LOUIS, 1st EARL MOUNTBATTEN OF BURMA
1946: The Marriage of Patricia Mountbatten & John, 7th Lord Brabourne
On 26th October 1946, Mountbatten’s eldest daughter - The Hon. Patricia Mountbatten married John, 7th Lord Brabourne (1924-2005) at Romsey Abbey. The wedding of his eldest daughter was a typical display of Mountbatten's organisational skills - with him taking personal charge of much of the arrangements. He was determined that the day would be one to remember as any proud father would. Although this glittering society wedding took place in the presence of King George VI (1895(1936-1952), it was the first time that Princess Elizabeth was seen publicly with Prince Philip of Greece & Denmark - Mountbatten’s nephew, that caught the headlines with talk a pending romance between the Royal cousins.
Patricia with her father - Mountbatten,
arriving at Romsey Abbey
prior to her wedding to John, 7th Lord Brabourne
The Royal Family arriving at Romsey Abbey
for the 1946 wedding of Patricia
& John, 7th Lord Brabourne
(from left to right): King George VI;
Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II);
Princess Margaret; Queen Elizabeth
(later The Queen Mother)
and Prince Philip of Greece & Denmark,
(later 1st Duke of Edinburgh)
Patricia's bridesmaids - (left to right): Pamela Mountbatten; Princess Alexandra; Princess Margaret
& Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II)
Patricia Mountbatten wearing
the 'Mountbatten Star Tiara'
following her wedding to John, 7th Lord Brabourne.
As most of Broadlands was still being used as an annexe of the Southampton General Hospital, only 200 guests were able to be allowed into the house for the main reception. A second reception was held in Crosfield Hall, Romsey for a larger group, including Broadlands estate tenants. The four tiered wedding cake was made by the local Co-operative Society, with ingredients being donated from local businesses, which the newlyweds cut with John's sword. Following the cutting of the cake, King George VI (1895(1936-1952) proposed a toast. In reply. John said - "It is not very often that you get anything out of War, but I picked up a treasure in South East Asia."
A short film (limited audio) by Pathé of the wedding of
Patricia Mountbatten & John, 7th Lord Brabourne
"The look of love" -
the moment that caught press attention -
Prince Philip of Greece & Denmark
(later 1st Duke of Edinburgh) (left)
helped Princess Elizabeth
(later Queen Elizabeth II) (right)
with her coat at the entrance of Romsey Abbey
Patricia's bridesmaids - wearing dresses in blue crepe described as "happy blue" with fresh gentians and yellow roses in their hair, were her sister Pamela, Princess Margaret (1930-2002), Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952- ) and Princess Alexandra of Kent (b.1936), the daughter of Prince George, 1st Duke of Kent (1902-1942). Lord Brabourne's best man was Squadron Leader Charles D. Harris-St John (1919-2002), who had served alongside him whilst an ADC to Mountbatten, when he was Supreme Allied Commander SE Asia (SACSEA). The wedding ceremony was conducted by The Most Rev & Rt Hon. Geoffrey Fisher, later Lord Fisher of Lambeth (1887-1972), Archbishop of Canterbury, with the address given by The Rt Revd Dr Mervyn Haigh (1887-1962), Bishop of Winchester.
Patricia's dress was designed by Edward Molyneux (1891-1974), the leading society fashion designer made out of Indian silver-gold brocade given to Edwina whilst on a tour for the Red Cross in India. The veil was made of tulle which Edwina wore at her own wedding in 1922, with lace that came from Lord Brabourne's family. Edwina also gave Patricia her diamond star tiara (called the 'Mountbatten Star Tiara'), originally given to her by Mountbatten's mother, which she had also worn in 1922. The flowers were arranged by society florist Constance Spry (1886-1960), who also created the flower arrangements for the 1937 wedding of Mountbatten's cousin - Prince Edward 'David', The Prince of Wales, subsequently King Edward VIII (1894(1936)1972) and later The Duke of Windsor to Mrs Wallis Simpson (1896-1986).
Upon her marriage, Patricia became styled 'Lady Brabourne' and was known as such until 1979 - when she succeeded to her father's Earldom. As a daughter of a Viscount, she had received the courtesy prefix of 'Honourable' but when she married a Baron she obtained her husband's precedence (which was higher than that of a Viscount's daughter).
Patricia & John, 7th Lord Brabourne
following their wedding at Romsey Abbey
John, 7th Lord Brabourne making a speech
at the wedding reception in Crosfield Hall -
(from left to right)
Queen Elzabeth (later The Queen Mother);
John, 7th Lord Brabourne (standing); Patricia
and King George VI.
The flag behind the dais is
the flag of the Supreme Allied Commander
SE Asia (SACSEA)
An official family photograph from the wedding of Patricia & John, 7th Lord Brabourne
Mountbatten wrote in his diary the following day - "sad without Patricia". His initial sense of loss was abated when Patricia confirmed that their close relationship would not change now that she was married. Mountbatten had always been convinced that his new son-in-law was the right man for his daughter and it gave him great comfort to see Patricia and John so happy - a marriage which would last until his death in 2005.