Royal Oak Foundation Fall 2017 Lectures


We are excited to co-sponsor two upcoming lectures presented by The Royal Oak Foundation

Tickets on sale starting 4th September 2017 at

St. George’s Society members receive $10 OFF the standard ticket price!
Please contact us at for redemption code.

Winston and Clementine Churchill, 1914
Photo: ©Mary Evans Picture Library 2008

No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money
David Lough, Best-selling Author
Thursday, 12th October | 6:15 pm
The General Society Library
20 West 44th Street

The popular image of Winston Churchill—grandson of a duke, born at Blenheim Palace, drinking champagne and smoking a cigar—conjures up an image of a man of wealth and substance. In truth, Britain’s most celebrated modern statesman lived for most of his life on a financial cliff edge. He had to take risks, speculate wildly on shares, and write constantly to fund his lifestyle. Indeed in 1898 Churchill wrote “The only thing that worries me in life is money.” With unprecedented access to Churchill’s private records, historian and financier David Lough was able to create the first fully researched narrative of Churchill’s private finances and business affairs. Mr. Lough will lecture and disclose the scale of Churchill’s financial risk-taking, his ability to talk or write himself out of the tightest corners, and also expose the links between the private Churchill and the public figure. Depicting Churchill’s financial endeavors across his lifetime, Mr. Lough will also illustrate the cultural shift in Britain as aristocratic inheritances often waned and a new class of business entrepreneurs emerged, forging fortunes in railways, mining, finance, and other industries. Mr. Lough’s remarkable tale of Churchill’s success despite his monetary shortcomings only makes the story of one of the most successful political figures of the 20th century more fascinating.

Holkham Hall, Norfolk
Photo: By kind permission of the Earl of Leicester and the Trustees of the Holkham Estate

Holkham: A Family Home for Over 400 Years
Thomas Coke, 8th Earl of Leicester
Wednesday, 8th November | 6:15 pm
The General Society Library
20 West 44th Street

Situated on the stunning north Norfolk coast, Holkham is one of the finest examples of a centuries-old family estate adapting to the modern age. Thomas Coke, the 8th Earl of Leicester, stewards the thriving 25,000 acre estate, which has belonged to the Coke family since 1609. Its magnificent Palladian style Hall was built by the 1st Earl between 1734 and 1764. The Earl commissioned William Kent to design a building to reflect his passion and appreciation for Italian art and architecture, and to house his collection acquired on his Grand Tour. The interior state rooms feature superb examples of sculpture, tapestries, and paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, Claude, and Gainsborough, among others. Besides 7,400 acres of farm land managed by the farming company, the estate has other businesses, including a boutique hotel, a holiday park, various renewable energy projects, a National Nature Reserve, and the care of over 300 estate houses, many of which are over 150 years old. Thomas Coke, who took over the running of the estate in 2006, will speak to Royal Oak audiences about the history of his family home and illustrate its exquisite interiors. He will also discuss the challenges of maintaining such a grand estate, which draws nearly a million visitors a year.

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