In early April 1955, on the eve of his retirement as prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill gave a farewell dinner at 10 Downing Street, at which the principal guests were Queen Elizabeth II and the duke of Edinburgh. At the end of the evening, as he escorted his sovereign to her car, the cameras caught the leave-taking scene: Churchill, full of years and honour, wearing the Order of the Garter which she had given him, and the Order of Merit which her father had bestowed, bowing to the queen, whom he had earlier saluted as ‘the young, gleaming champion’ of the nation’s ‘wise and kindly way of life’. This sunset tableau, combining regal youth and statesmanly age, was reminiscent of Winterhalter’s picture, painted one hundred years before, which had depicted the venerable duke of Wellington doing homage to the young Victoria, to Prince Albert, and to their son, Prince Arthur of Connaught, on the first of May 1851. For Churchill, like the Iron Duke before him, was not only her majesty’s greatest subject: he was also an ardent admirer of the institution of monarchy, and of the person and the character of the last British sovereign he himself would live to serve. Indeed, according to his wife, Clementine, he was ‘Monarchical No 1’.