Pamela Beryl Harriman
(nÃ©e Digby; 20 March 1920 â€“ 5 February 1997)
also known as Pamela Churchill Harriman, was an English-born socialite who was married and linked to important and powerful men. In later life, she became a political activist for the United States Democratic Party and a diplomat. Her only child, Winston Churchill, was named after his famous grandfather.
Pamela Beryl Digby was born in Farnborough, Hampshire, England, the daughter of Edward Digby, 11th Baron Digby, and his wife, Constance Pamela Alice, the daughter of Henry Campbell Bruce, 2nd Baron Aberdare, a peer in the House of Lords. Pamela Digby was educated by governesses in the ancestral home at Minterne Magna in Dorset, along with her three younger siblings. Her great-great aunt was the nineteenth-century adventurer and courtesan Jane Digby, notorious for her exotic travels and scandalous personal life. Pamela was to follow in her ancestor's footsteps, being frequently cited as "the 20th-century's greatest courtesan."
Amid acres of Dorset farmland and woods, Pamela as a young girl enjoyed an idyllic lifestyle at the top of the countyâ€™s social tree. From an early age Pamela was a very good horsewoman. She competed at shows at the International Olympia, Royal Bath and West Show, and local shows at Dorchester and Melplash. She show-jumped a tiny pony called Stardust that did a clear round at Olympia when every fence was above the animalâ€™s withers.
At the age of seventeen, she was sent to a Munich boarding school for six months. While there she was introduced to Adolf Hitler by Unity Mitford. She subsequently went to Paris, where she took some classes at the Sorbonne. Although in her Who's Who biography she identified these classes as "post-graduate" work, she actually never completed a college degree. By 1937, she had returned to England.