This is the remarkable Lady Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton. In 1940 she was Natalie Latham, a former debutante and fixture at New York society balls, now 30, twice divorced with two children and still so beautiful that Vogue printed items about her.
All this changed when German U-boats began their devastating attacks on the North Atlantic convoys supplying Britain. Although America had not entered the war, Natalie Latham decided to do something to help, and established Bundles for Britain, which began as little more than a “knitting bee” — albeit one convened by Natalie Latham and some of the grandest dames of the New York social scene. The group quickly expanded to over 1.5 million volunteers, with branches all over the country. Bundles for Britain started shipping over not just clothing but also blankets, children’s cots, ambulances, X-ray machines, hospital beds, oxygen tents, surgical instruments, blood transfusion kits, tinned food and children’s cots. Every item was labelled “From your American friends.”
In Britain, she secured the support of Winston Churchill’s wife, Clementine, and of Janet Murrow, wife of the CBS reporter Ed Murrow, whose live radio broadcasts to America during the Blitz began with the words: “This is London.” When Bundles for Britain held a raffle, Queen Elizabeth donated items, including a piece of shrapnel that had hit Buckingham Palace. King George VI later appointed Natalie Latham an honorary CBE; she was the first non-British woman thus honored.
After her fourth husband’s death in 1951, she arrived in London to promote Common Cause, an anti-communist organization she had founded, and met the third son of the 13th Duke of Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton, MP for Inverness-shire and an ardent anti-communist. They eventually moved to the US, and she died on January 14, 2013.