Author Topic: Louis Battenberg & Edwina Ashley, Earl and Countess Mountbatten and family  (Read 28374 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline KarlandZita

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2587
  • Mama Regina Elena
    • View Profile
She was born in 1901, daughter of a conservative member of Parliament, the Baron Wilfred Ashley, and his wife Maude Cassel.

Her maternal grandfather was sir Ernest Cassel, one of the richest and most powerful men in Europe. When he died, in 1921, she inherited a part of his great fortune.

In 1920, she met for the first time Lord Louis Mountbatten and married him on 18 July 1922, in presence of the Royal Family of Great Britain.

They had two childs :

- Patricia, born in 1924,
- Pamela, born in 1929

Quicky, the couple was unhappy but had always make an effort for save appearances.

In the twenties and the mid-1930s, Lady Mountbatten, who had any idea of her whereabouts, lived a fashionable and privileged life.
But, during the World War II, she decided to consecrated her intelligence and energy to the service of others.

Later, in 1947, she had briefly been the last Vicereine before India's independence.

She is universally praised for her heroic efforts to relieve suffering during the Partition of the Punjab.

After her Viceroyalty in India, she continued to lead life of selfless service.

She died in 1960, in Borneo.
Reginei Mama Elena a Romaniei

Offline KarlandZita

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2587
  • Mama Regina Elena
    • View Profile

Little Edwina by Sargents


Edwina at the early 1920s


Engagement picture


Edwina in wedding dress, 18 July 1922


The young couple in 1923
Reginei Mama Elena a Romaniei

Offline Prince_Lieven

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6570
  • To Be Useful In All That I Do
    • View Profile
    • Edward III's Descendants
Ernest Cassel, her grandfather, was Edward VII's financial adviser. When the Queen Mother heard that Edwina was to be buried at sea, she remarked 'poor dear Edwina. She always did like to make a splash.'  ;)
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Offline grandduchessella

  • Global Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 13039
  • Getting Ready to Move to Europe :D
    • View Profile
    • Facebook page
I had posted this on the VMH thread in the Hesse section a long time ago:

Compiled this information of Edwina's pre-marriage life. It's a rather pathetic tale of parental disinterest and nomadic life, the only stability provided by her grandfather.
 
Part I

Sir Ernest Cassel’s (a close friend of Edward VII) daughter Maudie married Wilfrid Ashley. Their first child was Edwina followed 5 years later by a 2nd daughter. During this 2nd pregnancy, in  Feb 1906, Maudie went with her aunt to Biarritz. Maudie's pregnancy was not going well & Sir William Broadbent,  the former doctor to Queen Victoria, recommended that she leave England for a warmer climate. As Wilfrid, was spending most of his time in London, it was decided that Edwina should go to Brighton with her nurse. Sir Ernst soon went to check on his daughter and decided her health had improved to return to England. Maudie took up residence at a friend’s home, Stanmore, and was delivered of a 2nd daughter on 22 July 1906. She was called Ruth Mary Clarice but was known as Mary (and later she decided to be called Maria). Her birth was a difficult one and an incubator needed to be rushed from London.Edwina was delighted to have a sister and with the additional benefit of more contact with her mother as she recovered. They had a month together before Edwina was sent to visit relatives in Ireland while her father was off in Scotland. This shuffling became a bit of a pattern as Edwina was taken from one place to another. There wasn’t much to do with a young child in London and thus her parents didn’t choose to have her at their residence on Bruton St. She was therefore taken to Mrs Bisch (the owner of Stanmore) and her aunt, Mrs Cassel at The Warren House. Edwina had also had 2 cousins almost the same age as herself, Lady Dorothy and Lady Mary Ashley-Cooper, and she would often be taken there to play. Another place where she would be taken was Wherewell Priory (12 miles from Broadlands) where Edwina’s cousin Anna & her husband Col. "Teddy" Jenkins had a daughter, Marjorie, later Countess of Brecknock, who was 18 mos older than Edwina. The 2 played often and when Marjorie couldn’t accompany her parents to overseas stations, they shared governesses. Edwina spent part of each spring and winter at another home, The Grove, but this was more a ‘staging ground’ for her parents to come and go & for Edwina to journey to other relatives and friends and not a real home (though her grandfather was always bringing her pets). Unfortunately Edwina saw even less of her parents as they spent even less time with one another. Wilfrid was increasingly occupied in London with the House of Commons & off shooting or fishing when he wasn’t. Maudie preferred life at Stanmore and the rare times she did accompany him, Edwina & mary were left behind with the servants to act as playmates. In 1907, Edwina’s parents accompanied Sir Ernest on a 4 or 5 month tour of Egypt (and visited the darn on the Nile he had funded). Wilfrid soon went back to England as he didn’t like the heat while Maudie & Sir Ernest continued on to Italy and France. While in Biarritz, Edwina was summoned for the last 2 weeks of her mother’s stay and then accompanied Sir Ernest to his home, Villa Cassel, in Switzerland for a month. Her parents soon summoned her back where her life of shuffling between her parents and being left behind altogether continued—even being left behind when Wilfred’s father died. Upon his death, Wilfrid inherited Broadlands but was forced by financed to let out various other residences. Edwina & Mary took up residence there.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
Come visit on Pinterest--http://pinterest.com/lawrbk/

