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THE LADY PAMELA HICKS (née Mountbatten) 
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On 20th November 1947, Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952-    ) and Mountbatten’s nephew - Lt. Philip Mountbatten, formerly Prince Philip of Greece & Denmark, later Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021) were married at a glittering ceremony at Westminster Abbey, London.  Pamela was one of the eight bridesmaids who attended the Princess, the others included Princess Margaret (1930-2002) and Princess Alexandra (b.1936) - who had both been bridesmaids at the wedding of Pamela’s sister, Patricia to John, 7th Lord Brabourne the previous year.  The bridesmaids wore wreaths in their hair of miniature white sheaves, lilies and the flowering plant 'London Pride'.  Most of Philip's closest family members were excluded from the ceremony and were not invited due to their connections to Nazi Germany - it was deemed too soon after the War to invite them to such a public event.

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Pamela as a bridesmaid

in November 1947

to the then Princess Elizabeth,

later Queen Elizabeth II

The balcony of Buckingham Palace after the wedding of Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) to Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh in November 1947.  The best man (on the left of the Princess) is David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven and the bridesmaid far right is Mountbatten's youngest daughter Pamela (later Lady Pamela Hicks) ​

 
The balcony of Buckingham Palace after the wedding of
Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) to Lt. Philip Mountbatten,
later Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh 
in November 1947.
The best man (on the left of the Princess) is David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven

and the bridesmaid far right is Mountbatten's youngest daughter Pamela

 

Pamela (in her role as Lady-in-Waiting) with Queen Elizabeth II in Melbourne, 1954

Pamela was subsequently appointed a Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Elizabeth, and accompanied the Princess and The Duke on their tour of Australia and New Zealand in early 1952.  Although it was known that King George VI (1895(1936-1952) was ill, it was thought that he was in sufficient health to allow his heir to leave the country.  The Royal party stopped off via Kenya and on 6th February 1952 news was received that the King had died and that the Princess had succeeded to the Throne.  Pamela was yet again a witness to a truly historic moment and said later - "I lost my head, of course, knowing that she adored her father and he worshipped her.  I went and gave her a hug, like you would do for someone who’d just lost their father. Then, I thought, Oh... goodness... she’s Queen!  And I dropped a really deep curtsey". 

 LEFT: Pamela (in her role as Lady-in-Waiting)
with the young Queen Elizabeth II 
whilst on a tour in Melbourne, Australia

 

 

Following her Royal duties, Pamela subsequently became engaged to David Nightingale Hicks (1929-1998), the son of Herbert Hicks (1863-1940) - a stockbroker.  He graduated at the Central College of Art and whilst drawing cereal boxes for the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, a glowing article was published in House & Garden in 1954 about the makeover that Hicks had completed on his mother's London home, and his interior design career was launched.  Hicks' reputation and career blossomed and his designs were the epitome of jet-set chic in the 1960's. The restaurateur Peter Evans (1926-2014) said of Hicks - "he was without a doubt a genius. He would walk into the most shambolic of spaces that I had decided would be a restaurant, a pub or a nightclub and, lighting up a cigarette, would be out of the place within ten minutes, having decided what atmosphere it would generate because of what it would look like.  He always got it spot on."

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Pamela & David Hicks
outside Romsey Abbey
(in the snow) following their wedding
in January 1960

 

The Mountbattens in Coronation Robes 1953 -  (left to right) Pamela, Mountbatten, Edwina (seated), John, 7th Lord Brabourne & Patricia (later 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma)

 
Mountbatten and his family in Coronation Robes -

(left to right) - Pamela, Mountbatten, Edwina (seated),
John, 7th Lord Brabourne & Patricia

 

David Hicks ​


David Nightingale Hicks

 
A short film (no audio) by Pathé of the wedding of
Pamela & David Hicks

 

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A family photograph from the wedding of Pamela & David Hicks in January 1960
with their bridesmaids and immediate family members

 

On 13th January 1960, Pamela married David Hicks at Romsey Abbey, Hampshire.   Pamela wore a white satin dress trimmed with white mink, designed by Worth - with a 5ft train, tulle veil, with a pearl and diamond tiara loaned by Edwina, and carried a bouquet of lily of the valley.   Mountbatten wrote - "the bride was dressed in white satin, edged with white mink, falling behind her in a shining river" and that there was "hardly room for me [sic. Mountbatten] in the car".  

