Today was the funeral of Patricia, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, who passed away a fortnight ago. Prince Philip’s cousin was laid to rest in the presence of The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and many members of the extended Royal Family.
The funeral took place at St Paul’s Church in Knightsbridge, with the Countess’ family, including her sister, Lady Pamela Hicks, her six children and grandchildren.
Her wicker coffin bore white floral tributes, and was carried in and out of the church by a bearer party made up of 12 members of Canadian regiment 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (known as the Patricias); the Countess had been their Colonel-in-Chief.
Patricia’s life was celebrated in a one-hour service, in which The Prince of Wales paid tribute to his godmother. Charles referred to her as his ‘very special’ godmother, who played an ‘extremely important’ part in his life. He said he would “miss her presence most dreadfully”. The Countess’ children read prayers.
The Countess had a varied life, including much charity work. The loss of her son – alongside her father and mother-in-law – in 1979 saw her found the Child Bereavement charity; 14-year-old twin Nicholas was killed by an IRA bomb whilst sailing off the coast of Sligo. Louis Mountbatten also died, with Patricia sustaining serious injuries in the blast.
The Samaritans and the NSPCC also enjoyed her patronage.
During the Second World War she was part of the Women’s Royal Naval Service, and met her husband, director Lord Brabourne in Sri Lanka. They were unique in that both held peerages in their own right – quite the power couple. Patricia had also worked as a Lady-in-Waiting to The Queen, and was a regular in royal documentaries.
Other Royals seen at the event were The Duke of York, The Countess of Wessex, Sir Timothy Laurence, The Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Alexandra, Lady Sarah Chatto and Lady Helen Taylor (daughter of The Duke and Duchess of Kent).
Her body will be buried in her home of Mersham, Kent.