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NORTON, 3rd EARL MOUNTBATTEN OF BURMA
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Norton, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma ​

Norton, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma

Norton Louis Philip Knatchbull, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma, 3rd Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, 3rd Lord Romsey, 8th Lord Brabourne & 17th Baronet of Mersham Hatch was born on 8th October 1947 at King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London.  He is the eldest son and of Patricia Edwina Victoria Knatchbull (née Mountbatten) 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma (1924-2017) and John Ulick Knatchbull, 7th Lord Brabourne (1924-2005).  From Mountbatten's death on 27th August 1979 until the death of his father on 23rd September 2005 (when Norton succeeded to his father’s Barony) he used his mother's courtesy title and was styled 'Lord Romsey'.  He succeeded Patricia (his mother) as 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma upon her death on 13th June 2017 - bringing his parent's peerages together.  

Norton is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria (1819(1837-1901), through his mother and as such, is in the line of succession to the British Throne.  However, despite his royal connections, he is not a member of the Royal Family.  He was christened at St John the Baptist Church, Mersham, near Ashford, Kent on 18th November 1947 by The Most Rev & Rt Hon. Geoffrey Fisher, later Lord Fisher of Lambeth (1887-1972), Archbishop of Canterbury (who had married his parents).  The god-parents were - Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021); Queen Louise of Sweden (1889-1965); Pamela (Patricia's sister) and The Rt Hon. Sir Thomas Dugdale, Bt., later 1st Lord Crathorne (1897-1977).  The christening took place just a few days before wedding of the then Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952-    ) to Prince Philip, who was still then just plain 'Lt. Philip Mountbatten, RN.'  The Princess was due to attend Norton's christening, but due to pre-wedding conflicts, she was unable to do so.

 

Norton was subsequently educated at the Dragon Preparatory School, Oxford and Gordonstoun, the boarding school in Moray, Scotland where many of his royal cousins have attended, famously including Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021).

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Patricia (left) holding baby Norton, following his christening -

surrounded by (left to right) Mountbatten;

John, 7th Lord Brabourne;

Philip Mountbatten, later Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh
& Queen Louise of Sweden (then Crown Princess of Sweden). 

Behind Patricia is David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven

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Patricia (left) holding baby Norton,

following his christening - 

with her cousin -

then plain Philip Mountbatten,

later Prince Philip,

1st Duke of Edinburgh,

who was one of the child's god-fathers

Patricia, Lady Brabourne, later 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma (centre) surrounded by her children in 1959 (right to left) - Norton, Joanna, Amanda & Michael-John

A short film (no audio) by Pathé about the christening of

Norton Knatchbull (later 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma)

After studying at the University of Kent, Norton followed his father into film production and was location manager on his father’s film "Murder on the Orient Express" in 1974, with an all-star cast including Albert Finney (1936-2019) and in "A Bridge Too Far" in 1977 - which was directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, later Lord Attenborough (1923-2014). Later he was an associate producer in various productions including his father’s film "Death on the Nile" in 1978 and in the TV mini-serial "Quatermass" in 1979.

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Norton & Penny - at Broadlands, following their engagement

Norton & Penelope - now Earl & Countess Mountbatten of Burma  following their wedding at Romsey Abbey


Norton & Penny - then the new Lord & Lady Romsey,

following their wedding at Romsey Abbey in October 1979

Patricia (centre) in 1959 -

surrounded by her children

(back left to right) Michael-John

& Norton; (front left to right)

Amanda and Joanna

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Norton married Miss Penelope 'Penny' Meredith Eastwood (b.1953) on 20th October 1979 at Romsey Abbey, Romsey - a few months after the murder of his illustrious grandfather, his young brother and grandmother.  The wedding had been arranged prior to their murder, but Norton and Penny decided to continue with the arrangements - despite his parents still being so injured that they had to attend in wheelchairs. 

 

Penny Eastwood is the daughter of Reginald Eastwood (1912-1980), who founded the Angus Steakhouse restaurant chain. Although Norton was not with his grandfather on that fateful day in August 1979, the events were to change his life forever.  The best man at the wedding was Norton’s close friend (and cousin) - Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948).  Penny continued the bridal tradition and wore the

diamond star tiara (called the 'Mountbatten Star Tiara'), originally given to Edwina by Mountbatten's mother, and worn by Edwina in 1922 and Patricia in 1946.  Due to the combined interest of Royalty and the events in Mullaghmore, the wedding certainly ensured a great deal of press attention with "Tatler" 

magazine listed the wedding in their top 100 most notable society weddings of the 20th Century. 

Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (left) accompanying Norton (then Lord Romsey) to Romsey Abbey for his marriage to Miss Penelope Eastwood
The official family photograph of the wedding of Norton (then Lord Romsey) & Miss Penelope Eastwood

 
Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales

& Norton (then Lord Romsey)

arriving at Romsey Abbey for his wedding

to Miss Penelope Eastwood (inset)

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 ABOVE: (left to right)

Norton (then Lord Romsey);

The Lady Diana Spencer,

later Diana, Princess of Wales;

Penny (then Lady Romsey)

leaving Tidworth Polo Club

after Lady Diana became distressed

due to the pressure of the

intrusive photographers

RIGHT: Norton & Penny

(then Lord & Lady Romsey)

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Norton & Penny (then Lord & Lady Romsey)

at Broadlands with their eldest son -

Nicholas (now Lord Brabourne)
 

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(left to right) Norton (then Lord Romsey),

Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales

& Nicholas (now Lord Brabourne)

at a polo match

 
An official photograph (taken at Broadlands)

following the wedding of Norton & Penny

(then Lord & Lady Romsey)

In July 1981, a few days before the wedding of Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948) to The Lady Diana Spencer, later Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), it was Norton and Penny (as close trusted friends of The Prince) who had accompanied the young Lady Diana to the polo match, who protectively rescued her after she became upset and distressed during the course of an Army polo match at Tidworth Polo Club, near Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, following a crush of photographers and film crews towards her.    

Norton & Penelope, then Lord & Lady Romsey

 

Norton and Penelope have had three children -

 

  • The Hon. Nicholas Louis Charles Norton Knatchbull, Lord Brabourne, born 15th May 1981, at King's College Hospital, London - a god-son of  Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948), and although styled 'Lord Brabourne' from 2017, following his father succeeding to the Earldom, he does not use the title

 

  • The Lady Alexandra Victoria Edwina Diana Hooper (née Knatchbull)born 5th December 1982 at King's College Hospital, London - a god-daughter of the late Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), and from birth was styled 'The Honourable Alexandra Knatchbull' until 2017 when her father succeeded to the Earldom and she became 'Lady Alexandra Knatchbull'

 

  • The Hon. Leonora Louise Marie Elizabeth Knatchbull, born 25th June 1986 at King's College Hospital, London.  She died 22nd October 1991 after a one-year battle against a rare kidney cancer (called 'Wilms Tumour') at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, at the age  of 5yrs.  She was buried on 26th October 1991 at Broadlands and a small memorial service was held in the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, London. The Leonora Children's Cancer Fund was set up in her memory

Norton & Penelope with their children - Leonora (sitting on her father's lap), Nicholas (seated front) and Alexandra (seated right)
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ABOVE: 

(right) The Princess

of Wales with Penny

(then Lady Romsey)

in March 1983

at the christening of

her eldest daughter -

Alexandra

 
ABOVE: 
Norton, Penny

and their children - 

Leonora (seated on

her father's lap);

(front) Nicholas,

now Lord Brabourne

& (seated right) Alexandra 

LEFT: Members of

The Knatchbull family

join members of the

Royal Family on the

balcony of Buckingham Palace following the

Trooping of the Colour

Parade 1991.

Leonora Knatchbull is

standing next to

The Princess of Wales.
Prince Andrew, The Duke of York

is crouching front left

with his own daughter -

Princess Beatrice

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The Knatchbull family join members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for Trooping the Colour in 1991. Leonora Knatchbull (in red) is standing next to  Diana, Princess of Wales

 
The Princess of Wales standing

behind a young Princess Beatrice

and Leonora Knatchbull

on the balcony of

Buckingham Palace

following the

Trooping of the Colour

Parade 1991 just a few months

before her death

A newspaper report about the funeral of The Hon. Leonora Knatchbull
a distressed Diana, Princess of Wales looking on from her car following Leonora's funeral

 
BELOW:

The Princess of Wales

(clearly upset) looking

from her car

following the funeral

of Leonora Knatchbull

 

Friends of Norton and Penny believe that Leonora's death is part of the reason she took on the challenge of running Broadlands after her husband decided to leave the marital home.  One friend told the Daily Express newspaper - "Norton was uneasy about putting her grave there because he feared it would mean they would never get over the death of the little girl they loved so much... But Penny insisted. She wanted Leonora to be where she could always see her and be with her.  So she will never leave Broadlands, never."

On 19th December 1991, a private and personal memorial service was held at The Chapel Royal, St James's Palace for the young life of Leonora Knatchbull.  Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021); Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948), The Princess of Wales (1961-1997); Prince Andrew, The Duke of York (b.1960) and Sarah, Duchess of York (b.1959) joined friends and family, including doctors and nurses from London's St Bartholomew's Hospital.  The tone of the memorial was set by Leonora's sister Alexandra - "Dear God, please look after our little Leonora and help her in all the ways you can and help us to remember her as a happy, funny and kind child."  Also present at the service were - King Juan Carlos I of Spain (b.1938), who was Leonora's god-father; Queen Sofia of Spain, formerly Princess Sophia of Greece & Denmark (b.1938); King Constantine II of Greece (b.1940) and Queen Anne Marie of Greece, formerly Princess Anne Marie of Denmark (b.1946), who was Leonora's god-mother.  The service concluded with Leonora's favourite Christmas carol - "Once In Royal David's City".