Offline grandduchessella

  • Global Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 13039
  • Getting Ready to Move to Europe :D
    • View Profile
    • Facebook page
Part 2

In the years of 1908-9 Edwina apparently spent only 12 total weeks with her mother. In 1909 she fell ill and returned to England (from warmer climates) in spring 1910. Edwina spent these weeks reading to her mother in the afternoon while Maudie lay in the garden on a day-bed.Maudie was moved to Broadlands in late May and as there was an election looming, the children followed their father to Blackpool, and then went on to stay with Sir Ernest for the. The girls returned to Broadlands in September but the stay wasn’t long and their father soon  took them to a hotel in Cleethorpes in October and on to Wherwell for November and December to cheer them up as their concern grew over their mother’s health. With winter approaching Sir Ernest moved Maudie from Broadlands to London, where she had plenty of nurses to look her her. Wilfrid was re-elected to Parliament and joined Maudie for Christmas, but the children stayed at Moulton Paddocks until the end of January, and from there onto a hotel in Bournemouth. Maudie died on the 5th of February 1911 and the children did not attend the funeral which was held at Romsey Abbey. Feeling more settled and living for most of her time at Broadlands with her sister, Edwina took it upon herself to be her sisters guardian.Wilfrid remarried to Molly Forbes-Sempill on the 28th of August 1914. Molly had only been divorced from her first husband for a few months. Molly asked the children to call her 'Madre' and they both took an instant dislike her, especially when she fired their longtime governess.  Unfortunately, they were often in her care as Wilfrid was frequently away due to WW1 and the children stayed at Broadlands. Mary went off to school in 1916, which left Edwina to be taught at Broadlands by herself. In 1916, she suffered an injury to her foot which required surgery and a long recuperative period which she spent with her grandfather and aunts/uncles. It was some time before Edwina, using surgical boots, was able to get around or begin to walk properly. In late 1916, both girls were sent away to The Links school at Eastbourne. Links was a small school of just 37 girls and was run by Miss Jane Potts (former governess to Alice Battenberg). In 1919 only Mary returned to The Links whilst Edwina attended Alde House, a domestic science training college . In 1920, Edwina went to work for her grandfather at Brook House. While at Cowes, during her ‘come out’ year she was introduced to Louis Mountbatten. The found a common ground in shared grief as Louis’s father and Edwina’s beloved grandfather died within weeks of each other in 1921. Sir Ernest left an estate estimated at around GBP 7.5 million, divided into 64 parts with Edwina being left 25 and jointly inherited Villa Cassel with Mary. During this time, Louis was in India with his cousin, the Prince of Wales, and he and Edwina exchanged daily letters so that there was a letter awaiting him in every port. Edwina went out to join him in India and he proposed. They were married in 1922 after his return with the Prince of Wales standing up for him. It was considered one of the main society events of that year.
 
