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).
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
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
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.
Norton & Penny - at Broadlands, following their engagement
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
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
& Norton (then Lord Romsey)
arriving at Romsey Abbey for his wedding
to Miss Penelope Eastwood (inset)
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
RIGHT: Norton & Penny
(then Lord & Lady Romsey)
Norton & Penny (then Lord & Lady Romsey)
at Broadlands with their eldest son -
Nicholas (now Lord Brabourne)
(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 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
(right) The Princess
of Wales with Penny
(then Lady Romsey)
in March 1983
at the christening of
her eldest daughter -
ABOVE: Norton, Penny
and their children -
Leonora (seated on
her father's lap);
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
Leonora Knatchbull is
standing next to
The Princess of Wales.
Prince Andrew, The Duke of York
is crouching front left
with his own daughter -
The Princess of Wales standing
behind a young Princess Beatrice
and Leonora Knatchbull
on the balcony of
Trooping of the Colour
Parade 1991 just a few months
before her death
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".