Daughter of Empire

My Life as a Mountbatten

By Pamela Hicks
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781476733814, 256pp.)

Publication Date: September 3, 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc, Compact Disc, MP3 CD, Paperback

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Description

A magical memoir about a singular childhood in England and India by the daughter of Lord Louis and Edwina Mountbatten

Few families can boast of not one but two saints among their ancestors, a great-aunt who was the last tsarina of Russia, a father who was Grace Kelly’s pinup, and a grandmother who was not only a princess but could also argue the finer points of naval law. Pamela Mountbatten entered a remarkable family when she was born at the very end of the Roaring Twenties.

As the younger daughter of the glamorous heiress Edwina Ashley and Lord Louis Mountbatten, Pamela spent much of her early life with her sister, nannies, and servants—and a menagerie that included, at different times, a bear, two wallabies, a mongoose, and a lion. Her parents each had lovers who lived openly with the family. The house was always full of guests like Sir Winston Churchill, Noël Coward, Douglas Fairbanks, and the Duchess of Windsor (who brought a cold cooked chicken as a hostess gift).

When World War II broke out, Lord Mountbatten was in command of HMS Kelly before being appointed chief of Combined Operations, and Pamela and her sister were sent to live on Fifth Avenue in New York City with Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt. In 1947, her parents were appointed to be the last viceroy and vicereine of India and oversee the transfer of power to an independent Indian government. Amid the turmoil of political change, Pamela worked with student leaders, developed warm friendships with Gandhi and Nehru, and witnessed both the joy of Independence Day and its terrible aftermath. Soon afterwards, she was a bridesmaid in Princess Elizabeth’s wedding to Prince Philip, and was a ladyin- waiting at the young princess’s side when she learned her father had died and she was queen.

Vivid and engaging, well-paced and superbly detailed, this witty, intimate memoir is an enchanting lens through which to view the early part of the twentieth century.




About the Author

Pamela Hicks is the daughter of Lord Louis and Edwina Mountbatten. She was Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen both when she was a princess and following her coronation. In 1960 she married the internationally celebrated designer David Hicks. She is the author of India Remembered and lives in Oxfordshire.




Praise For Daughter of Empire

"The story of Lady Hicks, who lived the kind of life we think of as only existing in books and movies, with nannies, governesses and all the trappings of the English elite....Many fans of Downton Abbey will certainly enjoy it."

"Pamela Mountbatten has had a front row seat at many extraordinary historical events and, as this wonderfully entertaining memoir shows, the privilege has not been wasted on her. Her wry, intimate portraits of royals, politicians, and Hollywood stars are a joy to read."
-Zoe Heller

"This is a book which will give pleasure to everyone who reads it."
-Antonia Fraser

"A glance at court life from the Mountbatten perspective. . . . Lady Pamela's portrait of her upbringing by two remarkable parents is affectionate and spirited."

"She writes . . . with charm, geniality and a sense of humor."

eoeA jolly romp.e

eoeA uniquely intimate glimpse of the Queen few really know. In this captivating memoir, her cousin reveals a playful and surprisingly emotional woman.e

eoeImagine Downton Abbey meets Oscar Wilde. Now read Daughter of Empire: Life as a Mountbatten by Pamela Hicks, one of the most intimate accounts of turbulent domestic life in the shadow of world-altering events. . . . Two beautiful people, many continents, World War II, lots of distractions, and even more name-dropping. . . .Whate(TM)s not to love?e

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