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The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes

22 July 2023

9:00 AM

22 July 2023

9:00 AM

Jane Portal, as she was when she worked for Winston Churchill, died last week, aged 93. Lady Williams of Elvel, as she much later became, had an extraordinary life. I encountered her story by chance. In 2015, near us in Sussex, I was told that ‘of course’ (people love saying that when telling you a surprise) Jane Williams’s son, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was not the offspring of Gavin Welby, as the Archbishop believed, but of Sir Anthony Montague Browne, Churchill’s last private secretary.

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