Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma
|The Right Honourable
The Countess Mountbatten of Burma
CBE MSC CD
|Preceded by||Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma|
|Succeeded by||Norton Knatchbull, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma|
|Born||Patricia Edwina Victoria Mountbatten
14 February 1924
Westminster, London, England
|Died||13 June 2017
Mersham, Kent, England
|Spouse(s)||John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne (m. 1946; d. 2005)|
|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
|Years of service||1943–1945|
|Unit||Women's Royal Naval Service|
|Battles/wars||Second World War|
Patricia Edwina Victoria Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, CBE, MSC, CD (14 February 1924 – 13 June 2017), was a British peeress and the third cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. She was the elder daughter of Admiral of the Fleet The 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 was the elder sister of Lady Pamela Hicks, and first cousin to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and the last surviving baptismal sponsor to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
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 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.
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 eighteen grandchildren:
- Norton Louis Philip Knatchbull, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma (born 8 October 1947), married Penelope Meredith Eastwood (born 16 April 1953) and have three children.
- The Hon. Michael-John Ulick Knatchbull (born 24 May 1950), producer and editor, married Melissa Clare Owen (born 12 November 1960), daughter of Judge Sir John Arthur Dalziel Owen, QC, on 1 June 1985 and they divorced in 1997. He married Susan Penelope "Penny" Jane Henderson, née Coates (born 23 October 1959, daughter of Stephen Cedric Coates, civil engineer and businessman) on 6 March 1999 and had one daughter and divorced on 13 February 2006.
- Kelly Louise Doreen Knatchbull (30 March 1988) goddaughter of Anne, Princess Royal
- Savannah Knatchbull (20 July 2001)
- The Hon. Anthony Knatchbull (born and died 6 April 1952)
- Lady Joanna Edwina Doreen Knatchbull (born 5 March 1955), married French 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 in Bucharest, Romania and educated at Oxford University) on 19 November 1995 and had one son.
- Mlle Eleuthera Roselyne Patricia Pernot du Breuil (13 May 1986)
- Alexander Azriel John David Zuckerman (5 October 2002)
- 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 Vereker née Cowan (born 20 June 1962), daughter of John Cowan, on 16 March 1991 and had 1 daughter; married Wendy Amanda Leach (born 20 July 1966), daughter of Robin H. Leach, of Ugley Park, Ugley, co. Essex, on 29 June 2002 and had two sons.
- The Hon. Nicholas Timothy Charles Knatchbull (18 November 1964 – 27 August 1979), killed by an IRA bomb.
- The Hon. Timothy Nicholas Sean Knatchbull (born 18 November 1964), married Isabella Julia Norman (9 January 1971), a great-great-granddaughter of the 4th Earl of Bradford, on 11 July 1998 and had two sons and three daughters.
- Amber Diana Patricia Knatchbull (3 January 2000)
- Milo Columbus John Knatchbull (26 February 2001)
- Ludovic David Nicholas Knatchbull (15 September 2003)
- Isla Selina Edwina Knatchbull (23 November 2005)
- Wilhelmina "Willa" Victoria Agatha Knatchbull (19 November 2008)
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Mountbatten was educated in Malta, England, and at the Hewitt School 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 wss 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. 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.
Brabourne was in the boat which was blown up by the IRA off the shores of Mullaghmore, County 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. Following this loss 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. In September 2012, she unveiled a memorial to the work of the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties at Hayling Island in Hampshire.
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. 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.
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, Kensington, and was attended by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other senior members of the royal family. She was buried at her home in Mersham.
Titles and honours
Titles and styles
- 14 February 1924 – 23 August 1946: Miss Patricia Mountbatten
- 23 August – 26 October 1946: The Honourable Patricia Mountbatten
- 26 October 1946 – 27 August 1979: The Right Honourable The Lady Brabourne
- 27 August 1979 – 13 June 2017: The Right Honourable The Countess Mountbatten of Burma
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.
- 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 The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson)
- Dimbleby, Jonathan (1994). The Prince of Wales: A Biography. New York: William Morrow and Company.
- "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
- "Wedding of Lady Patricia Mountbatten 1946". British Pathe.
- 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.
- Reginato, James. "The Raj Duet" (September 5, 2013). Vanity Fair. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
- Queen meets McGuinness: It's a wonderful moment, says daughter injured by IRA Mountbatten bomb, Telegraph.co.uk; accessed 14 June 2017.
- "Countess to unveil war memorial to secret commandos". Hayling Today.
- Dimbleby, pp. 204–206
- "Lady Amanda Knatchbull". Daily Express. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
- "Queen leads mourners at funeral of Countess Mountbatten". Retrieved 2017-06-17.
- 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
- mountbattenofburma.com - Tribute & Memorial web-site to Louis, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
- About Us - Patrons of The Compassionate Friends
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Viscountess Mountbatten of Burma