Thursday, September 5, 2013

UK: The Mountbatten Sisters in Vanity Fair

I love subscribing to Vanity Fair and have been an avid reader for more than 20 years. As a subscriber, one gets access to their website as well.

The Countess Mountbatten of Burma is an extraordinary lady. She was immensely helpful to Ilana Miller during the writing of THE FOUR GRACES, published by us at EUROHISTORY (and currently being readied for a Second Edition).

Look at this little jewel...

Vanity Fair – September 2013

Mountbatten Sisters

James Reginato Jonathan Becker

Not many people remain who can tell stories like Lady Pamela Hicks and her big sister, Patricia, Countess Mountbatten of Burma. But, then, few people ever witnessed the history they did. The only children of Louis, Earl Mountbatten of Burma—and great-great-granddaughters of Queen Victoria—the sisters can recall going to tea with Queen Mary, having Mr. and Mrs. Simpson come to one of their parents’ weekend house parties at Adsdean, the family’s estate in Sussex, along with King Edward VIII, and being evacuated from London on the eve of the Blitz to New York, where they were billeted by Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt III at her colossal residence at 640 Fifth Avenue, a vestige of the Gilded Age.
Their third cousins Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret served as bridesmaids for Patricia, while Pamela was a member of Elizabeth’s wedding party in 1947. Pamela had to rush back to England for the occasion from India, where her parents were Britain’s last Viceroy and Vicereine, and where she herself would become fast chums with Gandhi and Nehru. In 1952, she set off as a lady-in-waiting on what was to be a six-month tour of the Commonwealth with Elizabeth and Philip, a first cousin. One week out, Pamela was one of the few people with the couple in Africa when word arrived that George VI had died and Elizabeth was now Queen. So while Pamela is 84 (and Patricia is 89), it’s no wonder that her new memoir, Daughter of Empire: Life as a Mountbatten, stops at age 24. There was so much to get in.
Yet the ensuing decades continued to be eventful for both sisters. Pamela married celebrated interior designer David Hicks, and Patricia enjoyed a long and fascinating marriage to John Knatchbull, the seventh Baron Brabourne, a movie producer whose credits included A Passage to India and numerous Agatha Christie adaptations. In 1979, their world was upended when a bomb planted by the IRA on a fishing boat off Ireland killed their father, along with one of Patricia’s seven children, her mother-in-law, and a local boy. Patricia and her husband were gravely wounded.
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