James Spencer-Churchill, 12th Duke of Marlborough

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The Duke of Marlborough
Marquess of Blandford Allan Warren.jpg
A portrait from 1989 of then Marquess of Blandford by Allan Warren
Preceded by John, 11th Duke of Marlborough
Personal details
Born
Charles James Spencer-Churchill

(1955-11-24) 24 November 1955 (age 65)
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
NationalityBritish
Spouse(s)
Rebecca Few Brown
(m. 1990;div. 1998)

(m. 2002)
Children George, Marquess of Blandford
Lady Araminta Spencer-Churchill
Lord Caspar Spencer-Churchill
Parents John, 11th Duke of Marlborough
Susan Mary Hornby
Residence Blenheim Palace
Education Harrow School

Charles James Spencer-Churchill, 12th Duke of Marlborough (born 24 November 1955), styled Earl of Sunderland until March 1972 and Marquess of Blandford until October 2014, and often known as Jamie Blandford or Jamie Marlborough, is an English peer and the current Duke of Marlborough.

Contents

He is the eldest surviving son of the 11th Duke of Marlborough and his first wife, Susan Mary Hornby. As a member of the Spencer family, he is a distant relative of the war-time Conservative Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill and of Diana, Princess of Wales, born Lady Diana Spencer. He is also a stepbrother of the late Christina Onassis, who was the stepdaughter of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who was once married to U.S. President John F. Kennedy, by the second marriage of his father with Athina Livanos.

Biography

Born in Oxford, [1] he was educated at Harrow School [2] and the Royal Agricultural College. [3] In a bid to safeguard the Blenheim Palace estate from the then Marquess's excessive behaviour, his father won a court battle in 1994 to ensure he never won control of the family seat, but their relationship may have improved later. [4]

In 1995, he spent a month in prison for forging prescriptions. [5] In September 2007, he was sentenced to six months in jail on two counts of dangerous driving and one of criminal damage following a "road rage" attack on another motorist's car. [6] At the same time, he was banned from driving for three and a half years. [7]

In 2021, having ascended to the dukedom of Marlborough, he successfully stood for election to Woodstock Town Council. [8] [9]

Inheritance

On the death of his father in 2014, the Oxford Mail noted the new duke's "well-publicised drug addiction" and reported that a spokesman for Blenheim Palace had said "the Palace will remain under the control of trustees", but that the 12th Duke could himself become one of the trustees. [10] The Daily Telegraph reported that "The responsibility of maintaining one of Britain's grandest country houses for future generations now passes to 58-year-old Jamie Blandford, as he is commonly known, following a remarkable turnaround in his relationship with his late father, who once described him as the 'black sheep' of his family." [11]

Television appearance

On 24 June 2009, he appeared in a BBC Television documentary, Famous, Rich and Homeless, in which famous people were filmed spending three nights in the open with nothing but a sleeping bag, though he refused to "sleep rough". He claimed that on the first night he slept in the car park of a five-star hotel, though his sleeping bag was discovered unopened, and on the second night he demanded to be housed in a hotel. He refused to participate further despite giving an assurance that he would sleep rough on the third night, and ended his participation on that night. Another participant, Hardeep Singh Kohli, said that Blandford's behaviour was "disrespectful to all the people out there". [12]

Marriages and issue

His first wife was Rebecca Mary Few Brown (born September 1957, Bangor, Wales). They were married on 24 February 1990 at the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Woodstock. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1998. They had one son, who is now heir apparent to the Dukedom of Marlborough:

His second wife is Edla Griffiths (born 1968, Abergavenny, Wales), whom he married at Woodstock Register Office on 1 March 2002. They have two children:

Lord Caspar Spencer-Churchill is second in the line of succession to the Dukedom of Marlborough.

Arms

Coat of arms of James Spencer-Churchill, 12th Duke of Marlborough
Coat of arms of the duke of Marlborough.png
Adopted
1817 by the 5th Duke of Marlborough
Coronet
The coronet of a duke
Princely hat of the Holy Roman Empire (above the double-headed eagle)
Crest
1st: a lion couchant guardant Argent supporting a banner Gules charged with a dexter hand couped Argent (Churchill)
2nd: out of a ducal coronet Or a griffin's head between two wings expanded Argent gorged with a collar gemel and armed Gules (Spencer)
Escutcheon
Quarterly: 1 and 4th, Sable a lion rampant Argent, on a canton of the second a cross Gules (Churchill); 2 and 3rd, quarterly Argent and Gules a fret Or, over all on a bend Sable three Escallops of the first (Spencer); over all in the centre chief point (as an augmentation of honour) an escutcheon Argent charged with the cross of Saint George surmounted by an inescutcheon Azure charged with three fleurs-de-lys Or, two over one
Supporters
On either side, a wyvern wings elevated Gules and behind, the Imperial eagle of the Holy Roman Empire
Motto
FIEL PERO DESDICHADO (Spanish for "FAITHFUL, THOUGH UNFORTUNATE")

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References

  1. "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  2. Nicholas Wroe (28 August 2009). "A Life in Writing". The Guardian . Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  3. Emma Brockes (10 December 2002). "Cream of the crop". The Guardian . Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  4. "Duke of Marlborough dies at 88". The Guardian . 16 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  5. "Marquess of Blandford admits 'road rage'". The Daily Telegraph . 7 August 2007. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  6. ""'Road Rage' Marquess Sent to Jail". BBC News. 10 September 2007.
  7. "Blandford sent back to prison over road-rage attack on driver". The Independent. 10 September 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  8. "Candidate Nominations for Town and Parish Council Elections within West Oxfordshire on Thursday 6 May 2021" (PDF). West Oxfordshire District Council . Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  9. "Election of Town Councillors for the Town of Woodstock on Thursday 6 May 2021" (PDF). West Oxfordshire District Council . Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  10. Ffrench, A. (17 October 2014). "Son inherits 12th Duke of Marlborough title but Blenheim Palace stays with trustees". Oxford Mail . Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  11. Raynor, G. "Former drug addict and ex-convict Jamie Blandford becomes 12th Duke of Marlborough after father dies". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  12. "TV review: Famous, Rich and Homeless (BBC One) – Nasa – Triumph and Tragedy (BBC Two)". The Daily Telegraph . 24 June 2009.
Peerage of England
Preceded by
John Spencer-Churchill
Duke of Marlborough
2014–present
Incumbent
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Duke of Devonshire
Gentlemen
The Duke of Marlborough
Succeeded by
The Duke of Rutland