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
Come visit on Pinterest--http://pinterest.com/lawrbk/

Prince_Christopher

  • Guest
I may have missed it somewhere, but I was wondering if Edwina had any suitors before Louis?  Anyone know?  

Prince_Christopher

  • Guest

Edwina and her mother


Edwina's father

B5218

  • Guest
Can anyone recommend a good reference regarding the relationship of the Mountbattens with Nehru?

Offline KarlandZita

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2587
  • Mama Regina Elena
    • View Profile



Edwina's mother died when the girl was only ten years old and her father, inconsolable to his wife's loss, didn't give her lot of affection. So, later, Ewina was a distant and not very affectionate mother with her two daughters Patricia and Pamela.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 02:43:02 PM by Svetabel »
Reginei Mama Elena a Romaniei

Offline royal_netherlands

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1078
    • View Profile

Prince_Christopher

  • Guest
I wonder who this photo was given to?  I must have been someone in the family, as Louis signed his nickname "Dickie."

I LOVE the portrait, royal_netherlands.  With the 4th of July coming up in the US, the portrait comes off as weirdly American, with Dickie's red, white, and blue, the stars of his orders and on the drapes behind the couple, and with Edwina glittering like a sparkler. :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Prince_Christopher »

Offline jehan

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 260
    • View Profile
Quote
-
Quicky, the couple was unhappy but had always make an effort for save appearances.


.


Were they really unhappy?  We can never know for sure, but I tend to think that they were reasonably devoted to each other.  Certainly Mountbatten was heartbroken at her death.

I would characterize the marriage as "stormy", rather than unhappy.  They had their time apart as well as together, and cetainly had their ups and downs.  It was also an "open relationship", meaning that both had other lovers, but that was not especially uncommon at the time for those in their situation.  I think that despite everything, it was a reasonably happy marriage- although of course I don't know for sure- but I think they stayed together for more than appearances and money- they had a stronger bond than that.
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in. 
(leonard Cohen)

Prince_Christopher

  • Guest
Quote
 They had their time apart as well as together, and cetainly had their ups and downs.  It was also an "open relationship", meaning that both had other lovers, but that was not especially uncommon at the time for those in their situation.  I think that despite everything, it was a reasonably happy marriage

I agree with you, Jehan, although I think the money did play a fairly big part in the marriage.  Edwina's money certainly made the marriage much smoother than it might have been otherwise, it enabled both to lead their own luxurious lives.  They helped each other out and were sort of good friends in my opinion, each was someone to come home to for the other.  

IMO, I don't think Edwina would have been seen as a suitable bride for Dickie without the large fortune.  She was a goldmine for the Battenbergs.  

However, I do think they made one of the most interesting and memorable royal couples.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Prince_Christopher »

Offline Gabriella

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 186
    • View Profile
Re: Louis Battenberg & Edwina Ashley, Earl and Countess Mountbatten and family
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2006, 01:57:36 PM »
Quote
 

 She was a goldmine for the Battenbergs.  


Indeed, Edwina was.

She supported many of her husband's poor relatives. As far as I know, she paid allowance to his sister, Princess Alice of Greece, and her family in the 1920's after they fled from Greece.

Also his uncle Franz-Joseph of Battenberg and his wife Anna were supported by her and got allowance.



Offline KarlandZita

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2587
  • Mama Regina Elena
    • View Profile
Re: Louis Battenberg & Edwina Ashley, Earl and Countess Mountbatten and family
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2009, 10:52:45 AM »
Edwina and baby Pamela, 1929 :

Reginei Mama Elena a Romaniei