Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma

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The Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Knatchbull in 1941
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
as a Hereditary peer
27 August 1979 – 11 November 1999
Preceded byThe 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Succeeded bySeat abolished [a]
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
(m. 1946; died 2005)
ChildrenNorton Knatchbull, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Hon. Michael-John Knatchbull
Hon. Anthony Knatchbull
Lady Joanna Knatchbull
Lady Amanda Ellingworth
Hon. Philip Knatchbull
Hon. Nicholas Knatchbull
Hon. Timothy Knatchbull
Parent(s)Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Edwina Ashley
Military career
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Years of service1943–1945
RankThird officer
UnitWomen's Royal Naval Service
Battles/warsSecond World War

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

Lady Mountbatten succeeded her father to the Earldom Mountbatten of Burma 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[edit]

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. They had met after Patricia, having served in the Women's Royal Naval Service, was commissioned in 1945 as a third officer and was serving in the Supreme Allied Headquarters, South East Asia. 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:

  • Norton Louis Philip Knatchbull, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma (born 8 October 1947), married Penelope Meredith Mary 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, on 1 June 1985 and had one daughter; divorced in 1997; married Susan Penelope "Penny" Jane Henderson née Coates (born 23 October 1959), daughter of Stephen Cedric Coates, a civil engineer and businessman, on 6 March 1999 and had one daughter; divorced on 13 February 2006.
  • 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 the University of Oxford) 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.[3]
  • 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 one daughter, Daisy Knatchbull; married Wendy Amanda Willis née Leach (born 20 July 1966), daughter of Robin H. Leach, of Ugley Park, Ugley, 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 (born 9 January 1971), a great-great-granddaughter of the 4th Earl of Bradford, on 11 July 1998 and had five children.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] Amanda Knatchbull declined the marriage proposal of Charles in 1980, following the assassination of her grandfather.[7]


Patricia was educated in Malta, England, and at the Hewitt School[8] 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, including HMS Tormentor.[9] She was then commissioned as a third officer in 1945 and serving in the Supreme Allied Headquarters, South East Asia.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12]

Patricia 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.[13] 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.[14]

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 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 is reported to have said.[15] In September 2012, she unveiled a memorial to the work of the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties at Hayling Island in Hampshire.[16]

Death and funeral[edit]

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 Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, 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 in the Knatchbull family plot in Mersham churchyard.[17]




  • Dimbleby, Jonathan (1994). The Prince of Wales: A Biography. New York: William Morrow and Company. ISBN 0-688-12996-X.


  1. ^ Seat abolished by the House of Lords Act 1999.


  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Wedding of Lady Patricia Mountbatten 1946". British Pathe.
  3. ^ Willis, Daniel A., The Descendants of King George I of Great Britain, Clearfield Company, 2002, p. 719. ISBN 978-0806351728
  4. ^ "It's heir kissing". Sunday Mail. Glasgow. 12 July 1998. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  5. ^ Dimbleby, pp. 204–206
  6. ^ Dimbleby
  7. ^ "Prince Charles and his girlfriends through the years". Daily Express. London. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  8. ^ Reginato, James (5 September 2013). "The Raj Duet". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  9. ^ Hicks, Pamela (2014). Daughter of Empire. My Life as a Mountbatten. Simon&Schuster. ISBN 9781476733821.
  10. ^ "Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess of Mountbatten of Burma CBE MSC CD". British Empire. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma". Lord Mountbatten of Burma. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  12. ^ "Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean on the Presentation of the Meritorious Service Cross to Lady Patricia, The Countess Mountbatten of Burma". Government of Canada. 28 August 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  13. ^ "Britain: A Nation Mourns Its Loss". Time. 10 September 1979. Archived from the original on 3 October 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  14. ^ "Death announced of Countess Mountbatten, passionate supporter of The Compassionate Friends". The Compassionate Friends. 15 June 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  15. ^ Rayner, Gordon (28 June 2012). "Queen meets McGuinness: It's a wonderful moment, says daughter injured by IRA Mountbatten bomb". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Secret WWII unit memorial stone in place in Hayling Island". BBC News. 12 July 2012.
  17. ^ Furness, Hannah (27 June 2017). "Queen leads mourners at funeral of Countess Mountbatten". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  18. ^ "Clarkson named colonel-in-chief of PPCLI". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Canadian Press. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2020.

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded byas Earl Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Member of the House of Lords
Succeeded byas Earl