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 1950: Death of Mountbatten's Mother

 

ABOVE: Mountbatten's mother -

The Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven

(Princess Victoria of Hesse

& By the Rhine)

RIGHT: Kensington Palace, London

as it is today

In the Autumn of 1950, Mountbatten’s mother who from 1921 was styled The Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven was taken ill at Broadlands.  She had been born a Princess of Hesse & By the Rhine and had been a favourite grand-daughter of Queen Victoria (1819(1837-1901) and told Mountbatten that she had wanted to return to London as it was “so much better to die at home.”  She died at Kensington Palace, London on 24th September 1950 without seeing her son as First Sea Lord, but despite this she had seen him back in the Royal Navy and rising to the top of the organisation which her late husband had been forced to resign from.

 

The Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven had been a tough matriarchal figure in the Mountbatten family and her death was another blow for Mountbatten and the family.  Her grandchild - Patricia (who later succeeded as 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma) said of her that she was “formidable, but never intimidating... a supremely honest woman, full of common-sense and modesty."  

Victoria was laid to rest beside her late husband (Louis, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, formerly Prince Louis of Battenberg) at St Mildred’s Church, Whippingham on the Isle of Wight.  

 

The joint grave of Mountbatten's parents

at St Mildred's Church, Whippingham,

Isle of Wight

At the time of her death, The Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven was the oldest surviving grand-daughter of Queen Victoria (1819(1837-1901) and notable for being a sister of the last Tsarina of Russia - Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, formerly Princess Alexandra of Hesse & By the Rhine (1872-1918), the mother of Queen Louise of Sweden, formerly Princess Louise of Battenberg (1889-1965) and the great-grandmother of Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948) - whose christening was one of the last 'family' events she was photographed at in 1948.

 

The christening of Prince Charles of Edinburgh (later The Prince of Wales) - Rear (left to right) -

Patricia, later 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma; Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh

 (representing Prince George of Greece & Denmark); King George VI; The Hon. Sir David Bowes Lyon;

The Earl of Athlone (representing King Haakon VII of Norway) & Princess Margaret;  Front (seated left to right) -

The Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven; Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh (now Queen Elizabeth II)

holding the baby Prince Charles & Queen Mary