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Who was Lord Louis Mountbatten? Find out everything you need to know about Prince Louis' namesake

Find out about his military career and death

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Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
2 May 2018
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Prince William and Kate Middleton's third child, Prince Louis Arthur Charles, is thought to be named after his great-grandfather Prince Philip's uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, but how much do you know about the man behind his namesake? Find out everything you need to know about Lord Mountbatten, from his impressive career to his family connections to the Queen as well as Prince Philip. Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten was known by his family as simply 'Dickie' and was born in Windsor in 1900 as the son of Prince Louis of Batternberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse.

lord mountbatten uniform© Photo: Getty Images

Lord Mountbatten was a military man

His own great grandmother was Queen Victoria, meaning that he was also the second cousin to Queen Elizabeth as well as uncle to Prince Philip. Lord Mountbatten was considered to be a father figure to Prince Philip, who had an unusual childhood after his family were exiled from Greece in the 1920s. He was also, incidentally, the one who first introduced Philip to a 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth after inviting the royal family to tour Dartmouth Royal Naval College. After Prince Philip denounced his title as the Prince of Greece in order to marry the then-Princess Elizabeth, he took his uncle's surname of 'Mountbatten' instead.

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He was a mentor to Prince Charles

He also become a close friend and mentor to Prince Philip's eldest son, Prince Charles. According to biographer Jonathan Dimbleby, the pair would call each other 'honorary grandfather' and 'honorary grandson'. One of Prince William's middle names is also Louis, which is thought to be after his father's mentor.

READ: Prince Louis' surprising connection to Emma Thompson's husband Greg Wise

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Lord Mountbatten as the last viceroy of British India

Military Career and Death

Lord Mountbatten was also a dedicated military man. After joining the Royal Navy in 1916, he served through both WWI and WWII. Specialising in communications, he was responsible for preparing for the invasion of occupied Europe, and became the supreme allied commander, South East Asia Command in 1943. In 1947, he became the viceroy of India to oversee the British withdrawal. He eventually became the chief of the defence staff until his retirement from the navy in 1965.

Lord Mountbatten was tragically killed in 1979. Aged 79-years-old, Louis and several members of his family, including his eldest daughter Patricia, his son-in-law John and their twin sons, Nicholas and Timothy, went lobster-potting and tuna fishing when the boat was exploded by a radio-controlled bomb. The IRA took responsibility for the attack that killed Louis, Nicholas, John's mother Lady Brabourne and a 15-year-old crew member, Paul Maxwell. The IRA released a statement following the attack which read: "The death of Mountbatten and the tributes paid to him will be seen in sharp contrast to the apathy of the British government and the English people to the deaths of over three hundred British soldiers, and the deaths of Irish men, women and children at the hands of their forces."

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The Queen dancing with Lord Mountbatten

Speaking about his death in 2015, Prince Charles said: "At the time, I could not imagine how we would come to terms with the anguish of such a deep loss since, for me, Lord Mountbatten represented the grandfather I never had. So it seemed as if the foundations of all that we held dear in life had been torn apart irreparably. Through this dreadful experience, though, I now understand in a profound way the agonies borne by so many others in these islands, of whatever faith, denomination or political tradition."

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