Lady Rosemary Spencer-Churchill

Last updated

Lady Rosemary Muir
BornLady Rosemary Mildred Spencer-Churchill
(1929-07-24) 24 July 1929 (age 92)
London, England
Noble family Spencer-Churchill
Charles Robert Muir
(m. 1953;died 1972)
IssueAlexander Pepys Muir
Simon Huntly Muir
Mary Arabella Muir
Father John Spencer-Churchill, 10th Duke of Marlborough
MotherAlexandra Mary Cadogan

Lady Rosemary Mildred Muir (née Spencer-Churchill; born 24 July 1929) is an English aristocrat who served as a maid of honour to Elizabeth II at her coronation in 1953.


Early life and family

Lady Rosemary Mildred Spencer-Churchill was born on 24 July 1929 in London to John Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of Blandford, and Alexandra Mary Cadogan. [1] [2] Her maternal grandfather was Henry Cadogan, Viscount Chelsea. Her paternal grandmother was Consuelo Vanderbilt. Her father inherited the Dukedom of Marlborough, becoming the tenth duke when Spencer-Churchill was five years old. She grew up at Blenheim Palace in West Oxfordshire. After her father's death in 1972 her brother, John, became the eleventh Duke of Marlborough. [3]

Coronation of Elizabeth II

Spencer-Churchill served as a maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. [4] [5] [6] She was the eldest and highest ranking maid of honour at Elizabeth II's coronation, as the only daughter of a duke. [7] Lady Rosemary, along with Lady Jane Vane-Tempest-Stewart, rode in a carriage with Charles Tryon, 2nd Baron Tryon, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, during the procession while the other maids of honour waited at the abbey. [8] After the coronation, Spencer-Churchill returned to Blenheim to attend an outdoor party hosted by her mother, the Duchess of Marlborough, where they roasted an ox for villagers from Woodstock. [8]

Personal life

Spencer-Churchill married Charles Robert Muir, a stockbroker, on 26 June 1953 at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. [5] Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret were among the guests at the wedding. [9] [10] [11] Their first child, Alexander Pepys Muir, was born on 8 November 1954. Their second child, Simon Huntly Muir, was born on 3 July 1959. Their third child, Mary Arabella Muir, was born on 16 January 1962. Their son Alexander is a god-son of Princess Margaret. Her husband died on 24 March 1972. She resides at Orange Hill House in Binfield. [8] [12]

She has seven grandchildren, Jack, Rowley, Consuelo, Robin, Thomas, Caspar and Isabella.

In 2015 Spencer-Churchill was featured in the BBC Two documentary film The Last Dukes. [3] [13]

Related Research Articles

Duke of Marlborough (title) Title in the Peerage of England

Duke of Marlborough is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created by Queen Anne in 1702 for John Churchill, 1st Earl of Marlborough (1650–1722), the noted military leader. In historical texts, unqualified use of the title typically refers to the 1st Duke. The name of the dukedom refers to Marlborough in Wiltshire.

Blenheim Palace Country house in Oxfordshire, England

Blenheim Palace is a country house in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough and the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. The palace, one of England's largest houses, was built between 1705 and 1722, and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough British duchess (1660–1744)

Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, Princess of Mindelheim, Countess of Nellenburg, was an English courtier who rose to be one of the most influential women of her time through her close relationship with Anne, Queen of Great Britain. Sarah's relationship and influence with Princess Anne were widely known, and leading public figures often turned their attentions to her, hoping for favor from Anne. By the time Anne became queen, Sarah’s knowledge of government and intimacy with the queen had made her a powerful friend and a dangerous enemy.

Spencer family Aristocratic family in the United Kingdom

The Spencer family is an aristocratic family in the United Kingdom. Founded in the 15th century, it has spawned numerous aristocratic titles including the dukedom of Marlborough, the earldoms of Sunderland and Spencer, and the Churchill barony. Two prominent members of the family during the 20th century were Sir Winston Churchill and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Consuelo Vanderbilt American socialite (1877–1964)

Consuelo Vanderbilt-Balsan was a socialite and a member of the prominent American Vanderbilt family. Her first marriage to the 9th Duke of Marlborough has become a well-known example of one of the advantageous, but loveless, marriages common during the Gilded Age. The Duke obtained a large dowry by the marriage, and reportedly told her just after the marriage that he married her in order to "save Blenheim Palace", his ancestral home.

Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough British soldier and Conservative politician (1871–1934)

Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough,, styled Earl of Sunderland until 1883 and Marquess of Blandford between 1883 and 1892, was a British soldier and Conservative politician, and a close friend of his first cousin Winston Churchill. He was often known as "Sunny" Marlborough after his courtesy title of Earl of Sunderland.

John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough British Conservative cabinet minister, politician, and nobleman (1822–1883)

John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, styled Earl of Sunderland from 1822 to 1840 and Marquess of Blandford from 1840 to 1857, was a British Conservative cabinet minister, politician, peer, and nobleman. He was the paternal grandfather of Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

John Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough British peer

John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough, was a British peer. He was the elder son of the 10th Duke of Marlborough and his wife, the Hon. Alexandra Mary Hilda Cadogan. He was known as "Sunny" after his courtesy title of Earl of Sunderland.

