The Queen hosts reception marking our 50th anniversary

Published: 19 Mar 2015

The Queen hosts reception marking our 50th anniversary

Her Majesty The Queen, Patron of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace last night (Wednesday 18th March), to mark its 50th anniversary.

The Trust was set up in 1965, as Sir Winston’s living legacy.

Since then, over 5000 British citizens have been awarded Fellowships, from over 100,000 applicants, to travel overseas to study areas of topical and personal interest. The knowledge and innovative ideas they bring back are shared, for the benefit of their profession, their community, and, in lots of cases, the nation. For many people, a Churchill Fellowship proves transformational, and they go on to achieve great things - effecting positive change within society.

Fellows from every decade since 1965 represented the Trust at this special event, including Baroness Grey-Thompson.

"My Fellowship was in 1993," she said. "I went to Perth in Australia to look at their methods of identifying talent, and although those methods are very good, it was useful for me to realise that they would not work here because their weather is so much better and they have a smaller population.That was useful for me to know when I joined the board of UK Sport in 1997."

Representatives from The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust in Australia, and The Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States also attended.

During the event, the Queen was presented with the new Winston Churchill Memorial Trust medallion by its designer, artist Brian Clarke, who is himself a Churchill Fellow and also a Trustee. 

To mark its half century, The Trust has just awarded a record number of 150 Travelling Fellowships – investing £1.3m in British citizens. The Fellows will travel to 58 countries between them, across six continents, where they will carry out a wide range of projects. The average length of a Fellowship is 6 weeks.

Many events are being held throughout the year to celebrate Sir Winston’s life and legacy.

"We were delighted and honoured that the Queen hosted a reception to mark our anniversary year. Sir Winston’s legacy lives on through our Fellows – individuals who, like him, have vision, leadership, a passion with a purpose, and a commitment to help their fellow citizens” - Jamie Balfour, Director General