 

Pamela was attended by five bridesmaids - Princess Anne, later The Princess Royal (b.1950); Princess Clarissa of Hesse (b.1944) and Princess Friederike of Hesse (b.1954), the daughters of Princess Sophie of Greece & Denmark, later Princess George William of Hanover (1914-2003) - the sister of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021); Miss Victoria Marten (b.1950), the granddaughter of The Rt Hon. Sir Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 9th Earl of Shaftesbury (1869-1961) and a god-daughter of Pamela; The Hon. (later Lady) Joanna Knatchbull (b.1955), Pamela's niece, the daughter of the best-man - John, 7th Lord Brabourne (1924-2005), Pamela's brother-in-law.  According to "The New York Times" "… it was the most elegant wedding this country has seen since the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, was married in Westminster Abbey nearly thirteen years ago.''   The wedding also marked a memorable moment for a young Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948) - then only 11yrs, he publicly wore his first pair of long trousers!

    

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Pamela & David Hicks at their reception at Crosfield Hall, Romsey
following their wedding in January 1960 - with their 'Broadlands' cake 
(left to right) Pamela; David Hicks; John, 7th Lord Brabourne;
Princess Anne (later The Princess Royal); Edwina,
Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales & Mountbatten

 

The formal reception was held at Broadlands, with a smaller reception for tenants and staff at Crosfield Hall, Romsey. Following the wedding, Pamela became styled 'The Lady Pamela Hicks'.  At the wedding it was commented by many of Mountbatten's close family that Edwina was looking happy and well, despite her recent health concerns.  However, few knew the truth as in reality, Edwina was far from well.  However after the wedding, Mountbatten did say to Pamela - "Mummy radiated a sort of ethereal beauty and happiness and youth..."  but sadly the happiness of this family gathering would soon be cut short. 

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David Hicks & Pamela
following their wedding
at Romsey Abbey
in January 1960

 

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Pamela following
her wedding
at Romsey Abbey
in January 1960

 

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ABOVE: Pamela
& David Hicks at
the reception following their wedding talking to a young
Prince Charles,
The Prince of Wales

LEFT: Edwina
holding the hand of a young
Prince Charles,
The Prince of Wales
following Pamela
and David Hicks' wedding
in January 1960.
Edwina was in the
last few weeks
of her life - she died
one month later 

 

 

Pamela’s wedding was the last family occasion before the untimely death of Edwina, her mother who died on 21st February 1960 whilst on a tour in North Borneo on behalf of both the St John’s Ambulance Brigade - of which she was its Superintendent-in-Chief, and the Save the Children Fund, of which she was its President.  Pamela was only informed of her mother’s death on her return from her honeymoon at Heathrow Airport in the VIP Lounge.  She and her husband were told the sad news by her brother-in-law, John, 7th Lord Brabourne, and were taken direct to Mountbatten at his home in Wilton Crescent, Belgravia, London.

 

David's interior design career progressed throughout the 60s and his clientele were the social elite of the day from aristocrats to media and film celebrities.  He designed the new private apartment at Buckingham Palace for Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948) and designed carpets for Windsor Castle.  His bold use of colour and geometric shapes became the height of fashion and style and was admired by many and of course copied by other interior designers.  It was said of David - "his greatest contribution... has been to show people how to use bold colour mixtures, how to use patterned carpets, how to light rooms and how to mix old with new." However, David was artistically

temperamental, a snob, glorified in his Royal connections and was often difficult, argumentative but his genius in design shone through.

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ABOVE: Pamela & David in 1960

INSET & LEFT:
David Hicks

 

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BELOW: At the theatre for a fundraising for

the Sea Cadet Corps in April 1962 (left to right) David Hicks,

Pamela & Mountbatten