House of Mountbatten

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For the peninsula in Devon, see Mount Batten.

The House of Mountbatten is a European dynasty originating as a branch of the Germany princely Battenberg family. The name was adopted during World War I by Battenbergs residing in Britain because of rising anti-German sentiment among the British public. The name is an Anglicisation of the German Battenberg, a small town in Hesse. The title of count of Battenberg, later prince of Battenberg, was granted to a morganatic branch of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt, itself a cadet branch of the House of Hesse, in the mid 19th century.

The family now includes the Marquesses of Carisbrooke and Milford Haven, as well as the Earls Mountbatten of Burma. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, the consort of Queen Elizabeth II, adopted the surname of Mountbatten from his mother's family in 1947, although he is a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg by patrilineal descent. Lady Louise Mountbatten became Queen Consort of Sweden, after having married Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden.

Origins[edit]

The Mountbatten family are a branch of the German house of Battenberg. The Battenberg family was a morganatic branch of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt, rulers of the Grand Duchy of Hesse in Germany. The first member was Julia Hauke, whose brother-in-law Grand Duke Louis III of Hesse created her Countess of Battenberg with the style Illustrious Highness in 1851, on the occasion of her morganatic marriage to Grand Duke Louis' brother Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine; Julia was elevated her title to Princess of Battenberg with the style Serene Highness (HSH) in 1858.[1]

Two of Alexander and Julia's sons, Prince Henry of Battenberg and Prince Louis of Battenberg, became assocaited with the British Royal Family. Prince Henry married Princess Beatrice, the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria. Prince Louis was made the First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy. Due to anti-German feelings prevalent in Britain during World War I, Prince Louis, his children and his nephews, the living sons of Prince Henry and Princess Beatrice, renounced their German titles and changed their name to the more English sounding Mountbatten, having rejected an alternative translation, "Battenhill".[2] Their cousin, George V compensated the princes with British peerages. Prince Louis became the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, while Prince Alexander, Prince Henry's eldest son, became the 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke.[1][3]

Members[edit]

Marquess of Milford Haven[edit]

Louis Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven

The marquessate of Milford Haven was created in 1917 for Prince Louis of Battenberg, the former First Sea Lord, and a relation to the British Royal family. He was at the same time made Earl of Medina and Viscount Alderney, also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[3] Princess Alice of Battenberg never took the name Mountbatten as she married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark in 1903; her son, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, took the name upon becoming a naturalised British citizen.[4]

The heir apparent to the marquessate is the present holder's son Henry David Louis Mountbatten, Earl of Medina (b. 1991)

The 1st Marquess's youngest daughter, Lady Louise Mountbatten, married the crown prince of Sweden in 1923. On his accession in 1950 as Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, Louise became Queen consort of Sweden.[5][6]

Earl Mountbatten of Burma[edit]

Louis Mountbatten, the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

Earl Mountbatten of Burma is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, created in 1947 for Rear Admiral Louis Mountbatten, 1st Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, youngest son of the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven and the last Viceroy of India. The letters patent creating the title specified the following special remainder to his daughters. The subsidiary titles of the Earldom are Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, of Romsey in the County of Southampton, created 1946, and Baron Romsey, of Romsey in the County of Southampton, created in 1947. Both of these titles, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, have the same special remainder as the Earldom.[7]

The heir apparent to the earldom is the present holder's son Norton Knatchbull, 8th Baron Brabourne (b. 1947)

Marquess of Carisbrooke[edit]

Marquess of Carisbrooke was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, created in 1917 for Prince Alexander of Battenberg, eldest son of Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom and Prince Henry of Battenberg. He was made Viscount Launceston, in the County of Cornwall, and Earl of Berkhampsted at the same time, also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[3] The titles became extinct upon Lord Carisbrooke's death in 1960, as he had no sons.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh[edit]

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the son of Princess Alice of Battenberg and grandson of the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, took the name Mountbatten when he became a naturalised British subject. Prince Philip married Princess Elizabeth, daughter of George VI of the United Kingdom, on 20 November 1947. In 1952, on the accession of his wife as Queen Elizabeth II, there was some dispute regarding the dynasty to which descendants of Elizabeth and Phillip would belong. Queen Mary (the new Queen's grandmother) expressed her aversion to the idea of the House of Mountbatten succeeding the House of Windsor as the royal dynasty to Prime Minister Winston Churchill.[4] Winston Churchill raised the matter in Parliament where it was decided that the name of the Royal House would remain Windsor, as decreed in perpetuity by Queen Mary's husband, King George V.

