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Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (June 25, 1900 - August 27, 1979), was a British statesman, uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He was the last Viceroy and first Governor-General of independent India, and First Sea Lord.

Viceroy Mountbatten of India (1947)

Table of contents
1 Ancestry
2 Career
3 Marriage and descendants
4 Death
5 Note
6 Further reading

Ancestry

He was born in Windsor Castle, in England, as HSH Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas, Prince of Battenberg, although his German styles and titles were dropped in 1917. He was the son of Prince Louis of Battenberg, who had been obliged to resign as First Sea Lord on the outbreak of World War I because of his German origins. (Battenberg had a youthful affair with the actress Lillie Langtry, and is sometimes said to have been the father of Jeanne Marie Langtry Malcolm.1). Louis was also a great-grandson of Queen Victoria.

Career

Mountbatten served in the navy during the First World War, and in the Second World War he commanded the 5th destroyer flotilla and was later Supreme Allied Commander in South-East Asia. His experience in the region led to his being appointed Viceroy of India after the war. In his position as Viceroy, Mountbatten oversaw the granting of independence to both India and Pakistan. He was familiarly known to British people as "Lord Louis", and was given the title "Earl Mountbatten of Burma" in recognition of his service in the Far East.

Marriage and descendants

Mountbatten -- known within the family as "Dickie" -- was a strong influence in the upbringing of his great-nephew, Charles, Prince of Wales. He was married in 1922 to Hon. Edwina Cynthia Annette Ashley (1901-1960), a daughter of Wilfred Ashley, 1st Baron Mount Temple, and his wife, Amalia Cassel. She died in Borneo and was buried at sea. They had two daughters: Lady Patricia Edwina Victoria, Countess Mountbatten of Burma and Lady Brabourne (1924-), and Lady Pamela Carmen Louise, Mrs. David Hicks (1929-). Edwina Mountbatten reportedly had affairs with Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and American actor-singer Paul Robeson.

Death

On August 27, 1979, while holidaying as usual in his summer home in Sligo in the Republic of Ireland he was killed by a bomb planted in his boat in Donegal Bay. The Provisional IRA admitted responsibility for the bomb. Other victims of the assassination were:

The killing of Mountbatten, and the accompanying murder of eighteen soldiers the same day in a bombing in Northern Ireland led to public outrage in Ireland. The President of Ireland, Patrick Hillery, and the Taoiseach (prime minister) Jack Lynch both attended a memorial service for Lord Mountbatten in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. On November 23, 1979 Thomas McMahon was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination.

Preceded by:
New Creation
Earl Mountbatten of Burma Followed by:
Patricia Mountbatten

Note

1It is often assumed (on the basis of Mountbatten's acknowledgement) that Louis Battenberg was the father of Jeanne-Marie. It appears that he paid support money for her in some regard - or Lillie was paid off at any rate. A recent biography of Lillie suggested that the father was really one Arthur Jones and that it was simply more profitable to blame Louis. In any case, given her motherís promiscuity it is difficult to be certain who Jeanne-Marieís father was.

Further reading