Celia Sandys at Chartwell

Signatures in Churchill's visitors book at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

Celia Sandys (born 18 May 1943) is a granddaughter of Sir Winston and Clementine Churchill, is the daughter of their eldest child, Diana and Cabinet Minister Duncan Sandys. She is an internationally acclaimed author, journalist, television presenter and speaker.

Her first trip with Churchill was at the age of sixteen. They were guests of Aristotle Onassis and his wife on his superyacht ‘Christina O’ sailing in the Mediterranean. Fellow guests were Maria Callas and her husband. She recalled her grandfather asking her to describe what she could see from the cabin windows each morning, particularly the colours. 

Many of her memories of Churchill are from Chartwell in a domestic setting, where his grandchildren had little notion of the public figure he was, but rather saw him as a benign figure whom they rather took for granted. Feeding the fish and visiting the animals were simple pleasures they all enjoyed together here.

Celia also accompanied him on painting trips, where he enjoyed the Mediterranean sun in Monte Carlo staying at the Hotel de Paris. These were peaceful trips, with drives in the country and picnics; Celia adored having her grandfather to herself. 

Courage is the quality Celia said for which Churchill would most want to be remembered for. It was this which allowed him to defy everyone during the WW2 and to convince the nation that they would win the war in the end.

Celia Sandys is a trustee of the Churchill Centre, and founder and chairman of Churchill Leadership, an international company specializing in leadership development training.