The Ceremonial To Be Observed at the Funeral of The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, K.G., O.M., C.H., 30th January 1965
London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1965. First edition. Pamphlet. This lovely booklet is The Ceremonial To Be Observed printed for Churchill’s full state funeral at St. Paul's Cathedral on 30 January 1965. On Sunday, 24 January 1965, Winston Churchill died at the age of 90. By the time of his death, he had become “a living national memorial" of the time he had lived and the Nation, Empire, and free world he had served. His death completed his transformation into a national icon.
This booklet was specifically produced for those invited to attend the elaborate ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral on 30th January 1965. The Ceremonial to be Observed at the Funeral was beautifully printed on heavy paper stock by Her Majesty's Stationery Office. The booklet is bound in cardstock wraps printed and bordered in deep purple with the Churchill arms on the front cover. The booklet measures 10.5 x 7.25 inches (26.7 x 18.4 cm) and is 12 pages in length.
This copy is in good very good minus condition, complete and sound with some minor cosmetic blemishes. The card wraps are complete and firmly attached, both original binding staples intact with no corrosion. The front cover remains bright with only light wear and soiling to extremities. The blank rear cover is modestly soiled with a few stains to the upper portion and a diagonal crease to the lower portion. The contents are bright with no spotting or previous ownership marks. The upper fore edge corners are lightly bruised.
The day after Churchill died, on 25 January, the Queen sent a message to Parliament announcing: "Confident in the support of Parliament for the due acknowledgement of our debt of gratitude and in thanksgiving for the life and example of a national hero" and concluded "I have directed that Sir Winston's body shall lie in State in Westminster Hall and that thereafter the funeral service shall be held in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.” This was in accord with longstanding plans; twelve years before, in 1953, at the direction of Queen Elizabeth II, planning for Churchill’s eventual state funeral had begun. The elaborate plans – running to hundreds of pages, were overseen by the Duke of Norfolk, hereditary Earl Marshal of England, and came to be called Operation Hope Not.
Churchill's full state funeral at the Cathedral of St. Paul in London was attended by the Queen herself, other members of the royal family, the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, and representatives of 112 countries. Churchill was interred in St. Martin’s churchyard, Bladon, Oxfordshire. It was the first time in a century that a British monarch attended a commoner’s funeral.
The outpouring of national and international sorrow and regard - from friends and foes, sympathizers and opponents alike - was both remarkable and effusive. Before the service in St. Paul’s Cathedral, Churchill’s coffin had passed through the countryside on a train. The Oxford don, Dr. A. L. Rowse, recorded “The Western sky filled with the lurid glow of winter sunset; the sun setting on the British Empire.”. Item #007413