Lee was born in Northern Ireland in January 1946.
She was educated at St. Columba's Secondary School, Portaferry, where
she undertook a course in commerce. From 1967, she pursued a career as
a secretary and administrator in the city of London. She met John Lee
at a day school on the history of South Africa and they were married in
Ireland in 1970. Celia studied for an honours degree in Humanities at
the Open University, specialising in modern history and literature.
Due to her interest in the Dardanelles Campaign, Celia was invited by
her husband to join the British Commission For Military History 15 years
ago. She wrote the biography of Jean Hamilton, the wife of General Sir
Ian Hamilton from Lady Hamilton's diaries in the Liddell Hart Centre for
Military Archives, King's College, London.
Jean, Lady Hamilton (1861-1941) was published privately
Celia is also a member of the Gallipoli Association, the Western Front Association, and The Douglas Haig Foundation. She is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Centre for First World War Studies, University of Birmingham and a member of The Biographers' Club,
Celia was invited by Peregrine Churchill and his wife Yvonne to write a family history of the Churchills, giving Peregrine's father, John Strange Spencer Churchill (Jack) his rightful place in the family story. This book is being published by Palgrave in the US. She is currently working jointly with John on a book about His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent KG, titled A LIFE OF SERVICE, which will deal with Prince Edward's patronages, tennis prize giving at Wimbledon, and his military career.
Celia gives a joint talk with her husband based on their books about the Hamiltons. Along with Mr Paul Strong, Celia has set up a Women in War project. Contributors are writing up the different aspects of the work carried out by women during the First and Second World Wars and other wars. Her other interests include gardening, music and going to the theatre.