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 Louis Mountbatten, 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.
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. 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 are slated to inherit 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 Eastwood (born 16 April 1953) and have three children.
The Hon. Michael-John Ulick Knatchbull (born 24 May 1950), married Melissa Clare Owen (born 12 November 1960) on 1 June 1985 and they divorced in 1997. He remarried Susan Penelope Jane Coates (born 23 October 1959) 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 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) on 19 November 1995 and had one son.
Baroness 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 Cowan, daughter of John Cowan, (b20 June 1962) on 16 March 1991 and had two daughters; married Wendy Amanda Leach (born 20 July 1966) on 29 June 2002 and had two sons.
Daisy Isadora Louise Knatchbull (5 October 1992)
Phoebe Knatchbull (19 April 1995)
Frederick Michael Hubert Knatchbull (6 June 2003)
John Robin Rocky Knatchbull (17 July 2004)
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)
Mountbatten was educated in Malta, England, and 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 was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Kent; she is also a serving magistrate and is involved with numerous service organisations including SOS Children’s Villages UK, of which she is Patron; the Order of St John, of which she is a Dame; and the Countess Mountbatten’s Own Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth, of which she is 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.
Brabourne was in the boat which was blown up by the IRA off the shores of 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 commander. “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