Sir Winston Churchill Siren Suit on Display at Blenheim Palace

The current exhibition at Blenheim Palace, Icons of British Fashion (running until 30th June), pays homage to one of its own fashion icons, Sir Winston Churchill

The current exhibition at Blenheim Palace, Icons of British Fashion (running until 30th June), pays homage to one of its own fashion icons, Sir Winston Churchill, who was born at the 300-year-old stately home with a selection of exclusive loans and items.

Visitors can expect to see a captivating collection at the UNESCO World Heritage Site including one of the original Churchill siren suits on loan from Turnbull & Asser. The acclaimed siren suit, which is considered as one of his favourite garments during the war, was crafted specifically to his requirements. The garment was generously cut with two breast pockets to keep a cigar or two, and featured roomy side pockets and front pleats.

As well as the original on display, Turnbull & Asser have created and loaned new takes on the iconic boiler suit, including sophisticated new concepts of the siren suits studied purposefully in the most prestigious fit and materials. Completing their capsule collection is a navy and khaki iteration of a bomber shirt and trouser ensemble, taking inspiration from the renowned siren suit.

Within the State Rooms, exhibition goers can also see a pair of slippers that were worn by Sir Winston Churchill, next to a specially designed smoking cap by renowned British milliner Stephen Jones. On closer inspection, the velvet cap features Winston Churchill’s hand-embroidered initials as well as a clementine – in honour of his wife – within the lining.

Antonia Keaney, Social Historian at Blenheim Palace commented: “We are thrilled to have the iconic Siren Suit on loan and be able to showcase our own icon of fashion in his birthplace on the year of his 150th anniversary. To have so many spectacular designers alongside Sir Winston Churchill’s garments just showcases the impact he had in so many areas during his life as a public figure.”

Global director for Turnbull & Asser commented: “We like to imagine that the siren suit possesses an intrinsic and essential aspect, per se, within the context of Churchill’s world. It carries a connotation also linked to strategy, nowadays, we will say linked to marketing. Even after the war, in fact, Churchill continued to wear this garment recognising its significance to the working class. Consequently, it holds a cherished place in our creative direction, with essentialism serving as a pivotal factor in defining our authenticity.” 

Stephen Jones, said: “It’s a magical honour to have created a hat for Sir Winston. A man who I never met, but as a young boy remembered watching his funeral on black and white TV. To use his siren suit and slippers as design inspiration is one of the most charming design briefs I have ever had. I love that we were able to embroider a clementine, also the name of his wife hidden in the lining of the hat.”

As well as Sir Winston Churchill, the blockbuster exhibition, sponsored by nearby British luxury retail destination; Bicester Village, showcases the very best of fashion from the past through to the present day in a truly unique way. The exhibition features bespoke designs and loans from huge names in the fashion world: Dame Vivienne Westwood, Jean Muir, Terry de Havilland, Bruce Oldfield, Turnbull & Asser, Zandra Rhodes, Lulu Guinness, Barbour, Alice Temperley, Stella McCartney and Stephen Jones Millinery for Christian Dior.

In addition to the Icons of British Fashion showcase that celebrates Sir Winston Churchill during his special anniversary, Blenheim Palace also has a variety of events and activities taking place for visitors to enjoy.

​Opportunities include weekly, VIP, and private Churchill tours of the Palace State Rooms, Churchill exhibition and Private Apartments as well as a guided buggy tour to Churchill’s grave. There’s also a specially-themed Churchill Champagne Afternoon Tea.*

​*Additional costs apply for some of the VIP tours and experiences. Availability and pricing is available from the Special Tours department.

For more information about the exhibition and to book tickets visit