Churchill is main beneficiary of the Pamela Harriman millions

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The Independent Online
The Tory MP Winston Churchill (right) and his estranged wife are to inherit nearly all the pounds 6.6m estate of his mother, Pamela Harriman, the remarkable Englishwoman who became United States ambassador to France.

In a will signed only a month before her death on 5 February, Mrs Harriman left the bulk of her estate to be divided equally between the MP, her only son, and Mary, known as Minnie, from whom he separated two years ago after 31 years of marriage.

Her two gardeners, cook, butler and chauffeur will also receive bequests of between $10,000 and $250,000.

Mrs Harriman's four grandchildren and brother, Lord Digby, also benefit, but it is understood that Janet Howard, her long-time assistant in Washington and Paris, was left out of the will.

The estate includes Mrs Harriman's home in Middleburg, Virginia, a mansion in Georgetown and property in upstate New York and Long Island. There are also a number of paintings, some jewellery and clothing.

Although lawyers were reluctant to put a value on her estate, it is certainly significantly smaller than it was two years ago, when Mrs Harriman became embroiled in a bitter row with the heirs of her late husband, the former New York governor Averell Harriman.

The children and grandchildren accused her of wasting $30m on bad investments while she acted as trustee. Samuel Berger, the White House national security adviser and one of her speechwriters, has been appointed her literary executor.