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 Norton, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma

 

Norton, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma

Norton Louis Philip Knatchbull, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma, 3rd Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, 3rd Lord Romsey, 8th Lord Brabourne & 17th Baronet of Mersham Hatch was born on 8th October 1947 at King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London.  He is the eldest son and of Patricia Edwina Victoria Knatchbull (née Mountbatten) 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma (1924-2017) and the late John Ulick Knatchbull, 7th Lord Brabourne (1924-2005). From Mountbatten's death in August 1979 until the death of his father in 2005 (when Norton succeeded to his father’s Barony) he was styled Lord Romsey.  He succeeded Patricia (his mother) as 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma upon her death in 2017.  

Norton is a god-son of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (b.1921) and Queen Louise of Sweden (1889-1965) and is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria (1819(1837-1901).  He is in the line of succession to the British Throne but despite his royal connections, he is not a member of the Royal Family.  Norton was educated at Gordonstoun, the boarding school in Moray, Scotland where many of his royal cousins have attended including Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (b.1921).

 

ABOVE: Patricia, Lady Brabourne,

later 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma (centre) surrounded by her children in 1959 (right to left) - Norton, Joanna, Amanda & Michael-John

TOP RIGHT: A short film (no audio) by Pathé of

Norton's christening in 1947

 

After studying at the University of Kent, Norton followed his father into film production and was location manager on his father’s film “Murder on the Orient Express” in 1974, with an all-star cast including Albert Finney (b.1936) and in “A Bridge Too Far” in 1977 - which was directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, later Lord Attenborough (1923-2014).  Later he was an associate producer in various productions including his father’s film “Death on the Nile” in 1978 and in the TV mini-serial “Quatermass” in 1979.

Norton married Miss Penelope 'Penny' Meredith Eastwood (b.1953) on 20th October 1979 at Romsey Abbey, Romsey - a few months after the assassination of his illustrious grandfather.  Miss Eastwood is the daughter of Reginald Eastwood (1912-1980), who founded the Angus Steakhouse restaurant chain. Although Norton was not with his grandfather on that fateful day in August 1979, the events were to change his life forever. His parents (who were seriously wounded in the explosion that killed Mountbatten) were forced to attend the wedding ceremony in wheelchairs. The best man at the wedding was Norton’s close friend (and cousin) - Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948). Due to the combined interest of Royalty and the events in Mullaghmore, the wedding certainly ensured a great deal of press attention with “Tatler” magazine listed the wedding in their top 100 most notable society weddings of the 20th Century. 

TOP: Prince Charles,

The Prince of Wales (left) accompanying Norton

(then Lord Romsey)

to Romsey Abbey for his marriage to

Miss Penelope Eastwood

 

RIGHT: Penelope

(then Lady Romsey)

on her wedding day 

 

TOP: Norton & Penelope - now Earl & Countess Mountbatten of Burma

 following their wedding at Romsey Abbey

ABOVE: The official family photograph of the wedding of Norton

(then Lord Romsey) & Miss Penelope Eastwood

 

Norton and Penelope have had three children -

 

  • The Hon. Nicholas Louis Charles Norton Knatchbull, Lord Brabourne, born 15th May 1981, at King's College Hospital, London - a god-son of  Prince Charles, The Prince of  Wales (b.1948)

 

  • The Lady Alexandra Victoria Edwina Diana Hooper (née Knatchbull), born 5th December 1982 at King's College Hospital, London - a god-daughter of the late Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), and from birth was styled The Honourable Alexandra Knatchbull until 2017 when her father succeeded to the Earldom

 

  • The Hon. Leonora Louise Marie Elizabeth Knatchbull, born 25th June 1986 at King's College Hospital, London.  She died 22nd October 1991 after a one-year battle against a kidney tumour at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, at the age  of 5yrs.  She was buried on 26th October 1991 at Broadlands and a small memorial service was held in the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, London. The Leonora Children's Cancer Fund was set up in her memory

 

ABOVE: Norton & Penelope, Lord & Lady Romsey

- now Earl & Countess Mountbatten of Burma

 following their wedding at Romsey Abbey

RIGHT: Norton & Penelope,

Lord & Lady Romsey

RIGHT: Norton & Penelope

with their children - Leonora

(sitting on her father's lap), Nicholas (seated front) and Alexandra

(seated right)

BELOW: The Knatchbull family

join members of the
Royal Family on the balcony

of Buckingham Palace

for Trooping the Colour in 1991.

Leonora Knatchbull (in red)

is standing next to

Diana, Princess of Wales. 

Prince Andrew, The Duke of York

is crouching at the front left

with his daughter -

Princess Beatrice (centre)

 

ABOVE:  A newspaper report about the funeral of

The Hon. Leonora Knatchbull

 

LEFT: a distressed Diana, Princess of Wales

looking on from her car following Leonora's funeral

Friends of Norton and Penelope now believe that Leonora's death is part of the reason Penelope took on the challenge of running Broadlands after her husband left her.  One friend told the Daily Express newspaper - 

“Norton was uneasy about putting her grave there because he feared it would mean they would never get over the death of the little girl they loved so much... But Penny insisted. She wanted Leonora to be where she could always see her and be with her.  So she will never leave Broadlands, never.”