George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough British courtier, nobleman and politician

George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough,, styled Marquess of Blandford until 1758, was a British courtier, nobleman, and politician from the Spencer family. He served as Lord Chamberlain between 1762 and 1763 and as Lord Privy Seal between 1763 and 1765. He is the great-great-great grandfather of Sir Winston Churchill.

John Spencer-Churchill, 10th Duke of Marlborough

John Albert Edward William Spencer-Churchill, 10th Duke of Marlborough,, styled Marquess of Blandford until 1934, was a British military officer and peer.

George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough British nobleman, politician and antiquarian

George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough FSA, styled Marquess of Blandford until 1817, was a British nobleman, politician, peer, and collector of antiquities and books.

A maid of honour is a junior attendant of a queen in royal households. The position was and is junior to the lady-in-waiting. The equivalent title and office has historically been used in most European royal courts.

St Martins Church, Bladon Church in England

St Martin's Church in Bladon near Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, is the Church of England parish church of Bladon-with-Woodstock. It is also the mother church of St Mary Magdalene at Woodstock, which was originally a chapel of ease. It is best known for the graves of the Spencer-Churchill family, including Sir Winston Churchill, in its churchyard.

Duchess of Marlborough is a title held by the wives of the Dukes of Marlborough and may refer to:

Frances Anne Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough

Frances Anne Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, VA was an English noblewoman, the wife of British peer and statesman John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough. One of her sons, Lord Randolph Churchill, was the father of Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. She had a total of 11 children, and her principal home was the monumental Blenheim Palace, which she rejuvenated with her "lavish and exciting entertainments", and transformed into a "social and political focus for the life of the nation". She was invested as a Lady of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert for her efforts at famine relief in Ireland.

Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten 1947 British wedding

The wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten took place on Thursday 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey in London, United Kingdom. The bride was the elder daughter of King George VI and heir presumptive to the British throne. The groom was a former Greek and Danish prince. Philip had been made Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich on the morning of the wedding.

Gladys Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough Second wife of Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough (1881–1977)

Gladys Marie Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough was a French American aristocrat and socialite. She was the mistress and later the second wife of Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough.

Frances Laura Spencer-Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, was a British noblewoman and socialite. She was variously Viscountess Long, Countess of Dudley and became Duchess of Marlborough upon her fourth marriage, to John Spencer-Churchill, 10th Duke of Marlborough. She was the sister of novelist Hugo Charteris and Ann Charteris, as well as the granddaughter of Hugo Charteris, 11th Earl of Wemyss. Her third husband, Michael Temple Canfield, was the former husband of Lee Radziwill, sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. During World War II, she served as an auxiliary nurse.

Spencer-Churchill is a British double-barrelled surname associated with the Marlborough dukedom. Notable people with the surname include:

The Devonshire House Ball or the Devonshire House Fancy Dress Ball was an elaborate fancy dress ball, hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, held on 2 July 1897 at Devonshire House in Piccadilly to celebrate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. Due to the many prominent royals, aristocrats, and society figures who attended as well as the overall lavishness of the ball, it was considered the event of the 1897 London Season.


  1. "Marlborough, Duke of (E, 1702)". Archived from the original on 27 April 2019. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  2. "Lady Rosemary Mildred Spencer-Churchill – Biographical Summaries of Notable People – MyHeritage".
  3. 1 2 Wollaston, Sam (27 October 2015). "Modern Times: The Last Dukes review – a human zoo with proper toffs". The Guardian.
  4. Pathé, British. "Selected Originals – The Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth".
  5. 1 2 "Coronation crowd's roar 'fantastic'". 4 June 2013 via
  6. "London : Evening Standard – HM Queen Elizabeth IIs Maids-of-Honour leaving Westminster Abbey".
  7. Real Stories (31 July 2017). "The Last Dukes (British Aristocracy Documentary) - Real Stories" via YouTube.
  8. 1 2 3 "The Queen's Coronation Cay maids of honour: where are they now?".
  9. "Society Wedding at Oxford. Lady Rosemary Spencer-churchill Weds. by Retro Images Archive". Fine Art America.
  10. Limited, Alamy. "Stock Photo – Jun. 26, 1953 - Lady Rosemary Spencer – Churchill's Wedding at Oxford. Princess Margaret was among the guest who attended the wedding this afternoon between Lady Rosemary". Alamy.
  11. "Topfoto – Preview 1119046 - Lady Rosemary Spencer Churchill, 23, youngest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, marries Mr Charles Robert Muir 28, at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The reception was at Blenheim Palace and her HRH Princess Margaret was a guest. She is a friend of both the bride and groom. 26th June 1953".
  12. "Person Page".
  13. "The Last Dukes – BBC Two". BBC.