Kim Philby’s granddaughter describes memories of her grandfather

Charlotte Philby

Charlotte Philby

Charlotte Philby, daughter of John Philby, H.A.R. “Kim” Philby’s oldest son, has penned an extensive account of her memories of her grandfather. In her article, published yesterday in British daily The Independent, she describes Kim Philby as “a proud man, and one who chose to publicly stand by his actions”. Kim Philby was probably the most successful double spy in history. While working as a senior member of British intelligence, he spied on behalf of the Soviet KGB and NKVD from the early 1930s until 1963, when he defected to Moscow. Two years later he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. The Soviet authorities buried him with honors when he died in 1988. Charlotte Philby was only five years old when Kim died, but says she vividly remembers her grandfather’s “small modest flat several floors above ground level, in central Moscow”, as well as the “epic games of chess [the double spy played with her] dad over several glasses of whiskey” when the family would visit him in Russia. This is not the first time Charlotte Philby has written in defense of her grandfather’s actions. But her latest article contains several interesting anecdotes, including an episode at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, when Soviet airport staff scrambled frantically “to work around the fact that they had accidentally scheduled [the Philbys, who were returning from visiting Kim,] on the same flight back to London as the British ambassador, who was wafting around the terminal in a pinstripe suit”.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

3 Responses to Kim Philby’s granddaughter describes memories of her grandfather

  1. Dr. Monkey says:

    The Philby case has always fascinated me. Thanks for this post.

  2. I am learning more about my family everyday.. I am going to England in July for a Filby reunion at the town Filby. Thanks Darryl.I live in Australia.

  3. Anonymous says:


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