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 David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven

David Michael Mountbatten, OBE, DSC, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven, 3rd Earl of Medina & 3rd Viscount Alderney was born on 12th May 1919 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Captain Sir George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, formerly Prince George of Battenberg (1892-1938) and Countess Nadejda 'Nada' Mikhailovna de Torby (1896-1963).  He was a great-great grandson of Queen Victoria (1819(1837-1901).  


David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven​


Nadejda (centre) with her two children David (right) and Tatiana (left)

at their home Lynden Manor, Holyport, Bray, Berkshire

At the request of King George V (1865(1910-1936), in July 1917 David’s grandfather - Prince Louis of Battenberg renounced his title of a Prince of Battenberg and his style of Serene Highness for himself and his descendants and adopted the Anglicised version of Battenberg - Mountbatten as his own family’s surname.  So unlike his father, David was not born a Prince, but born a Mountbatten.  On 7th November 1917, David’s grandfather was subsequently created Marquess of Milford Haven, Earl of Medina & Viscount Alderney within the Peerage of the United Kingdom and so David's father George became known by his own father's subsidiary title - Earl of Medina, therefore from birth David used his grandfather's third title of Viscount Alderney

David's godparents were - Prince Edward, The Prince of Wales, subsequently King Edward VIII (1894(1936)1972) and later The Duke of Windsor who was known in the family as 'David'; The Lady Patricia Ramsay, formerly Princess Patricia of Connaught (1886-1974); his grandfather - Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia (1861-1929), a grandson of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia (1796-1855); his aunt - The Lady Anastasia 'Zia' Wernher, formerly Countess Anastasia de Torby (1892-1977) and Admiral of the Fleet The Rt Hon. Sir David Beatty, later 1st Earl Beatty (1871-1936).  David became styled Earl of Medina on 11th September 1921 when he was just 2yrs old, following the death of his grandfather and his father succeeding as 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven.  Like his father and grandfather, and of course his uncle - Mountbatten, David joined the Royal Navy and attended the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth with his cousin - Prince Philip of Greece & Denmark, later Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021) and became firm friends too.  On 8th April 1938, following the death of his father, he succeeded as 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven.

On 1st January 1939, David was promoted to the rank of Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and by November 1940 he was promoted to Lieutenant.  On 19 December 1941, David was the Navigation Officer onboard HMS Kandahar - a K-class destroyer which was tasked to intercept an Italian convoy bound for Tripoli.  The ship was irreparably damaged by a newly laid Italian mine whilst attempting to rescue the stricken cruiser HMS Neptune.  David was subsequently appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) - Military Division.  In 1943, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for his work during Operation Pedestal, the operation to carry supplies to Malta, a British colony situated close to Sicily and the Axis shipping lanes.  The island was bombarded by the Italian and German Air Forces as it was used by the British to launch attacks on the Italian Navy and had a submarine base.


ABOVE: Princess Elizabeth & Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh

on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their wedding. 

They are joined by their best man - David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven (left)

and a young Prince William of Gloucester (front) who was a pageboy

David retired from the Royal Navy on 8th July 1948 and became a prominent member of London's society throughout the 1950s.  David was best man at the wedding of his cousin - Lt. Philip Mountbatten, later Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021) to Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952-    ), the eldest daughter and Heiress Presumptive of King George VI (1895(1936-1952).  The ceremony was held on 20th November 1947 at Westminster Abbey, London in the first gathering of European Royals since World War II but most of Philip's closest family members were excluded due to their connections to Nazi Germany as it was deemed too soon to invite them to such an event.  


The insignia of the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)


David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven​


A short film by British Movietone about the wedding of 
Mrs Romaine Simpson & David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven


Mrs Romaine Simpson,

later The Marchioness of Milford Haven

A formal photograph following the wedding of David & Romaine, The Marquess & Marchioness of Milford Haven

David married on 4th February 1950 at the National Presbyterian Church, Washington DC, USA - Mrs Romaine 'Toodie' Dahlgren Simpson (née Pierce) (1923-1975), the daughter of Vinton Dahlgren Pierce (1896-1925).  Not for the first time that a marriage of relation of The King to a 'Mrs Simpson' from America would raised a few eyebrows!  One of the ushers at the wedding was The Rt Hon. Sir George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe (1918-2007) - son of Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe (1859-1935), who was Second Secretary at the British Embassy in Washington DC. 


There was no issue of the marriage and they subsequently divorced in Mexico in 1954 and in the UK in 1960 .  Following their divorce, Romaine married again in 1964 and had a daughter, but died in New York, USA on 15th February 1973, aged 51yrs.

David & Romaine, The Marquess & Marchioness of Milford Haven

cutting their wedding cake

In Honour Bound

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9 APR 2021