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 Louis,  1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

 

Admiral of the Fleet

The Rt Hon. Lord Louis Mountbatten,

1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

Admiral of the Fleet The Rt Hon. Lord Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, ADC(P), FRS, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, 1st Viscount Mountbatten of Burma & 1st Baron Romsey, formerly HSH Prince Louis of Battenberg was born at 6am on 25th June 1900 at Frogmore House, on the Windsor Castle estate, Berkshire, England, the youngest child and second son of Admiral of the Fleet The Rt Hon. Sir Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, formerly Prince Louis of Battenberg (1854-1921) and Princess Victoria of Hesse & By the Rhine (1863-1950), who was herself a grandchild of Queen Victoria (1819(1837-1901).  

 

Mountbatten's parents decided that their son would not be known as 'Louis' to avoid the confusion of having father and son with the same forename, so it was initially decided that within the family he would be known as 'Nicky'.  However his father's first cousin - Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (1868-1918) who had married Mountbatten's maternal aunt (Princess Alexandra 'Alix' of Hesse & By the Rhine (1872-1918), was known as 'Nicky' within the Royal Family and so to avoid further confusion, it was suggested that privately the baby be called 'Dickie' - which the family used all of his life.

 

Frogmore House, Windsor, Berkshire

 

Queen Victoria holding newly born Mountbatten

The young baby Mountbatten was christened on 17th July 1900 at Frogmore House, which was attended by the aged Queen-Empress (who took a personal interest in the christening of her latest god-son and great-grandson).  Due to the extreme hot weather, a bucket of ice had been placed under a chair to cool the room temperature as it was known that The Queen suffered from the heat.  However The Very Rev. Dr Philip Eliot (1835-1917), Dean of Windsor - who performed the christening, reportedly settled on the ice, chilled his legs and suffered from sciatica so severe that he would walk with a stick for the rest of his life.  The Queen was by now looking frail, was half blind and unknowingly had only 9 months to live.  Mountbatten's christening would be one of the last happy family occasions in which the Queen-Empress (now aged 81yrs) would preside.  Despite her frailties and the heat of the day, she insisted on holding the child throughout the ceremony, during which he knocked the Queen-Empress’s glasses off her nose, but she wrote in her diary that he was "a beautiful large child and behaved very well."

In November 1900, The Battenbergs moved out of Frogmore House and took up residence at No.4 Hans Crescent in London's fashionable Knightsbridge and Mountbatten's father resumed his career in the Royal Navy.  Mountbatten’s father had joined the Royal Navy in 1868 following being made a naturalised British subject and rose through the ranks, being referred to by Admiral of the Fleet Sir John 'Jackie' Fisher, later 1st Lord Fisher (1841-1920) as “the most capable administrator in the Admiralty’s list by a long way”.   At the time of his birth, Mountbatten’s father held the rank of Captain, was a Naval Aide-de-Camp to The Queen and was Assistant Director of the Naval Intelligence Division.

On 22nd January 1901, the aged Queen-Empress died at her beloved Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. She had been an important force in the life events of Prince & Princess Louis of Battenberg and Mountbatten's father was appointed an executor of The Queen's will, being trusted with her last wishes. However Prince Louis' influence at Court would be no less diminished in the new reign of 'Uncle Bertie' -King Edward VII (1841(1901-1910), who appointed Prince Louis his Naval Aide-de-Camp and continued to look favorably on The Battenbergs.

 

Mountbatten's parents - Prince & Princess Louis of Battenberg