Lady Amanda Ellingworth

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Lady Amanda Ellingworth
Hon. Amanda Patricia Victoria Knatchbull

(1957-06-26) 26 June 1957 (age 62)
London, England[1]
OccupationSocial worker
Known forNon-executive director of several NGOs
Charles Ellingworth (m. 1987)
Parent(s)John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne
Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma

Lady Amanda Patricia Victoria Ellingworth (née Knatchbull; born 26 June 1957) is a British social worker. Her earlier career was in UK social work, specialising in children's services and child protection. She has since held a portfolio of chair roles or directorships, working with vulnerable people, especially children. Among other organisations she is currently a director of Plan International,[2] Barnardo's,[3] and Great Ormond Street Hospital.[4] Her previous roles include: Chair of The Caldecott Foundation, chair of The Guinness Partnership, founding chair of Guinness Care and Support, and Deputy Chair of Yeovil Hospital.

The granddaughter of Admiral of the Fleet Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, she is a descendant of Queen Victoria through her daughter Princess Alice, Mountbatten's grandmother.

Early life and education[edit]

Ellingworth was born in London, the fourth of seven children of the 7th Baron Brabourne and the 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma. She is the granddaughter of Admiral of the Fleet the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who was an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and a second cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II. She has five brothers and one sister.[5]

She was baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 29 September 1957 at Mersham Parish Church in Mersham, Kent. Her godparents were Prince George of Hanover, Mrs. E. Heywood-Lonsdale, and Mrs. C. H. W. Troughton.[6]

Ellingworth earned a BA Hons degree from the University of Kent, a CQSW qualification from Goldsmiths College, London, and a Certificate in Mandarin Language from the Beijing Language Institute.[7]


After a first career as a social worker, Ellingworth has worked at a senior level in health services, children's services, adult social care and affordable housing. She currently holds several non-executive directorships, including Chair of The Guinness Partnership, a provider of affordable housing.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In early 1974, Ellingworth's grandfather Lord Mountbatten began corresponding with his godson and great-nephew (and her second cousin), Charles, Prince of Wales, offering advice on dating and the selection of a future consort: "In a case like yours, the man should sow his wild oats and have as many affairs as he can before settling down, but for a wife he should choose a suitable, attractive, and sweet-charactered girl before she has met anyone else she might fall for... It is disturbing for women to have experiences if they have to remain on a pedestal after marriage."[9] Mountbatten had a unique qualification for tendering marital advice to the heir to the throne, having arranged the first documented meeting of Prince Charles' parents at Dartmouth Royal Naval College on 22 July 1939.[10] He recommended that the 25-year-old prince get done with his bachelor's experimentation, and mentioned his granddaughter as a prospective consort.[11]

According to his biographer, Jonathan Dimbleby (for whom Prince Charles arranged access to unpublished royal diaries and family correspondence), "[I]n 1974, following his correspondence with Mountbatten on the subject, the Prince had tentatively raised the question of marriage to Amanda with her mother (and his godmother) Patricia Brabourne. She was sympathetic, but counselled against raising the issue with her daughter, who had yet to celebrate her seventeenth birthday."[11]

This did not daunt Mountbatten, who – four years later – obtained an invitation for himself and Lady Amanda to accompany Prince Charles on his planned 1980 tour of India. However, both fathers objected; Prince Philip complaining that the Prince of Wales would be eclipsed by his famous uncle (who had served as the last British Viceroy and first Governor-General of India), while Lord Brabourne warned that a joint visit would draw media attention to the cousins before they could decide on becoming a couple, thereby potentially dashing the very prospect for which Lord Mountbatten hoped.[11]

James Stanhope, 7th and last Earl Stanhope, had apparently been impressed by the young Prince Charles, and hoped that he would one day reside at Chevening in Kent, the stately home which served as the traditional family seat of the Earls Stanhope. In 1974, while corresponding with Lady Amanda's mother and grandfather about a possible future with her, the Prince had accepted the prospect of living on the estate.[11] Lady Amanda's paternal great-aunt had been Lady Eileen Browne, daughter of the 6th Marquess of Sligo, whose childless marriage to the last Earl Stanhope (who had no other near family relations), prompted him to bequeath Chevening to the British nation, placing it at the disposal of the Royal Family or of a government minister. If Lady Amanda were to become Princess of Wales, the Prince's acceptance of Chevening would make some familial sense.

But this was not to be, although the Prince did visit the house several times. In a note of 24 April 1978 to his private secretary, Sir David Checketts, Prince Charles observed, "I know there are advantages – particularly financial ones – in the Chevening set-up, but I regret to say I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that they are the only advantages."[11]

Before Prince Charles was to depart alone for India, the Earl Mountbatten of Burma was assassinated by the IRA in August 1979. When Prince Charles returned, he proposed to Lady Amanda.[11] However, in addition to her maternal grandfather, she had lost her paternal grandmother and youngest brother Nicholas in the attack and now recoiled from the prospect of becoming a core member of the Royal Family.[11] In June 1980 Prince Charles wrote to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to renounce future residency at Chevening (since then, Chevening has been used by the British government to house successive foreign secretaries and Cabinet members).[12] Weeks later, he purchased Highgrove House in Gloucestershire. By then, according to Dimbleby, Lady Amanda had declined the Prince's proposal of marriage, and he would soon begin courtship of Lady Diana Spencer.[11]

Lady Amanda married novelist and property entrepreneur Charles Vincent Ellingworth on 31 October 1987;[13] he is the eldest child of six of a Leicestershire Catholic family, who attended Ampleforth College and later read history at Oxford University. They have three sons, Luke (27 January 1991, London), Joseph (2 December 1992, Salisbury) and Louis (25 October 1995, Salisbury).[14]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916–2007
  2. ^ "Plan International's Structure of Governance". Plan International. Plan International. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  3. ^ "List of Barnardo's' Trustees". Barnardo's. Barnardo's. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Great Ormond Street Hospital Trust's Board". Great Ormond Street Hospital. Great Ormond Street Hospital. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  5. ^ Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 304. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  6. ^ "Christenings". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 30 September 1957. p. 10.
  7. ^ "Amanda Ellingworth". Linked In. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Profile: Lady Amanda Ellingworth". Guinness Partnership. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  9. ^ Junor, Penny (2005). "The Duty of an Heir". The Firm: the troubled life of the House of Windsor. New York: Thomas Dunne. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-312-35274-5. OCLC 59360110. Retrieved 13 May 2007. sow his wild oats and have as many affairs as he can.
  10. ^ Edwards, Phil (31 October 2000). "The Real Prince Philip" (TV documentary). Real Lives: Channel 4's portrait gallery. Channel 4. Retrieved 12 May 2007.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Dimbleby, Jonathan. "The Prince of Wales: A Biography". William Morrow & Co. New York, 1994. pp. 204–06, 263–65, 299–300. ISBN 0-688-12996-X.
  12. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (18 May 2010). "Nick Clegg and William Hague to share country house". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Royal couple going on tour amid reports of marital rift". Eugene Register. London. 10 January 1987.
  14. ^ Willis, Daniel A., The Descendants of King George I of Great Britain, Clearfield, 2002, p. 719. ISBN 0-8063-5172-1

External links[edit]

Lines of succession
Preceded by
Alexander Zuckerman
Line of succession to the British throne
descended from Alice, daughter of Victoria
Succeeded by
Luke Ellingworth