When Randolph Churchill proposed to fine arts student Catherine Lancaster, the engagement ring was a ruby with two diamonds that had belonged to his great-grandmother, Clementine.
Now, he’s been left devastated by Catherine’s untimely death at the age of 53 after a ‘brave battle with lung cancer’.
A spokesman for the family says: ‘Catherine was a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. She shone brightly all through her life.’
She was diagnosed with cancer during the pandemic, ‘which she battled stoically through months of intense treatment’, the spokesman says.
Catherine Churchill (L) and Randolph Churchill attend the UK premiere of Darkest Hour at Odeon Leicester Square on December 11, 2017, in London
‘Throughout her illness, she showed immense courage, grace, and most of all honesty.’
Born in the Bahamas, City insurance chief’s daughter Catherine fell in love with Randolph when she was 17 and their eyes met across a crowded dance-floor in London.
They were married when she was 23, with the reception held at Chartwell, Sir Winston Churchill’s country retreat in Kent.
Randolph, 57, who is the son of late Tory MP and defence minister Winston Churchill, was born just 36 hours before the death of his illustrious great-grandfather.
Randolph been left devastated by Catherine’s untimely death at the age of 53 after a ‘brave battle with lung cancer’
He has a son and three daughters with Catherine, the youngest born in 2007. The family are thankful for the support of friends.
The spokesman adds: ‘She was grateful to have such an incredible group rallied around her. From her friends and family, she drew true strength and hope. We remember her radiant smile, kind and gentle personality, infectious sense of fun and the eternal love of her entire family, who will miss her greatly.’
Catherine’s funeral is to be held next week and the family will hold an open garden in July at their home in Westerham, Kent, to celebrate her life and raise money for Cancer Research UK.
‘She cherished her ‘miraculous garden’ and all the joys of the flowers and the varied wildlife,’ the spokesman says. ‘Her childhood spent in the Caribbean inspired her love of nature and vibrant colours.’
Mums in ‘shock’ as Lilibet’s doctor shuts her practice
Having overseen the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s daughter, Lilibet, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital a year ago, Dr Melissa Drake was the go-to obstetrician for mums-to-be in their wealthy corner of California.
Dr Drake has, however, left many of them shocked and disappointed by suddenly announcing she’s closing her practice this month.
Dr Melissa Drake was the go-to obstetrician for mums-to-be in their wealthy corner of California
She oversaw the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s daughter, Lilibet, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital a year ago
She says she’s taking a ‘leave of absence in order to focus on my own health and be with my family’.
Expectant mothers left in the lurch have taken to the Santa Barbara Moms Facebook group to vent their frustration.
‘This news is shocking and handled terribly,’ one says. ‘Now there are hundreds of women (myself included) running around trying to find care.’
Scrapping on camera with Brad Pitt for the forthcoming film Bullet Train appears to have been stressful for Buckinghamshire-born Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
‘I get to go toe-to-toe with Brad,’ says the 32-year-old actor, who’s married to artist-turned film maker Sam Taylor-Johnson.
‘Thankfully, I didn’t accidentally punch the most beautiful man in the world in the face.’
Spall slips into his character’s pyjamas
Wearing a stylish pair of pyjamas during the day has become increasingly fashionable, but I’m not sure Timothy Spall pulls it off.
The Harry Potter star was, though, in costume in Bristol for his latest role as the inspirational teacher Peter Farquhar, who was befriended and eventually murdered by evil church warden Ben Field in 2015.
Spall, 65, plays the part in new BBC true-crime drama The Sixth Commandment.
Wearing a stylish pair of pyjamas during the day has become increasingly fashionable, but I’m not sure Timothy Spall pulls it off
The Harry Potter star was, though, in costume in Bristol for his latest role as the inspirational teacher Peter Farquhar, who was befriended and eventually murdered by evil church warden Ben Field in 2015
‘Whatever the spirit is, to a larger or lesser degree, you take a little part of a character away and that stays with you for ever,’ says Spall of the various roles he’s performed.
‘Part of the process of trying to work out how other people think educates you about human beings really, for good and bad.
‘Every character teaches you something in some way; it’s the great thing about playing a human being.’
Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, who has always been a stickler for accuracy concerning period detail, has now been criticised for failing to cast more black actors.
Ben Bailey Smith, who appears in Netflix’s forthcoming adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, contrasts Downton with rival costume drama Bridgerton, which features ‘colour-blind’ casting.
‘It’s something I’ve always wanted to do [appear in a period drama], but you don’t always get the chance to — especially if you’re a person of colour,’ he says.
‘But that’s changing now, with Bridgerton and everything. It’s not just Downton any more . . .’
Rocker Pearl cosies up to old stones . . .
When she quit London, rock singer Pearl Lowe claimed to have swapped her days of wild partying for life as an interior designer in bucolic Somerset.
Aged 52, she is still behaving badly. Yesterday, she shared this photograph of her visiting Stonehenge during the summer solstice, and can be seen with her hands all over the ancient monument.
Yesterday, rock singer Pearl Lowe shared this photograph of her visiting Stonehenge during the summer solstice, and can be seen with her hands all over the ancient monument
She gushed: ‘I never thought the day would come when I’d be able to touch the stones of Stonehenge.’
That day actually hasn’t come, Pearl: touching the ancient monument is a criminal offence. Turn yourself in!