On 14th February 1924 (the second anniversary of The Mountbatten’s engagement), Edwina gave birth to their first child - Patricia Edwina Victoria Mountbatten, at Brook House, Park Lane, London, which she had inherited from her wealthy grandfather - The Rt Hon. Sir Ernest Cassel (1852-1921). Edwina wrote in her diary (in pencil, so not to get ink on the bed sheets) that she had given birth to “a divine little daughter”.
Mountbatten was serving on board HMS Revenge near Madeira at the time of news of the birth of his daughter, and was clearly thrilled as he wrote to his wife - “I could hardly hold myself in when I got the wireless message this morning saying that our daughter had been born. For a few days past I felt convinced it would be a girl and was praying it would be as I think it’s so much nicer to have a daughter as one’s first child. That I am a father I simply cannot believe, and oh! my dear I am so excited I can hardly wait until I come home to see her.”
Edwina with her eldest daughter -
(2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma)
Although not present for Patricia’s birth, Mountbatten was able to be present for the christening which like The Mountbatten’s wedding was attended by members of the Royal Family and of course Hollywood royalty - Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939) and his wife Mary Pickford (1892-1979). The press nicknamed Patricia as “the richest baby in the World” and one of her god-fathers was his cousin 'David' - Prince Edward, The Prince of Wales, subsequently King Edward VIII (1894(1936)1972) and later The Duke of Windsor.
(The Lady Pamela Hicks)
A second child - Pamela Carmen Louise was born at the Ritz Hotel in Barcelona, Spain on 19th April 1929. Mountbatten was visiting Barcelona and Edwina drove herself to meet him, but no sooner had she reached Barcelona than the baby began to arrive and no doctor was available. Mountbatten telephoned his cousin - Queen Victoria Eugénie 'Ena' of Spain, formerly Princess Victoria Eugénie of Battenberg (1887-1969) for help as Edwina suffered a haemorrhage and the baby was in distress. Sadly the Queen was away, and Mountbatten was put through to King Alfonso XIII of Spain (1886-1941) who eventually dispatched the Military Governor of Barcelona (in full dress uniform) to The Mountbatten’s hotel and posted sentries, who actually prevented a doctor from getting to the prospective parents. It would appear that via the bad telephone line, the King thought that The Mountbattens needed protection rather than a doctor!
As Pamela was born 5 weeks premature and Edwina had suffered a haemorrhage during her birth, Mountbatten was concerned that the child might be still-born or his wife would die in childbirth. Despite everything, Mountbatten made no secret that he had wanted a son and heir but he wrote to his mother - “I was so relieved that I wouldn’t have cared if it had been a baby kangaroo as long as she was all right”.