Belfast Telegraph

Royal send off at funeral of Countess Mountbatten

By Tony Jones

The life of Countess Mountbatten of Burma was remembered at her funeral attended by the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and her godson, the Prince of Wales.

Charles gave a private address at the funeral service of Lord Mountbatten's daughter, a woman he has described in the past as his "very special godmother".

Born Patricia Mountbatten, the Countess was the Duke of Edinburgh's first cousin and was the daughter of Charles's beloved great-uncle, Earl Mountbatten.

The then Princess Elizabeth, her third cousin, was one of her bridesmaids at her wedding in 1946.

She died peacefully at her home in Mersham, Kent, on June 13, surrounded by her children who attended the service with their families.

The mourners arrived yesterday under heavy downpours with around 500 filling the pews of St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, where the vicar, the Reverend Alan Gyle, conducted the service. Among the group were the Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Tim Laurence and the Duke of York. Members of the royal party also include the Duchess of Gloucester, Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent.

The Countess's father Lord Mountbatten (below), her 14-year-old son Nicholas Knatchbull and her mother-in-law the Dowager Lady Brabourne were all murdered by the IRA in 1979 when their boat was blown up off the coast of Sligo.

The Countess, then known as Lady Brabourne, suffered serious injuries, but survived the blast, as did her husband Lord Brabourne and Nicholas's twin brother Timothy.

A local boat boy, 15-year-old Paul Maxwell, also died.

Lord Brabourne was the producer of films such as A Passage To India and Death On The Nile, and they had six surviving children who all attended the funeral.

The Countess once recalled how she cried every morning on waking for about six months after the IRA bomb attack.

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