the Churchill Centre International Conference at the Grosvenor Marriott Hotel

(Above) Left to right: INGEBORG W. BENNER, JOHN LEE, US TV producer Terry Decker, the Churchill Centre International Conference, the Grosvenor Marriott Hotel

In November 2011, Celia, accompanied by John, was invited to Budapest by Mrs Katalin Lantos, Managing Director of General Press. The Lees’ book: THE CHURCHILLS – A Family Portrait was been translated into Hungarian by Mrs Veronika Banki. In Hungary the book is titled: A CHURCHILL DINASZTIA (dynasty). The book launch took place in the prestigious Alexandra Podium of the Alexandra Book Store, Budapest. The guest of honour was Mrs Dalma Mádl, wife of the former President of Hungary, Mr Ferenc Mádl. Over dinner, Celia and John were presented with a number of gifts by Mrs Katalin Lantos, and later by Mrs Dalma Mádl, and Mrs Veronika Bánki.

(Above) Celia and John met Mrs Dalma Mádl, (seated) wife of the former President of the Republic of Hungary, Mr Ferenc Mádl. Also in the picture, left to right: Mátyás Sárközi, writer, resident in London since 1956, and grandson of the famous writer Ferenc Molnár; Mrs.Klara Breuer, former Counsellor of the Hungarian Embassy in London and chief of cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary; Mr. Pál Rudas, husband of Mrs. Breuer; Mrs Veronika Bánki.

(Above) Celia speaking with Mrs Katalin Lantos, Managing Director, General Press, Budapest (centre) at the Alexandra Podium, Alexandra Book Store, Budapest.

(Above) Celia Lee answering questions for the audience at the book launch held in the Alexandra Podium, the Alexandra Book Store, Budapest. There was tremendous interest in the late Sir Winston Churchill.

(Left) Mrs Veronika Bánki with the edition of THE CHURCHILLS A Family Portrait that she translated into Hungarian for General Press, Budapest, now titled: A CHURCHILL DINASZTIA. Veronika appeared on TV recently in Budapest discussing the book.

A week in historic Budapest

With Mrs Veronika Bánki acting as guide and interpreter, and Mr Gabor Zech and Veronika’s daughter-in-law Mrs Krisztina Arvai-Nagy, all of whom speak fluent English, acting as interpreters at different times, Celia and John enjoyed a wonderful week in a Budapest.

They were put up in a lovely apartment near the River Danube, and Veronika took them to see the sights. First was the ancient and original capital, Esztergom, dating to 11th Century, and which remains idyllic today, with Roman remains and artefacts that have been excavated on display. Then the National Gallery, which holds many wonderful oil paintings. On to Budapest City Park, where they viewed the bronze bust of Sir Winston Churchill next to one of US President Ronald Regan.

Celia and John were interviewed for the National Channel of Kossuth Radió i.e. Hungarian State Radio by the well-known journalist and broadcaster, Judit Cservenka. A number of reviews and articles focusing on A CHURCHILL DINASZTIA have since been published in the Hungarian press, journals, and magazines.

Mrs Veronika Bánki was recorded for a national cultural TV channel, programme titled Duna TV, (Duna means Danube). Known as “1 könyv” (i.e.”1 book”), a famous young poet, János Lackfi asks authors and translators about interesting books. The programme was transmitted three times.

(Above) Celia and John Lee launching A CHURCHILL DINASZTIA at the prestigious Alexandra Podium the Alexandra Book Store Budapest. The panel, left to right: commissioning editor, General Press, Miss Betty Bardi; Mr Gabor Zech, interpreter for the book launch; Celia Lee and John Lee, authors of A CHURCHILL DINASZTIA; Translator, Mrs Veronika Bánki.

New Churchill Chapter for Hungary

One of the interesting developments that took place during the trip was that at a dinner arranged by Mrs Veronika Bánki at her apartment in Budapest, Celia was introduced to Professor Miklos Lojko. Professor Lojko was partly educated at the University of Cambridge where he took a Ph D. Today, he holds two chairs at two universities in Budapest: The Central European University and Eotvos Lorand University. He speaks fluent English, and encouraged by Celia is now setting up a new chapter of the Churchill Centre for Hungary.

(Left) Veronika Banki’s grandson Misi receives his first Churchill book WINSTON & JACK The Churchill Brothers, a Christmas gift from Celia and John 2011