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Monte Carlo MENU CARD SIGNED by The Duke and Duchess of Windsor & Winston and Clementine Churchill
[New Year’s Eve 1949]
4 1/2 x 7 inches
Item Number: 200571
On New Year’s Eve 1949, Winston and Clementine Churchill hosted a dinner in Paris for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The group then took the night train to Monte Carlo, with the Churchills taking up residence at the Hotel de Paris, where they were joined by their daughter Sara (and her new beau, Antony Beauchamp). Very shortly thereafter the Churchills and the Windsors dined at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club, where they all signed this New Year’s Eve menu card in pencil.
The signatures, from top down read: W. Churchill, Clementine S. Churchill, Sarah Oliver [Sarah Churchill’s married name], “Westminster[Churchill’s lifelong chum, “Bendor,” The Duke of Westminster], Wallis Windsor, Anne W. Westminster [The Duke’s fourth wife] and Edward Duke of Windsor.
The once-folded card (4 1/2 x 7 inches) contains the Restaurant Du Sporting Club’s full dinner menu for “Nouvel An 1948-1949.” The card is in marvelous condition, just modestly browned at the folds and along the edges.
It is extremely rare and altogether electrifying to find the signatures of these particular Churchill intimates on one document. Churchill’s steadfast devotion to the former-Prince of Wales is well-known; his efforts to avert Edward’s abdication in 1936 to marry the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, nearly destroyed Churchill’s career. Their longtime friendship is here documented in an utterly vivid manner. The card is preserved in an exquisite blue quarter-leather clamshell box with an original press photograph of the Duke of Windsor escorting the Churchills to his car after their arrival at Cap D’Antibes on the French Riviera on September 10, 1948; just months before their night out in Monte Carlo.