1922: Marriage to Mountbatten
Mountbatten and Edwina were married on 18th July 1922 at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster, London in a glittering event, with all the Royal Family in attendance and his cousin 'David' - Prince Edward, The Prince of Wales, subsequently King Edward VIII (1894(1936)1972) and later The Duke of Windsor as best man. The wedding was the social event of the year, and outside the church a large crowd of onlookers formed - who broke out to cheers when The Mountbattens left the church under a Naval Guard of Honour.
ABOVE: Mountbatten & Edwina after their wedding -
the new "Lord and Lady Louis Mountbatten"
LEFT: Edwina & Mountbatten leaving St Margaret's Church,
Westminster, under a Naval Guard of Honour
The Times 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.”
The wedding reception was held at Brook House - the 'marble mausoleum' in Park Lane, London that Edwina inherited from her grandfather) and was an equally glittering event as the wedding, with most of the country’s aristocrats and most of the Royal Families of Europe celebrating The Mountbatten’s marriage. Mountbatten and Edwina left the reception to start their honeymoon at Broadlands and upon arriving at Romsey, huge crowds had amassed and the bells run out from Romsey Abbey. The newlyweds stayed at her family home for several days of what Mountbatten described as “ four days of perfect, wonderful bliss” but naturally the press continued their attention on The Mountbattens.
Their honeymoon included visits to relatives in Spain and Germany, and to the USA where they met the actor Sir Charles 'Charlie' Chaplin (1889-1977) - who wrote, directed and appeared in a short film which included the newlyweds. Whilst in Hollywood, Mountbatten was taught the art of film-making by Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959) and they stayed with their actor friends Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939) and his wife 'America’s Sweetheart' Mary Pickford (1892-1979). The honeymoon lasted 6 months and he later referred to it as “one of the most interesting periods of my life”. After a whirlwind honeymoon, they returned to England onboard RMS Olympic - a sister ship of the ill-fated RMS Titanic.
The Mountbattens had agreed that he would resume his Naval career and was subsequently ordered to Constantinople onboard HMS Revenge. Edwina was unhappy that her newly-wed husband was posted so far away - they had expected a shore posting at Portsmouth, Hampshire. Whilst Mountbatten was away, Edwina grew bored and soon returned to London, and she was joined by her younger sister Mary, who was as unwilling to live with her step-mother at Broadlands as Edwina had been. During this time the famous society portrait artist Philip de László (1869-1937) was commissioned to paint Edwina.
The 1924 portrait of Edwina by Philip de László
Newlyweds - Edwina & Mountbatten
(Lord & Lady Louis Mountbatten)
The film "Nice And Friendly" (no audio) - written and directed by Sir Charles "Charlie" Chaplin,
which starred both Mountbatten & Edwina
Edwina & Mountbatten on board RMS Olympic
homeward bound after their honeymoon
The 1925 portrait of Mountbatten by Philip de László
Mountbatten attended the funeral of Prince Helena, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (1846-1923), the third daughter and fifth child of Queen Victoria (1819(1837-1901). Edwina did not attend the funeral as she felt ill on the day and called for a doctor - who confirmed that Edwina was pregnant with their first child. Mountbatten was concerned that he would be away for the birth and did all he could to ensure that Edwina would not be alone and uncomfortable. Builders arrived into Brook House to make a nursery and extra staff were hired to look after the child and Mountbatten's sister-in-law 'Nada', Marchioness of Milford Haven, formerly Countess Nadejda Mikhailovna de Torby (1896-1963) moved in to Brook House. The Marchioness and Edwina were close friends and she would accompany Edwina to the cinema during the day. Edwina made few allowances to her schedule whilst pregnant, but eventually her nurse succeeded in 'slowing' her down.