Orders & Decorations
It is well documented that Mountbatten had a great personal pleasure from accepting honours and decorations, or wearing as many of them as possible at every event and function where appropriate and often when not appropriate. An example of this was the wedding of Princess Margaret (1930-2002) to Sir Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon (1930-2017) when he wore full dress uniform of an Admiral, despite all the other guests wearing morning dress. Frequently Mountbatten would accept foreign honours despite being told by UK Government Ministers not to and he would circumnavigate the usual official channels by going direct to Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952- ) rather than taking instructions from bureaucrats within the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Mountbatten's biographer - Philip Zeigler (b.1929) said - "Mountbatten collected decorations as others collect stamps" so it was no surprise when he attended the 1962 wedding of King Juan Carlos I of Spain (b.1938) to Princess Sofia of Greece & Denmark (b.1938) he expressed his pleasure of how bedecked with honours he was, saying - "it was everything and the kitchen stove today. Five British stars, Greek and Spanish stars, the collar of the Garter and three neck decorations." However he said - "I think I've inherited a certain weakness about dressing up. I come from a long line of dressers-up... I must confess it entertains me vastly to be dressed up and to have Orders and decorations. Except this: I want to have earned the uniform. I want to have earned the decoration. And then I'm very pleased to have it."
Although Mountbatten took his honours seriously, he did have a semi-joking rivalry with Field Marshal The Rt Hon Sir Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (1887-1976). Talking about his own medal ribbons, he once said that Montgomery would count Mountbatten's medals saying - "I don't know whether he thinks I've popped in one or two that I'm not entitled to, but he usually asks whether I've had any more lately" - however Montgomery did indeed have more medal ribbons! Prior to Mountbatten's death, he personally arranged how his various orders and decorations would be borne in his funeral procession. As was typical with him - even in death, Mountbatten organised every detail of his own self-importance and self-glorification.
Mountbatten with Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales
at the Coronation of King Birendra of Nepal in 1975
Mountbatten in the dress uniform
of an Admiral of the Fleet
Shown below are Mountbatten's principal UK honours and decorations, and some of the many foreign honours he received -