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On December 30, 1958, the 84-year old Winston Churchill issued a short New Year’s message to the Primrose League, a Conservative Party organization which his father had founded and of which he was the current Grand Master. In the message Churchill called for Britain to “strengthen our alliances and not allow our traditional friends to be estranged from us by passing differences in Europe or elsewhere,” which was considered by observers to be a reference to recent strained Anglo-French relations. While 1958 had been a difficult year in the international sphere, he remarked that “at home the picture is a brighter one” with continued prosperity.

Also that day, Churchill and his wife Clementine along with other family members, including Arabella Churchill and Emma Soames, went to the Scala Theatre on Charlotte Street, London to see his daughter Sarah play the lead role in Peter Pan. The play had begun its run on December 23rd.

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