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EDWINA, COUNTESS MOUNTBATTEN OF BURMA
1922: Marriage to Mountbatten

Mountbatten and Edwina were married on 18th July 1922 at St Margaret's Church, Westminster, London in a glittering social event, with King George V (1865(1910-1936) and all the Royal Family in attendance.  His cousin Prince Edward 'David', The Prince of Wales, subsequently King Edward VIII (1894(1936)1972) and later The Duke of Windsor, acted as best man and was dressed in the ceremonial uniform of a Captain in the Royal Navy.  The service was conducted by The Revd Canon William H. Carnegie (1860-1936), the Rector of St Margaret's.  The wedding was the social event of the decade and The Times newspaper commented that at the wedding there was "a discreet murmur of admiration rose from the congregation as the bride entered on the arm of her father... the bride's gown was conspicuous by its combination of simplicity and richness.  Of dull silver tissue cut on long, straight lines, with a waist-less bodice, mitten sleeves and round neck, its effect was of subdued splendour."

Edwina was 'given away' by her father - Lt-Col The Rt Hon. Wilfrid William Ashley, later 1st Lord Mount Temple (1867-1939), who accompanied his eldest daughter up the aisle of St Margaret's as the choir sang "Holy, Holy, Holy", which was followed by "Psalm 23 - The Lord Is My Shepherd."  After the marriage had been solemnised, the choir sang the hymn - "Thine forever, God of Love", followed by "Sevenfold Amen" by Sir John Stainer (1840-1901).  Finally, with the congregation kneeling, the choir sang the hymn - "The Cross of Christ Our Saviour".   Whilst Mountbatten and Edwina, with various members of their respective families went to the vestry to sign the register, the choir sang the anthem "Hallelujah unto God's Almighty Son" by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827).

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An official photo portrait of Edwina & Mountbatten following their wedding

with their bridesmaids and best man

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Prince Edward 'David',

The Prince of Wales (left)

with Mountbatten, arriving for his wedding to Edwina at

St Margaret's Church, Westminster

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ABOVE: Edwina & Mountbatten

leaving St Margaret's Church, Westminster through a

Naval guard of honour

RIGHT: An official photo portrait of

Edwina & Mountbatten

(Lord & Lady Louis Mountbatten)

following their wedding

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The Mountbatten's
Marriage Certificate
click HERE

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Following the wedding ceremony, The Mountbattens - now formally styled 'Lord and Lady Louis Mountbatten' left St Margaret's Church through a Royal Navy guard of honour and then left in a limousine which was pulled by a party of ratings from HMS Renown to Brook House, Park Lane, London for the reception.  Edwina had inherited Brook House from her grandfather - The Rt Hon. Sir Ernest Cassel (1852-1921).  The Mountbattens received congratulations from their 1,400 guests from under several 9ft orange trees, surrounded by delphiniums and carnations.

 

The Mountbattens started their honeymoon at Broadlands, the beautiful country home of Edwina's father in Romsey, Hampshire.  The bridal couple had driven down from London in the Barker Cabriolet Rolls-Royce which was a wedding gift to Mountbatten from his wealthy bride and were welcomed by large crowds along the streets of Romsey.  In honour of the happy couple, the bells of Romsey Abbey rang throughout the evening.  Mountbatten said of these first few days of the honeymoon as "four days of perfect, wonderful bliss."  After a brief stay at The Ritz Hotel in Paris, France, The Mountbattens went onto the Miramar Palace at San Sebastián, Spain to visit Mountbatten's first cousin - Queen Victoria Eugénie 'Ena' of Spain (1887-1969) and her husband King Alfonso XIII of Spain (1886-1941), who invested Mountbatten as a Knight Grand Cross of Isabella the Catholic.  Then the newlyweds crossed war-torn France and onto Schloß Wolfsgarten, Langen in Hesse, to visit his Hessian relations including Grand Duke Ernest Louis 'Ernie', The Grand Duke of Hesse & By the Rhine (1868-1937), Mountbatten's uncle (his mother's brother) who had lost his Grand Ducal Throne in 1918 following the end of World War I.  Mountbatten took Edwina to see the castles and palaces of his childhood, such as Schloß Heiligenberg, Darmstadt, Hesse - which his father had sold in 1920.  However, Mountbatten was saddened to see the Battenberg's former family home in a bad state of repair, as the new owners had neglected the place.

A short film (no audio) by Pathé

about the wedding of Mountbatten & Edwina

(Lord & Lady Louis Mountbatten)

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The Mountbattens onboard the SS Majestic

at Southampton, leaving for New York

in September 1922

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LEFT: Edwina & Mountbatten

meeting George 'Babe' Ruth

On 27th September 1922, The Mountbattens boarded the SS Majestic at Southampton, Hampshire and set sail for New York, USA.  Although Mountbatten had last visited the USA whilst accompanying his cousin - Prince Edward 'David', The Prince of Wales, subsequently King Edward VIII (1894(1936)1972) and later The Duke of Windsor, but this was Edwina's first visit.   After a short stay in a hotel overlooking Central Park in New York, where they explored the jazz clubs, theatres and an endless list of dinners - including meeting American Baseball star George 'Babe' Ruth (1895-1948) and dining with the Broadway musical and Hollywood film composer Jerome Kern (1885-1945), they headed to Washington DC - where they dined at The White House with Warren G. Harding (1865-1932), the then President of the USA.  The Mountbattens then headed to Niagara Falls, Chicago, Florida, Kansas City, the Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, Salt Lake City and then onto the finale - Hollywood, which was to be the highlight of their travels.

 

Whilst in Hollywood, California, they met the famous actor (Sir) Charles 'Charlie' Chaplin (1889-1977), at the time of the biggest stars of the 'silent' movies of Hollywood - who wrote, directed and appeared in a short film called "Nice And Friendly" which included the newlyweds in the leading roles and Mountbatten was taught the art of film-making by the award winning director Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959).  Chaplin and Mountbatten appeared to have bonded during their week together – Chaplin told reporters his new friend was "such a nice, simple boy" and Mountbatten wrote to his mother stating that Chaplin was - "was the most loveable, shy and pathetic little man and yet so full of humour that he can keep one amused by the hour.”  In Hollywood, they stayed with their actor friends Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939) and his wife - 'America’s Sweetheart' Mary Pickford (1892-1979) at their Beverly Hills home - 'Pickfair', which Mountbatten was to describe as - "like Buckingham Palace in London; it was the house that everyone wanted to go to."

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ABOVE: Edwina & Mountbatten

(Lord & Lady Louis Mountbatten)

with silent film star (Sir) Charlie Chaplin

'The Little Tramp' on the set

of "Nice And Friendly"

The silent film "Nice And Friendly" (no audio)

written and directed by (Sir) Charles "Charlie" Chaplin

and starred both Mountbatten & Edwina

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Douglas Fairbanks Snr & Mary Pickford
outside their mansion 'Pickfair'

in Beverly Hills, California, USA

After a whirlwind honeymoon, they returned to England onboard RMS Olympic - a sister ship of the ill-fated RMS Titanic.  The Mountbatten's honeymoon lasted 6 months and he later referred to it as "one of the most interesting periods of my life". 

 Edwina & Mountbatten on board RMS Olympic homeward bound after their honeymoon ​

Edwina & Mountbatten onboard RMS Olympic homeward bound following their honeymoon