The Honorable Arthur Winston Nicholas Soames was born in Croydon and is a grandson of the British wartime prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, the son of Lord and Lady Soames, a nephew of the former Defence Secretary Duncan Sandys, Diana Churchill, the journalist Randolph Churchill and the actress and dancer Sarah Churchill, and a great-nephew of the founders of the Scout movement, Robert Baden-Powell and Olave Baden-Powell. His brother is the industrialist Rupert Soames. Simon Hoggart, writing in the Guardian, relates an anecdote of Soames’ childhood: ‘He gave me the true version of what I had always suspected was an apocryphal story. In or around 1953, when Soames was five, he didn’t know how important his grandfather was until someone told him. So he walked up to the old man’s bedroom, managed to get past the valets and the secretaries, and found him sitting up in bed. “Is it true, grandpapa, that you are the greatest man in the world?” he asked. “Yes I am,” said Churchill. “Now bugger off.”‘
Soames has been married twice. His first marriage (4 June 1981 – 1988) was to Catherine Weatherall (the sister of Isobel Bowes-Lyon, Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne), by whom he has one son, Harry Soames.
Prince Charles was the best man at Soames’ first wedding on 4 June 1981 at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, and attended with Lady Diana Spencer as his guest, just over a month before their own wedding. Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother also attended. Clemmie Hambro, Sir Winston Churchill’s great-grandaughter, was a flower girl in Lady Diana’s wedding, and is seen above right in the news clipping.
He married, secondly, Serena Smith, above, (a niece of the Duchess of Grafton) on 21 December 1993. They have a daughter, Isabella, and a son, Christopher.
In 1970 he was named Equerry to HRH The Prince of Wales and he has remained a close friend of the Prince ever since. He publicly criticised Diana, Princess of Wales, during the couple’s estrangement. When Diana first accused the Prince of Wales of adultery with Camilla Parker Bowles, Soames told the BBC that the accusation, and Diana’s fear of being slandered by her husband’s courtiers, stemmed merely from Diana’s mental illness, and “the advanced stages of paranoia”.
Charles later admitted his adultery and Soames apologised. When questioned by the inquest into the death of Diana, Soames said that he saw his job as “to speak up for the Prince of Wales”. He denied threatening Diana, and warning her, “accidents happen” in the months before she died.
Located in the 12th Century St Donat’s Castle in the Wales, United World College Atlantic College is the founding college of the UWC global education movement and international residential school. Each year, 350 students aged 16-19 from over 90 different countries benefit from a world-class International Baccalaureate (IB) educational experience. It offers one of the most comprehensive scholarship programmes at pre-university level.
Since its opening, over 7500 students from over 100 countries have benefited from the inspiring and innovative educational experience promoted at Atlantic College.
The college has also continued its tradition of famous visitors including HM Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Lady Diana, The Emperor of Japan, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Rhys Ifans and most recently the new Dr Who, Matt Smith!
Princess Diana visited the International Deaf Youth Rally held at the college on June 5, 1985 in her role as Patron of the British Deaf Association. In the video clip below you can see her using her sign language skills that she was at the time just learning. She was brightly attired in a red coat by Jan Van Velden with matching hat, polka dot dress and shoes. The Princess is seen in several photos that day with her then detective, Sgt. Barry Mannakee, at her side. He died in a car accident in 1987.