Mountbatten-Windsor[edit]

Main article: Mountbatten-Windsor

Mountbatten-Windsor is the personal surname of some of the descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh under an Order in Council issued in 1960, which has not been applied consistently. While the Order specifically applies the surname "Mountbatten-Windsor" to those descendants of the Queen not holding Royal styles and titles, "Mountbatten-Windsor" has been formally used by some descendents of Queen Elizabeth II who do hold Royal styles. The surname was first officially used by Anne, Princess Royal in 1973, in the wedding register for her marriage to Captain Mark Phillips.[8] The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge used the names "Monsieur et Madame Mountbatten-Windsor" when filing a French lawsuit against the French magazine, Closer.[9][10]

Mountbatten-Windsor differs from the official name of the British Royal Family or Royal House, which remains Windsor. The adoption of the Mountbatten-Windsor surname applies only to members of the Royal Family who are descended from the Queen, and not, for example, to her cousins, or descendants of her sister, Princess Margaret, who retain the surname Windsor.[8]

Legacy[edit]

The city of Ottawa, Ontario, erected Mountbatten Avenue in memory of the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma. A Royal Canadian Sea Cadets corps, RCSCC #134 Admiral Mountbatten, was named after him in 1946.[11] A 9'5" bronze statue by Franta Belsky of Lord Mountbatten of Burma was erected in 1983 outside the Foreign Office, overlooking Horse Guards Parade. The earl is dressed in the uniform of an Admiral of the Fleet.[12]

The Mountbatten Institute (formerly known as the Mountbatten Internship Programme), an organization based in New York and Londonm dedicated to fostering work experience and cultural exchange by placing international graduate students abroad to earn postgraduate and degrees was set up by his eldest daughter, Patricia, 2nd Countess Mountbatten. It was named in honour of the countess's father, the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma.[13]

Coats of Arms[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (1973). Burke's Guide to the Royal Family. London: Burke's Peerage. pp. 303–304. ISBN 978-0220662226. 
  2. ^ Hough, Richard (1984). Louis and Victoria: The Family History of the Mountbattens. Second edition. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. p. 317. ISBN 0-297-78470-6. 
  3. ^ a b c The London Gazette: no. 30374. p. 11594. 9 November 1917.
  4. ^ a b Bousfield, Arthur; Toffoli, Garry (2002). Fifty Years the Queen. Toronto, Canada: Dundurn Press. p. 101. ISBN 1550023608. 
  5. ^ Aronson, Theo (1973). Grandmama of Europe: the crowned descendants of Queen Victoria, Part 352. Cassell. 
  6. ^ Judd, Denis (1976). Eclipse of kings: European monarchies in the twentieth century. Macdonald and Jane's. ISBN 9780685701195. 
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44059. p. 8227. 21 July 1966. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  8. ^ a b "The Royal Family name". The British Monarchy. n.d. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Lichfield, John (19 September 2012). "William and Kate win legal battle - but lose war to keep topless photos under wraps". Independent. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre referes Judgement de Refere Rendu le 18 Septembre 2012". Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Mountbatten Avenue". National Inventory of Military Memorials. National Defence Canada. 16 April 2008. 
  12. ^ Baker, Margaret (2002). Discovering London Statues and Monuments. Bucks, UK: Shore Publications Ltd. p. 20. ISBN 0747804958. 
  13. ^ "About Us". Mountbatten Institute. Retrieved 18 October 2013.