Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma
|The Right Honourable
The Countess Mountbatten of Burma
CBE MSC CD JP DL
|Born||Patricia Edwina Victoria Mountbatten
14 February 1924
|Title||Countess Mountbatten of Burma|
|Spouse(s)||John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne
(m. 1946-2005, his death)
|Parents||The Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Hon. Edwina Ashley
Patricia Edwina Victoria Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma CBE MSC CD JP DL (born 14 February 1924) is a British peeress and former lady-in-waiting to her third cousin, Queen Elizabeth II. She was the elder daughter of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and his wife, the heiress Edwina Ashley, a patrilineal descendant of the Earls of Shaftesbury, first ennobled in 1661. She is the elder sister of Lady Pamela Hicks, and first cousin to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Patricia Mountbatten succeeded her father when he was assassinated in 1979, as his peerages had been created by the Crown 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 John Knatchbull, 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 Duke and Duchess of Kent.
Later they became one of the few married couples each of whom held a peerage in their own right, and whose descendants are slated to inherit titles through both. They had eight children:
- Norton Louis Philip Knatchbull, 8th Baron Brabourne (born 8 October 1947), married Penelope Eastwood (born 16 April 1953) and have three children.
- The Hon. Michael-John Ulick Knatchbull (born 24 May 1950), married Melissa Clare Owen (born 12 November 1960) on 1 June 1985 and had one daughter Kelly, who is a god-daughter of Princess Anne, The Princess Royal; they divorced in 1997. Married Susan Penelope Jane Coates (born 23 October 1959) on 6 March 1999 and had one daughter.
- The Hon. Anthony Knatchbull (born and died 6 April 1952)
- Lady Joanna Edwina Doreen Knatchbull (born 5 March 1955), married Baron Hubert Pernot du Breuil (2 February 1956 – 6 September 2004) on 3 November 1984 and had one daughter; divorced in 1995; married Azriel Zuckerman (born 18 January 1943) on 19 November 1995 and had one son.
- Lady Amanda Patricia Victoria Knatchbull (born 26 June 1957), married Charles Vincent Ellingworth (born 7 February 1957) on 31 October 1987 and has three sons.
- The Hon. Philip Wyndham Ashley Knatchbull (born 2 December 1961), married Atalanta Cowan (born 20 June 1962) on 16 March 1991 and had one daughter; married Wendy Amanda Leach (born 20 July 1966) on 29 June 2002 and had two sons.
- The Hon. Nicholas Timothy Charles Knatchbull (18 November 1964 – 27 August 1979), murdered, aged 14, by an IRA bomb.
- The Hon. Timothy Nicholas Sean Knatchbull (born 18 November 1964), married Isabella Julia Norman (born 9 January 1971), a great-great-granddaughter of the 4th Earl of Bradford, on 11 July 1998 and had two sons and three daughters.
Lady Mountbatten was educated in Malta, England and New York. In 1943, at age 19, she entered the Women's Royal Naval Service as a Signal Rating and served in Combined Operations bases in the UK 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 was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Kent; she is also a serving magistrate and is involved with numerous service organisations including SOS Children's Villages UK, of which she is Patron; the Order of St John, of which she is a Dame; and the Countess Mountbatten's Own Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth, of which she is Patron.
On 15 June 1974, she succeeded her 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 the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry.
Lady Brabourne was in the boat which was blown up by the IRA off the shores of Sligo in August 1979, killing her fourteen-year-old son Nicholas; her father; her mother-in-law, the Dowager Baroness Brabourne; and fifteen-year-old Paul Maxwell, a boat-boy from County Fermanagh. She, her husband, and their son Timothy were injured but survived the attack.
In June 2012, at the time of Queen Elizabeth II's first visit to the Republic of Ireland, Countess Mountbatten said the Queen had her full support for meeting Mr McGuinness, a former IRA commander who was allegedly part of the terrorist group at the time of Lord Mountbatten's murder. "I think it's wonderful," she said. "I'm hugely grateful that we have come to a point where we can behave responsibly and positively."
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 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's eldest son about a potential marriage to Lady Brabourne's daughter, Amanda. 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.
Amanda Knatchbull declined the marriage proposal of Charles in 1980, following the assassination of her grandfather.
In October 2009 TCF Canada Inc. presented the Countess with a portrait of herself by the noted Canadian artist Christian Cardell Corbet of which the oil sketch resides in the Canadian Portrait Academy Permanent Collection.
Titles and honours
- Miss Patricia Mountbatten (14 February 1924 – 23 August 1946)
- The Hon. Patricia Mountbatten (23 August 1946 – 26 October 1946)
- The Rt Hon. The Lady Brabourne (26 October 1946 – 27 August 1979)
- The Rt Hon. The Countess Mountbatten of Burma (27 August 1979 – present)
Patricia 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. However, when her father was raised to an earldom 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 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.
- Dame of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (DStJ)
- Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
- Meritorious Service Cross (MSC)
- Canadian Forces Decoration (CD)
- The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4th Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry)
- Countess Mountbatten's Own Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth
- Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (formerly, now Adrienne Clarkson)
- Dimbleby, Jonathan (1994). The Prince of Wales: A Biography. New York: William Morrow and Company.
- "Wedding Of Lady Patricia Mountbatten 1946". British Pathe.
- Yvonne's Royalty Home Page: Royal Godchildren
- Willis, Daniel A., The Descendants of King George I of Great Britain, Clearfield Company, 2002, p. 719. ISBN 0-8063-5172-1
- "It's heir kissing". Sunday Mail. 12 July 1998. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Queen meets McGuinness: It's a wonderful moment, says daughter injured by IRA Mountbatten bomb - Telegraph
- "Countess to unveil war memorial to secret commandos". Hayling Today.
- Dimbleby, pp. 204–206
- The Canadian Portrait Academy Permanent Collection, retrieved 19 October 2009
- Canadian Press; Globe and Mail: Clarkson named colonel-in-chief of PPCLI; 7 February 2007
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Countess Mountbatten of Burma
- Regiments.org on Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry[dead link]
- mountbattenofburma.com - Tribute & Memorial web-site to Louis, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
|Line of succession to the British throne||Succeeded by
The Lord Brabourne
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|Countess Mountbatten of Burma
The Lord Brabourne