The plans for Winston Churchill’s state funeral had to be revised several times because Churchill outlived several intended pallbearers.

Operation Hope Not

Planning for the funeral of Winston Churchill began after the prime minister had a major stroke in 1953. The incident at a party at Downing Street was kept secret by the family. Queen Elizabeth II was among the few who were informed. It was the Queen who insisted that a funeral plan should be prepared should the time come. The venue for lying in state was set in 1957. Writing to the Duke of Norfolk, George Cholmondeley, 5th Marquess of Cholmondeley and the Lord Great Chamberlain, mentioned that Westminster Hall would be the place. The actual plan was initiated in 1958, as indicated in a letter from Anthony Montague Browne, Churchill’s private secretary, to Lady Churchill in the summer of 1958, which stated:

The Queen has intimated … Continue Reading (9 minute read)

8 thoughts on “The plans for Winston Churchill’s state funeral had to be revised several times because Churchill outlived several intended pallbearers.”

  1. xero_abrasax

    The preservative power of alcohol.

  2. dissident46

    The very best kind of funeral – the one that keeps needing changes, because you OUTLIVED ALL THEIR PLANS.

  3. kevmo77

    I’m convinced he died damn well when he pleased. A decade before he slipped into the two-week coma that preceded his death, he predicted he would die on the same day of the year of his father. And he did.

    During his nightly ritual of brandy and cigars on the night of his 9th and final stroke, he remarked, “It has been a grand journey, well worth taking.” Pausing, and then adding “once.” Last words: “I’m bored with it all.”

  4. series_hybrid

    He smoked enough cigars that sick people social distanced him before it had a name, and he drank enough whiskey that any germs that did reach him were severely weakened enough for his immune system to finish them off…

  5. goodforabeer

    I remember watching Churchill’s funeral on tv. It was on that Saturday morning instead of cartoons. At first I couldn’t understand why they were showing a boat carrying someone’s casket down a river, then my mom told me it was Winston Churchill. I was stunned.

    *Winston Churchill? You mean the guy from WORLD WAR 2? He was still alive, and they’re just now having his funeral?* It was the first time that little me was struck by the fact that what sometimes seems like long-ago history isn’t always that long ago.

  6. La_Guy_Person

    My great grandmother lived to 109. She outlived her husband by 50 years and outlived all of her pallbearers. She died in 2009 and when we went to her home town to lay her to rest with her husband, her side of their joint gravestone already said 1900-19 (we got it fixed).

    We were actually able to get her naturalized as an American citizen in 2007, at the age of 107. At the time she was the oldest person to ever be naturalized. We were able to get a judge to wave all the tests and come to her nursing home to perform the ceremony. She lived in america for over a hundred years and the first person she ever voted for was President Obama.

  7. _PukyLover_

    as I read this post, I’m smoking an 7 1/4″ long cigar!

  8. Front-Ad-2198

    And with his death, Elizabeth became the next supreme.

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