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 Return to the Royal Navy

For his services in India, on 28th October 1947, Mountbatten was created Earl Mountbatten of Burma & Baron Romsey and similar to his Viscountcy, the titles had a special remainder to enable his eldest daughter to succeed to ensure that the titles would not become extinct upon his death.  Once again, the London Gazette announced the honour (see below).

Whitehall, October 28, 1947


The King has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm, bearing date the 18th instant, to confer the dignity of a Baron and an Earl of the United Kingdom upon Rear Admiral The Right Honourable Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas, Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, KCB, DSO, by the name, style and title of BARON ROMSEY, of Romsey in the County of Southampton to hold to him and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten;  and in default of such issue with remainder to his eldest daughter Patricia Edwina Victoria, Baroness Brabourne, by the name, style and title of BARONESS ROMSEY, of Romsey in the County of Southampton and the heirs male of her body lawfully begotten; and in default of such issue to every other daughter lawfully begotten of the said Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas, Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, successively in order of seniority of age and priority of birth and to the heirs male of their bodies lawfully begotten; and EARL MOUNTBATTEN OF BURMA to hold to him and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten; and in default of such issue with remainder to his eldest daughter Patricia Edwina Victoria, Baroness Brabourne, by the name, style and title of COUNTESS MOUNTBATTEN OF BURMA and the heirs male of her body lawfully begotten;  and in default of such issue to every other daughter lawfully begotten of the said Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas, Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, successively in order of seniority of age and priority of birth and to the heirs male of their bodies lawfully begotten.

 

A Vice Admiral's pennant

Mountbatten was subsequently appointed in June 1950 as Fourth Sea Lord with responsibility for Supplies and Transport. Some felt that this post did not utilise Mountbatten’s talents, but upon taking office Mountbatten set to undo the appalling lack of resources and dis-organisation he had encountered in the Admiralty.  He also secured a pay review for the Armed Forces, which had been long overdue.  He told his eldest daughter Patricia - "what can one do to help the country in looking after stores, clothes and oil fuel.  And pay would only help if one had a free hand!"  Mountbatten tried to stay out of the limelight, fearing that his ambition would finally stop him gaining further promotion.  He even said - “as Fourth Sea Lord, I have such an unimportant job that no one could possibly feel jealous or think I was trying to throw my weight about.” 

 

Mountbatten - in the uniform of a Vice-Admiral

On return to the UK, there was intense speculation on the career path of the former 'Supremo' and Viceroy of India.  In October 1948, Mountbatten (who had reverted to the rank of a Rear Admiral) took command of the 1st Cruiser Squadron in Malta, hoisting his pennant on-board HMS Newcastle.  One of the conditions that Attlee had promised was that upon the conclusion of his term as Viceroy, Mountbatten could resume his Naval career.  However, this meant that he now was now under the command of officers who had served under him when he held the office of Supreme Allied Commander, SE Asia during World War II. 

 

In 1949, Mountbatten was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral and became second-in-command of the Mediterranean Fleet in April 1950, a post previously held by his father.  Admiral Sir Manley Power (1904-1981) said of Mountbatten -"Vice Admiral Mountbatten is most versatile and remarkable in ability and energy alike.  He is not a law unto himself as some suppose, but as great a subordinate as he is a leader.  Ambitious and perhaps impetuous, but not rash...  A tremendous asset to the service to which he is devoted."

 

Vice Admiral Mountbatten at Broadlands