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Wedding Wednesday: Lady Jennie Churchill

Oh to be young, famous and in love. So maybe were the thoughts of the likes of Clementine Hozier and Winston Churchill. While I could find no photos of the future Prime Minister's beloved wearing her engagement ring, it is well documented that it actually belonged to another Mrs. Churchill (better known as Lady Jennie Churchill) before it was gifted to Clementine.
Clementine Hozier and Winston Churchill. In this photo he was 35 and she was a mere 24.

Oh to be young, famous and in love. So maybe were the thoughts of the likes of Clementine Hozier and Winston Churchill. While I could find no photos of the future Prime Minister’s beloved wearing her engagement ring, it is well documented that it actually belonged to another Mrs. Churchill (better known as Lady Jennie Churchill) before it was gifted to Clementine.

Wedding Wednesday: Lady Jennie Churchill
Jennie Jerome before she became Lady Randolph Churchill.

You see, Winston Churchill’s mother was New York Socialite, Jennie Jerome, the second of four daughters born to Leonard Jerome, a wealthy speculator, sportsman and financier. Just think on that for a minute – one of the most well known Prime Ministers of Great Britain was half American. <insert gasp here>

Lady Randolph Churchill’s three engagement rings.

Jennie’s first husband (she was ultimately married three times, the second two, to much younger men), was Lord Randolph Churchill. They met and three days later were engaged and as the story goes, Lord Churchill presented Jennie with three engagement rings. A ruby and diamond, sapphire and diamond “halo” ring and diamond “halo” ring. Romance at its best, and maybe the original “yesterday, today and tomorrow” sentiment.

Wedding Wednesday: Lady Jennie Churchill
Jennie Spencer Churchill – could the ring here be one of the three?

Lord Churchill passed away and Jennie went on to pursue other relationships (it’s fairly well documented that she’d also pursued several WHILE married, many of which helped her husband and son in their political conquests).

Wedding Wednesday: Lady Jennie Churchill
Lady Jennie Spencer Churchill

And that left young Winston, who had worshipped his mother from afar as a child (his upbringing was left mostly to his nanny), to offer Clementine a “most wonderful ring” with a ruby center flanked by two diamonds,

A ruby ring flanked by diamonds, a diamond “halo” ring and a sapphire and diamond “halo” ring. Anyone else see a patriotic theme here?

I have to say I’m partial to the all diamond ring, but I certainly wouldn’t turn down any of the three, should a Churchill descendant come a-callin’. 😉 Which of Jennie’s rings do you like best? Tell me in the comments, please!

Comments

8 Responses

  1. The diamonds on either side of that ruby are gorgeous, however, I would go for the all diamond one too!

    1. The are stunning! And since rubies are often more valuable over diamonds of the same quality, that’s not a bad choice. But I like your line of thinking. Why not have both? Or all three? Jennie did. 🙂

  2. I love the rings and am partial to the elaborate Victorian style of pairing diamonds with other precious gems. Many nowadays find the designs too ornate, but I can’t take my eyes off them. Currently, however, I am fascinated with the seven point diamond star (by Cartier?) that was Jennie Churchill’s favourite hair ornament. Do you have any idea what became of it? Could it possibly have been passed down to the Spencer family? Or is it in a museum? I am reading a book about the Churchill family but cannot locate any information about this piece or any photographs except the famous contemporary head shot of Jennie wearing the star when she was (probably) in her late twenties. Anything you can tell me will be appreciated. Thank You!

    1. Hi, Tibbie. I’m not familiar with Jennie’s diamond star. I’ll have to go down that rabbit hole (once I get immersed, I’m hooked for at least an hour) at some point when I have the time. I will admit, I’m not an expert on her by any means. But it will be fun to go learn about her. Thanks for reading and following! WendyKate

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