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DAVID, 3rd MARQUESS OF MILFORD HAVEN
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David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven​ ​

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 spent his childhood growing up at his parent's home - Lynden Manor, Holyport, Bray, Berkshire, near to Windsor Castle and became close friends with his first cousin - Prince Philip of Greece & Denmark, later Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021), whose parents were estranged and the young Prince was sent to stay with various relations including David's parents.  

David's godparents were - Prince Edward 'David', The Prince of Wales, subsequently King Edward VIII (1894(1936)1972) and later The Duke of Windsor; 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).

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George, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven

& Nada, Marchioness of Milford Haven

Nadejda (centre) with her two children David (right) and Tatiana (left) at their home Lynden Manor, Holyport, Bray, Berkshire ​

Nada, Marchioness of Milford Haven (centre)

with her children (left)

Lady Tatiana Mountbatten and 

(right) David, Earl of Medina

(later 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven)

at their home Lynden Manor,

Holyport, Bray, Berkshire

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View the Marquessate
of Milford Haven
Family Tree

click HERE

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.  On 11th September 1921, David became styled Earl of Medina 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 illustrious uncle - Mountbatten, in January 1933, 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).  On 8th April 1938, following the death of his father, he succeeded as 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven.

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The insignia of the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)

LEFT: The insignia of

an Officer of the Order of the British Empire

(Military Division) (OBE)

RIGHT: 
The insignia of

the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)

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David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven aged 21yrs -

in 1940 whilst a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy

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.

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(1952-2022), 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.  

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Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) 

and (right) Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh

on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, London

following their wedding.  They are joined (left)

with David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven
& (front) Prince William of Gloucester,

a pageboy at the wedding

A short film by British Movietone

about the wedding of Mrs Romaine Simpson &

David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven

in Washington DC, USA in February 1950

​ David & Romaine, The Marquess & Marchioness of Milford Haven cutting their wedding cake ​

ABOVE: Romaine & David cutting their wedding cake

following their wedding in Washington DC, USA

BELOW: A formal photograph of Romaine & David

(The Marquess & Marchioness of Milford Haven)

with their guests following their wedding

in Washington DC, USA in February 1950 

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A portrait of

David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven

by Vasco Lassolo

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.  The bride's mother - Mrs Margaret McIlwaine (née Clark) (1898-1980) hosted the reception in her flat following the church service, where a four tiered wedding cake - decorated with hearts, angels, lilies and doves, occupied the centre of the dining room.

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Romaine, Marchioness of Milford Haven

(Mrs Romaine 'Toodie'

Dahlgren Simpson (née Pierce)

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

ABOVE & BELOW:

David, 3rd Marquess

of Milford Haven

with Eva Bartok

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From 1952, David was involved in a long-term relationship with the Hungarian film actress Eva Bartok (1927-1998) - who had an affair with American singer/actor Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) and was later married to German film actor Curt Jürgens (1915-1982).  For a while, Bartok was in every magazine or newspaper holding a glass of champagne in one hand with David by her side - from Monte Carlo, Capri to fashionable society events in  London and their high profile relationship caused a scandal.   

There was no issue of their marriage and Romaine subsequently sought a divorce on 21st May 1954 in Juarez, Chihuahua State, Mexico on the grounds of his adultery.  However, following a costly protracted legal dispute whether their Mexican divorce was actually legally recognised in the UK, The Rt Hon. Sir Arthian Davies (1901-1979), a High Court Judge, declared in December 1958 that the divorce was invalid, as neither party was actually domiciled in Mexico and blamed both parties of collusion.  David had also sought a divorce in the UK on the grounds of her desertion on the basis that his job in the USA finished in 1952, but she refused to come and live with David in the UK.   On 28th July 1960, Romaine was finally issued a Decree Nisi in London, on the grounds of David's adultery. Following their divorce, Romaine married again in 1964 and had a daughter, but died in New York, USA on 15th February 1973, aged 51yrs.

On 3rd November 1960 it was announced that David was engaged to Miss Janet Mercedes Bryce (b.1937), who was born in Hamilton, Bermuda, the daughter of Major Francis 'Frank' Bryce (1876-1951) and Miss Gladys Mosley (1905-1992).  Major Bryce was the grandson of the wealthy John Paul Bryce (1817-1888), founder of the General South American Bank & Bryce Shipping Company.  On 17th November 1960, David married Janet at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Frognal, Hampstead, London.  The service was conducted by The Rev. F.P. Copland Simmons and the best man was Mr David Broome, private secretary to the bride's uncle.  Janet's dress was designed by Sir Hardy Amies (1909-2003).  The wedding reception was held at Claridge's Hotel, London and the newlyweds spent their honeymoon in Jamaica.

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ABOVE: Janet, Marchioness of Milford Haven

in her Hardy Amies wedding dress

LEFT: 
David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven

& Janet Bryce following their wedding

in November 1960

A short film by British Movietone about the wedding of

David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven & Janet Bryce

David & Miss Janet Bryce (now Marchioness of Milford Haven) on their wedding day ​
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View the Bryce
Family Tree

click HERE

David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven

 

David and Janet had 2 children -

Whilst travelling back to his home Tindon Manor, Wimbush, Saffron Walden, Essex, David suffered a heart attack whist at Liverpool Street Station, London, he collapsed and subsequently died at The Royal Hospital of St Bartholomew's, London (known simply as 'Barts') on 14th April 1970, aged 50yrs.  His funeral was held privately on 19th April 1970 at Golders Green Crematorium, North London and his ashes were buried within the Battenberg Chapel at St Mildred's Church, Whippingham on the Isle of Wight.  A memorial service, which was attended by Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021), was held on 22nd June 1970 at The Queen's Chapel, Marlborough House, London.  David was succeeded by his eldest son - George, Earl of Medina (who was then just 8yrs old).

 

David's widow - Janet, Marchioness of Milford Haven is aged 85yrs (as of 2022).

  

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RIGHT: David,

3rd Marquess

of Milford Haven

outside the Palace

of Westminster, London


LEFT:
Janet, Marchioness

of Milford Haven

BELOW:
The casket 
containing

the ashes of David,

3rd Marquess

of Milford Haven

within the Battenberg Chapel,

St Mildred's Church, Whippingham,

on the Isle of Wight

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The casket containing the ashes of David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven within the Battenberg Chapel, St Mildred's Church, Whippingham, on the Isle of Wight ​
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