Celebrating the Life of the 1st Duke of Marlborough

Arguably Britain's Greatest Soldier and Statesman

In 2022 we'll be celebrating the Duke's life, family and achievements with interactive displays, tours, battle re-enactments, and other activities for all the family.

At a time when marriages were often no more than business transactions to increase power and wealth, John Churchill chose to marry his wife Sarah for love. After a less than illustrious beginning (he was once imprisoned in the Tower of London) the Duke rose to dizzying heights in the court of Queen Anne with his beautiful, strong willed wife Sarah by his side, only to be plotted and schemed against and eventually exiled abroad until a change of monarch made it safe for him to return to his homeland.

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Did you know?

Here are some interesting facts about the 1st Duke of Marlborough Learn about the Duke

Battlefields and Baroque

Step back in time to the Palace of the 1700s and marvel at the exquisite clothing, food, games, and music that the 1st Duke and his Duchess would have loved.

Come to Blenheim Palace from this April to learn about the Duke's life. Wander through the Palace state rooms to find out more and absorb the history of the Palace, and experience the thrill of battle in a re-enactment.

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Marlborough 300 Pageant

Blenheim Palace was a gift to John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough, from a grateful nation. In July 2022, Blenheim Palace will come alive with a spectacular Pageant to commemorate Marlborough 300, telling the story of John Churchill's early life, from his birth in 1650 to his emergence in society and at Court, his role as a soldier in the Sedgemoor campaign of 1685, and his relationship with his beloved wife Sarah.

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Showcasing the Collection

As part of the year of Celebrations we will be showcasing part of the collection that is of high importance to the story of the 1st Duke. In the Great Hall you will be able to see on display a very ornate and special goblet, the Lièges Façon de Venise goblet, reputed to have been used by the 1st Duke of Marlborough at the Battle of Malplaquet on 11th September, 1709.

The Goblet

Palace Treasures

Making History

Winston Churchill himself was a descendant of the 1st Duke