Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma

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The Countess Mountbatten of Burma

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Preceded by Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Succeeded by Norton Knatchbull, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Personal details
Patricia Edwina Victoria Mountbatten

(1924-02-14)14 February 1924
Westminster, London, England [1]
Died13 June 2017(2017-06-13) (aged 93)
Mersham, Kent, England
Children Norton Knatchbull, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma
The Hon. Michael-John Knatchbull
Lady Joanna Knatchbull
Lady Amanda Ellingworth
The Hon. Philip Knatchbull
The Hon. Nicholas Knatchbull
The Hon. Timothy Knatchbull
Parents The 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
The Hon. Edwina Ashley
Military career
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg  Royal Navy
Years of service1943–1945
Rank Third Officer
Unit Women's Royal Naval Service
Battles/wars Second World War

Patricia Edwina Victoria Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, CBE , MSC , CD (née Mountbatten; 14 February 1924 – 13 June 2017), was a British peeress and the third cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. She was the elder daughter of heiress Edwina Ashley, a patrilineal descendant of the Earls of Shaftesbury, first ennobled in 1661, and Admiral of the Fleet the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma. She was the elder sister of Lady Pamela Hicks, first cousin to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the last surviving baptismal sponsor to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.


Lady Mountbatten succeeded her father when he was assassinated in 1979, as his peerages had been created with special remainder to his daughters and their heirs male. This inheritance accorded her the title of countess and a seat in the House of Lords, where she remained until 1999, when the House of Lords Act 1999 removed most hereditary peers from the House.

Marriage and children

On 26 October 1946 she married the 7th Baron Brabourne (9 November 1924 – 23 September 2005), at the time an aide to her father in the Far East. The wedding took place at Romsey Abbey in the presence of members of the Royal Family. Her bridesmaids were Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Lady Pamela Mountbatten, the bride's younger sister, and Princess Alexandra, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent. [2]

Later they became one of the few married couples each of whom held a peerage in their own right, and whose descendants inherited titles through both. They had eight children and 18 grandchildren:


Mountbatten was educated in Malta, England, and at the Hewitt School [9] in New York City. In 1943, at age 19, she entered the Women's Royal Naval Service as a Signal Rating and served in Combined Operations bases in Britain until being commissioned as a third officer in 1945 and serving in the Supreme Allied Headquarters, South East Asia. This is where she met Lord Brabourne, who was an aide to her father. In 1973 she was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Kent; she was also a serving magistrate and was involved with numerous service organisations including SOS Children's Villages UK, of which she was a Patron; the Order of St John, of which she was a Dame; and the Countess Mountbatten's Own Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth, of which she was a Patron.

On 15 June 1974, she succeeded her distant cousin Lady Patricia Ramsay, formerly HRH Princess Patricia of Connaught, as Colonel-in-Chief of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, for whom the regiment was named when Princess Patricia's father, the Duke of Connaught, was Governor General of Canada during the First World War. Despite her succeeding to an earldom in her own right as Countess Mountbatten of Burma on the death of her father in 1979, she preferred that the officers and men of her regiment address her as Lady Patricia. She was succeeded by The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson on 17 March 2007. On 28 August 2007, the Governor General of Canada presented her with the Canadian Meritorious Service Cross for her services as Colonel-in-Chief of Princess Patricia's Light Infantry.

Brabourne was in the boat which was blown up by the IRA off the shores of Mullaghmore, County Sligo in August 1979, killing her 14 year-old son Nicholas; her father; her mother-in-law, the Dowager Baroness Brabourne; and 15 year-old Paul Maxwell, a boat-boy from County Fermanagh. She, her husband, and their son Timothy were injured but survived the attack. Following the incident the Countess became Patron and later, President of The Compassionate Friends, a self-help charitable organisation of bereaved parents in the UK.

In June 2012, at the time of Queen Elizabeth II's first visit to the Republic of Ireland, Mountbatten said the Queen had her full support for meeting Martin McGuinness, who had been a high-ranking member of the IRA. "I think it's wonderful ... I'm hugely grateful that we have come to a point where we can behave responsibly and positively", she said. [10] In September 2012, she unveiled a memorial to the work of the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties at Hayling Island in Hampshire. [11]

Daughter's involvement with Prince Charles

As Lady Brabourne during her father's lifetime, her immediate family became closely involved in the consideration of a future consort for her first cousin once-removed, Charles, Prince of Wales. In early 1974, Lord Mountbatten began corresponding with the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip about a potential marriage to Lady Brabourne's daughter, Amanda. [12] Charles wrote to Lady Brabourne (who was also his godmother), about his interest in her daughter, to which she replied approvingly, though suggesting that a courtship was premature. [13] Amanda Knatchbull declined the marriage proposal of Charles in 1980, following the assassination of her grandfather. [14]

Death and funeral

Countess Mountbatten died at her home in Mersham, Kent, aged 93. Her funeral service took place on 27 June 2017 at St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, and was attended by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other senior members of the royal family. Her casket was borne by a party of pall bearers from Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, who were in London on public duties. She was buried at her home in Mersham. [15]

Titles and honours

Titles and styles

Mountbatten was born the daughter of a younger son of a marquess (1st Marquess of Milford Haven, formerly Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg) and thus had no courtesy title. She became the daughter of a peer (when her father was created a viscount), and thus obtained the courtesy prefix Honourable. When she married a baron, she obtained her husband's precedence, which happened to be higher than that of a viscount's daughter. When her father was raised to an earldom, however, her precedence remained the same, because the higher courtesy rank of an earl's daughter cannot be claimed by the wife of a man who ranks as a peer in his own right. When her father died and she succeeded him as countess by special remainder, Patricia Mountbatten became a peeress in her own right. Since her peerage was higher than her husband's, she was entitled to enjoy its higher title and precedence. By contrast, her younger sister's rank as an earl's daughter outranked her husband's status as a commoner from August 1946 to August 1979 because when a peer's daughter marries a commoner rather than a peer, she is allowed to retain the rank derived from her parent.





Related Research Articles

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  1. "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  2. "Wedding of Lady Patricia Mountbatten 1946". British Pathe.
  3. Yorke, Harry (25 June 2016). "The Queen attends 'society wedding of the year' as Prince Charles gives away Lord Mountbatten's great granddaughter". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  4. Willis, Daniel A., The Descendants of King George I of Great Britain, Clearfield Company, 2002, p. 719. ISBN   0-8063-5172-1
  5. Alexander John Wills The Peerage.
  8. "It's heir kissing". Sunday Mail. 12 July 1998. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  9. Reginato, James. "The Raj Duet" (September 5, 2013). Vanity Fair. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  10. Queen meets McGuinness: It's a wonderful moment, says daughter injured by IRA Mountbatten bomb,; accessed 14 June 2017.
  11. "Countess to unveil war memorial to secret commandos". Hayling Today.
  12. Dimbleby, pp. 204–206
  13. Dimbleby
  14. "Lady Amanda Knatchbull". Daily Express. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  15. "Queen leads mourners at funeral of Countess Mountbatten" . Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  16. Canadian Press; Globe and Mail: Clarkson named colonel-in-chief of PPCLI; 7 February 2007
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Louis Mountbatten
Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Succeeded by
Norton Knatchbull