Honroable Pamela Digby,
Ambassador in France
Hon. Pamela Digby
Born 20 March 1920 Farnborough Park
Married (1) 4 October 1939 Westminster Div.1946
Randolph Spencer-Churchill, son of Sir Winston
Spencer-Churchill and Clementine Ogilvy Hozier, Baroness
Born 28 May 1911 London
Died 6 June 1968
Married (2) 4 May 1960 Carson City, Nevada
Leland Hayward, son of Col. William Hayward and Sarah
Born 1902 Nebraska City, Nebraska
Died 18 March 1971 "Haywire"
Married (3) 27 September 1971 New York
Averell Harriman, son of E. H. Harriman
Born 1891 New York City
Died 26 July 1986
with Edward Roscoe Murrow
with John Hay "Jock" Whitney, son of NN Whitney
with Prince Aly Khan, son of Aga Khan III and
13 June 1911 Torino, Italy
12 May 1960 Paris (car accident)
with Giovanni Agnelli, son of Edoardo Agnelli
Virginia , dei Marchesi Bourbon del Monte Santa Maria
12 March 1921 Torino, Italy
with Baron Elie de Rothschild, son of Baron
Philippe de Rothschild and Nelly Beer
29 May 1917
Children, Generation I
(1) 1 Winston Spencer-Churchill
Born 10 October 1940 London
Mary Caroline d'Erlanger, daughter of Sir Gerard John Regis
Affaire with (a) Soraya Kashoggi
Affaire with (b) Jan Cushing Amory
Children, Generation II-1
1 Randolph Leonard Spencer-Churchill
Born 22 January 1965
2 Jennie Spencer-Churchill
Born 25 September 1966
3 Marina Spencer-Churchill
Born 11 September 1967
4 John Gerard Averell Spencer-Churchill
Having studied at Yale he became a diplomat, taking up posts as
ambassador to the USSR (1943) and to Britain (1946). He was then
secretary of commerce (1946-1948) and special assistant (1950-1951) to
his close friend, President Truman. He became Governor of New York
(1955-1958), ambassador-at-large (1961), 1965-1969), and US
representative at the Vietnam peace talks in Paris (1968). He
negotiated the partial nuclear test-ban treaty between the USA and
USSR in 1963, and continued to visit the USSR on behalf of the
government, making his last visit there at age ninety-one.
Literary and theatrical agent, he was said to be "at once haggard and
Through his father, Prince Aly Kan claims descent from the
Prophet Mohammed, while his mother, of humble Italian origins, had
been a ballet dancer in the casino at Monte Carlo. In partnership with
his father, the Aga Khan, he operated stud farms that bred some of
Europe's finest racehorses. However, his reputation was as a lover
who had bedded many women. Over the years his name has been linked
with, amongst others, Yvonne de Carlo, Joan Fontaine, Zsa Zsa Gabor,
Judy Garland, Kim Novak, Pamela Digby, Gene Tierney and Simone Simon.
At the age of eighteen his father had sent him to Cairo to be
trained by the madams of the great bordellos in the art of Imsak, the
art of withholding climax and the Egyptian equivalent of Fang Chung.
His demanding and emotionally distant father, leader of some
15,000,000 Asian and African Ismaili Muslims, was a statesman and
multi-millionaire who had played an important role in the founding of
the All-India Moslem League.
In 1929 he went to London to study law but became interested and
involved in racing cars, breeding Derby-winning horses and making
love. In March 1934 while in New York, he was invited to a soiree
given by socialite Mrs. Frank Vance Storres; at the dinner he was
placed next to Thelma, Viscountess Furness, the current mistress of
the Prince of Wales. Their attraction was instant and he tried to
delay her return to Europe. However, determined to return to the
Prince of Wales, she boarded the "Bremen". The next morning the
telephone in her cabin rang, it was Prince Aly Khan asking her to
lunch with him. He had secretly joined the ship and, after that, how
could she resist him?
