Norton, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Penelope has successfully become one of the country’s premier carriage driving competitors. She shares this sport with her husband’s god-father - Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (b.1921) and they are often supporting each other at the Royal Windsor Horse Show held annually within the grounds of Windsor Castle which has often led to gossip and vicious and unfounded rumours about their friendship. As a private member of the family, both The Queen and The Duke have used Penelope to share their private thoughts and experiences - and they know that she can be trusted to keep such confidences.
Norton was actively involved in commercial radio from 1974. He was a director of Capital Radio until 1994, when it bought Southern Radio, of which he was a founder director. He was also a founder director of Radio Mercury and Ocean Sound, and subsequently acquired the largest stake in Southern Radio from Crown Communications Group - on whose board he had also served. He was a founder director and shareholder of Satellite Television - which subsequently became BSkyB. He was also a director and shareholder in Gullane Entertainment (formerly Britt Allcroft Group, of which he was the founding Chairman) and was also the Chairman of TV production company Alibi Communications.
Penelope & Norton
The christening of Prince William of Wales, later The Duke of Cambridge in 1982 -
back row - Princess Alexandra, The Hon. Lady Ogilvy; and Norton;
The Lady Susan Hussey (Baroness Hussey of North Bradley); Sir Laurens van der Post;
The Duchess of Westminster; front row (seated) - King Constantine II,
The King of the Hellenes; The Princess of Wales (holding baby Prince William)
& Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales
ABOVE: Penelope, Countess Mountbatten of Burma
in Stockholm 1996 for the 50th celebrations of
King Carl XVI Gustaf, The King of Sweden
BELOW: Penelope, Countess Mountbatten of Burma
at the Royal Windsor Horse Show
In 1982, to carry on the connection to the Mountbatten/Knatchbull Family with the Royal Family, Norton was asked to be one of the six god-parents of the future Sovereign - Prince William of Wales, later The Duke of Cambridge (b.1982), the eldest son of Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948) and The Princess of Wales, formerly The Lady Diana Spencer (1961-1997). The newly born Prince’s christening was held in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace on 4th August 1982, the 82nd birthday of the child’s great-grandmother - Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1900-2002).
On 9th March 1997, Norton joined the surviving god-parents of Prince William at his confirmation at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Sadly this was one of the last family events prior to the sudden and tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales in August 1997.
Penelope & Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh
sharing a joke whilst carriage driving
The Hon. (now The Lady) Alexandra Knatchbull (left) with her father Norton
(now 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma) wearing the robes of High Steward of Romsey
at Romsey Abbey, awaiting the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II in 2007
On 22nd September 2005, Norton’s father - John, 7th Lord Brabourne died at his home, Newhouse in Mersham, near Ashford, Kent and Norton succeeded as the 8th Baron Brabourne and to his father's Baronetcy.
The confirmation of Prince William of Wales,
later The Duke of Cambridge in 1982 -
back row - King Constantine II, The King of the Hellenes;
The Lady Susan Hussey
(Baroness Hussey of North Bradley);
Princess Alexandra, The Hon. Lady Ogilvy;
The Duchess of Westminster & Norton;
front row (seated) - Prince Henry of Wales
(later The Duke of Sussex);
Diana, Princess of Wales; Prince William
(later The Duke of Cambridge);
Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales & Queen Elizabeth II
ABOVE & BELOW: Queen Elizabeth II
at Romsey's 400th Charter celebrations
Like many of his illustrious ancestors - including Mountbatten (his grandfather), Norton held the ancient office of High Steward of Romsey - a post created under the Royal Charter of King James I & VI (1566(1603-1625) signed on 6th April 1607 “by His special grace” granting borough status to the small town of Romsey. Prior to the creation of a Corporation and Court of Law, the civil administration of the town had been run by the Lord of the Manor - the Mother Abbess. To celebrate his visit in 1607, the King planted some mulberry trees at Broadlands, which still survive to this day. On 8th June 2007, Norton, Penelope and their daughter The Hon. Alexandra Knatchbull welcomed Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952- ) and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (b.1921) to a service at Romsey Abbey to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Royal Charter. Following the service, the Royal couple planted some mulberry trees at Broadlands.