Rejuvenated, she returned to England but, as the Prince of Wales
had spies everywhere, she had to explain because, in the Prince's
opinion, "How could she betray him with an Indian?" That the Prince
had already embarked on his affaire with her friend, Wallis Simpson,
appeared not to matter. Thelma was no longer the prince's mistress.
On 18 May 1936 Prince Aly Khan married the divorced Joan
Yarde-Buller and they became the parents of two sons. During World War
II he provided invaluable assistance to Allied intelligence, using his
flawless English, French and Arabic, for which service he received the
Croix de Guerre and the U.S. Bronze Star.
In 1948, estranged from his wife, he was behaving again as a
bachelor and, when meeting the actress Rita Hayworth, he was smitten.
Rita Hayworth, not yet divorced from Orson Welles, was at first not
interested in Aly Khan; but when he turned out to be "much more
attentive and romantic" than Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth moved in with
him. However, after travelling to Spain with him, she returned alone
Prince Aly Khan then followed her to America. On 1 December 1948
Rita Hayworth's divorce from Orson Welles became final and, because of
her problems with the film studio, she returned with him to Europe.
When the scandal, because of the Prince still being married, became
too much, his father ordered him to contain the publicity. To obtain
the Aga Khan's blessing for the marriage, Rita Hayworth went to Cannes
to meet him and won him over.
The Prince then divorced his wife and, on 27 May 1949, married
Rita Hayworth already two months pregnant. On 28 December 1949 they
became the parents of a daughter. However, as he continued to pursue
other women, Rita Hayworth returned to America where, on 26 January
1953, she divorced him.
Legal action followed to allow him to see his daughter but women
remained his main interest in life until, in 1958, Pakistan appointed
him their representative at the United Nations. In April 1960 he flew
to Los Angeles to be with Yasmin, his daughter, then returned to
France. On the night of 12 May 1960, en route to a dinner party with
his current mistress, Bettina, and his chauffeur in the back as he
himself was driving, he collided head-on with another car. The other
driver and his passengers escaped with minor injuries but, shortly
before midnight, Prince Aly Khan died in a Paris hospital aged just
Randolph Churchill, aged twenty-eight, was exceedingly handsome
despite a reputation for drunkenness, boorishness and treating most
people with the utmost contempt. He made a spasmodic living by
journalism and lecturing until he joined the army. When on leave he
met, and immediately became engaged to, a jolly, plump, red-haired,
nineteen-year-old girl, Pamela Digby. Within days they were married,
making the war an excuse for haste, though there was not much going on
with the 4th Hussars. The wedding took place at Admiralty House and
his parents, Winston and Clementine, hoped that Pamela would "settle
Randolph was quite open about the fact he wanted a son, which was
the reason why he married, lady friends were for sex but Pamela he
regarded as "breeding" material. Continuing to womanize, when Pamela
was in the process of giving birth, it was reported that he was in bed
with another woman. Even during the war, when stationed in Egypt, he
had a long affaire with Momo Marriott and when she was not available
had a succession of girlfriends, some of them prostitutes.
However, during the war Randolph proved his courage many times
and was to do so again as a war reporter in Korea, where he was shot
in the leg. But his capacity for drink remained prodigious and he was
embittered by his father's evident lack of enthusiasm for his company.
Although the rows between them became increasingly exhausting for the
older man with the passing years, yet there remained a deep affection
Randolph's long-delayed divorce came through a few months after
the end of the war and, in November 1948, he married June Osborne. It
was inevitably a tempestuous relationship held together only by their
beautiful daughter, Arabella, although finally ending in divorce in
1961. In the previous year Randolph had been entrusted with the
writing of his father's biography, incontrovertibly the single most
important and worthwhile task of his life. He went about it with
professional zeal, surrounding himself with a team of researchers and
secretaries at his place at Stour.
However, his health was already failing, his prodigious cigarette
smoking taking its toll. In a life touched by tragedy, insecurity and
loneliness, the worst blow was his being able to complete only the
first two volumes of a biography that gave strong evidence of matching
its subject in its quality and understanding. He died on 6 June 1968.
(Condensed from Richard Hough's "Winston and Clementine".)
Elie de Rothschild
A member of a rich Jewish banking family in France, with his
regiment, the Anciens Cuirassiers, he was captured by the Germans
close to the Belgian border. He was taken to Nienberg near Hamburg
but, when he was found out planning to escape, was taken to Colditz,
then to Luebeck, one of the toughest POW camps. There he was re-united
with his brother, Alain, and both were fortunate in being treated as
captured officers, thus avoiding the extermination camps.
While in Colditz, Elie had written to his childhood sweetheart,
Liliane Fould-Springer, and asked her to marry him, which they did by
proxy. Her parents thought her foolish to take on the Rothschild name
with the Nazis in control of France.
After the war, Elie, Alain and their wives shared the Avenue de
Marigny property. Elie, a would-be playboy, was a friend of Prince Aly
Khan and knew Gianni Agnelli. However, he worked hard in the family
banking business and also at Chateau Lafitte, which wine experts have
long considered to be one of the greatest vineyards. He is also a
great collector of art and owns works by Rembrandt, Gainsborough,
Dubuffet and Picasso.
Liliane was the family intellectual---very bright, a voracious
reader, an exceptional designer and decorator. However, she was
neither pretty nor attentive to her husband. In 1952, when his wife
was pregnant with their third child, he met Pamela Churchill. However,
it took considerable time before their relationship developed. Early
in 1953 his wife's sister died, followed by the death of her
step-father and the collapse of her mother. For a year Liliane went
into seclusion and would see no-one or do anything. Only then was
his relationship with Pamela established.
Pamela's affair with the unmarried Gianni Agnelli had been quite
open, but now discretion was required - they never went out together in
public. Elie adored her and many years later still regarded her the
love of his life. However, when Liliane found out she was devastated.
Forty years later she would still refer to Pamela only as "that
Aged seventeen, Pamela Digby was sent to a boarding school in
Muenchen and later maintained that, in the six months spent there, she
was introduced to Adolf Hitler by Unity Mitford. In 1939 she went to
work at the Foreign Office in London, doing translations from French
for which she was paid œ6 a week.
While being shown the flat she was going to rent, the phone
rang. When she answered, it was Randolph Churchill who asked her out
to dinner. Within ten days they were engaged and a week later they
were married. With the exception of Winston and Clementine Churchill,
Randolph's parents, everybody was against the marriage. One reason for
the objections was their lack of money, to which Winston remarked:
"Nonsense! All you need to be married is champagne, a double bed and a
box of cigars!"
However, married life began on the wrong footing when Randolph,
wanting to improve her education, began to read in bed to her Gibbon's
"Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". Hilaire Belloc would have been
fine, she maintained, but Gibbon was too much.
When Pamela became pregnant, to be close to a doctor she went to
live with her parents-in-law at 10 Downing Street, where she spent
many nights in the air-raid shelter. On 8 October 1940 Randolph took
his seat in the House of Commons and two days later their son,
Winston, was born.
In 1941 Randolph went with the army to Africa; but while on board
the ship taking them there, he gambled and lost œ3,000. From Cape Town
he sent Pamela a telegram which shattered their marriage. Never having
been in debt before her marriage, she was already worried about bills,
debts and people threatening to sue for payment; now she had to find
another œ10 per month to pay off this debt. Accordingly, she sold all
her wedding presents and took a œ12-a-week job at the Ministry of
Supply. Pregnant again but, with all the tension, she miscarried. She
paid off the debts but the security in her marriage was gone.
When Averall Harriman, a representative of the American
President, was introduced to her they started an affair. Pamela
regarded him "the most beautiful man I had ever set eyes on". When he
had to go to Cairo, it was Randolph who showed him around Egypt. In
July 1941 when Harriman returned to England, Randolph asked him to
take a letter to Pamela in which he jokingly referred to Harriman as
his rival in her affection. It took until 1942 before Randolph
realised what was going on. He then had a furious row with his father
as he maintained that his parents had condoned Pamela's affair. After
this his mother banned him from their home for the rest of the war,
fearing Winston might have a seizure.
At the suggestion of Brendan Bracken, Pamela established a social
club to enable professional men and women from the U.S.A. and Canadian
forces, while off duty in London, to meet their British counterparts.
As agreed, after the war in 1946 Pamela and Randolph divorced. Pamela
then moved to Paris and her son spent his school holidays with his
In 1948 she began a five-years affair with Gianni Agnelli which
would be the happiest period of her life. However, Gianni Agnelli was
unfaithful and became more blatantly so as the years went on. In 1952
she surprised him in their bedroom with a young girl. She threw them
both out and Agnelli, while driving the girl home, was involved in a
car accident and grievously injured. His right leg, which had been
broken before, was crushed and broken in seven places.
His leg was put in a plaster cast which was too tight and caused
gangrene. As he had taken cocaine, the required operation could only
be performed under a local anesthetic. Pamela was present and covered
his eyes while the operation was performed. Gianni's recovery, which
Pamela supervised, took months. Afterwards she became pregnant but had
an abortion in Switzerland. Pamela began to give up hope of ever
marrying him and, when Princess Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto
became pregnant by him, she suggested that he marry her. Many years
later Marella said about her husband: "For Gianni, a woman is to be
conquered. Not to be loved."
Then Baron Elie de Rothschild came into her life and, as he was
married, discretion was required. She spent much of her time learning
about art, history, techniques of wine-making and furniture. However,
this relationship did not last.
In 1959, in search of a husband, Pamela went to live in New York
and, already having renewed their acquaintance, on 4 May 1960 married
the Broadway producer, Leland Hayward. This prompted her remark:
"Theatre and politics are alike; they're both made up of triumphs and
disasters". In the spring of 1971 Leland Hayward died and, on 27
September 1971, she married Averell Harriman. Born in 1891 Harriman
died on 26 July 1986, having maintained that marrying Pamela had been
the best thing he ever had done.
As Pamela Churchill Harriman she became involved in politics and
created a fund-raising system which helped to return the Democratic
party return to the White House. In her opinion, when Clinton was
copying President Kennedy, "Where Jack Kennedy was born to power, Bill
Clinton got there all by himself." In September 1992 she opened up her
Virginia estate for a ten-thousand-dollar-a-head Day in the country
for Clinton and Gore and raised $3.2 million. Many people were
surprised when President Clinton appointed her U.S. Ambassador to
France. In 1997 when she died of a brain hemorrhage, President Clinton
praised her as "one of the most unusual and gifted people I ever met".
He was the favoured grandchild of the most famous political
family in Europe, yet he grew up without a family life. His father an
arrogant drunk and his mother a courtesan to rich men, he was raised
exclusively by nannies, especially Marian Martin, and it was the
butler, Sam Hudson, who took him to school and soccer matches. Aged
eight, he went to boarding school. Then educated at Eton and Christ
Church, Oxford, he is a journalist and writer.
In 1964 he married Minnie d'Erlanger, the Roman Catholic daughter
of Sir Gerard d'Erlanger, and they became the parents of four
children. Their effort to create a solid family succeeded, thanks
almost exclusively to Minnie's grace and persistence. According to
relatives, she is the backbone of the family and much too good for
Winston, and that "Unlike some men, who are ruled by their head,
Winston's problem is that he is ruled by his ...."
In 1967 he failed to get a seat in the House of Commons but, from
1970 till 1983, was M.P. for Stretford and from 1983 onwards for
Manchester Davyhulme. Since 1979 he is a Member of the Executive of
the 1922 Committee and from 1983 Member of the Select Committee on
Defence; then Conservative Party Defence Spokesman from 1976 till 1978
and from 1982 till 1984.