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Sir John Ulick KNATCHBULL, Bt., CBE, 7th Lord Brabourne - was born on 9th November 1924 in Bombay, a year after his father (Sir Michael Knatchbull, Bt., GCSI, GCIE, MC, 5th Lord Brabourne) was appointed Governor of the city. In 1938, John’s father spent four months as Acting Viceroy & Governor-General of India, and subsequently became Governor of Bengal until his death in 1940. Until he was 10 years old, John spoke Hindi as fluently as English and he was sent to England to be educated at Eton, followed by Oxford and during the latter part of World War II, he was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards.


John Knatchbull,

7th Lord Brabourne

In 1943, John’s elder brother (Lieutenant Sir Norton Knatchbull, Bt., 6th Lord Brabourne) was wounded and captured by the Nazis in Italy and became a prisoner of War.  On his way to the concentration camp, he tried to escape from the prison train but was recaptured and shot dead, and as a result, John succeeded to the title of Lord Brabourne and to the Baronetcy of Mersham Hatch in the County of Kent, which was created in 1641 for Sir Norton Knatchbull, MP (1602-1685).  He rose to the rank of Captain and fought in France.  He returned to India and soon became ADC to Mountbatten, who was Supreme Allied Commander (SE Asia). Whilst serving as ADC to Mountbatten, John met Patricia - Mountbatten’s eldest daughter, who was serving in Supreme Allied Command as a Third Officer in the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS).  John later stated that “he fell totally under her spell".


On 26th October 1946, at Romsey Abbey, John married Patricia Mountbatten.  The ceremony was the social event of the year, both King George VI (1895(1936-1952) and Queen Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1900-2002) attended the wedding, with Princess Elizabeth (and now Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952-    ), her sister - Princess Margaret (1930-2002) and cousin Princess Alexandra of Kent (now Princess Alexandra, The Hon. Lady Ogilvy (b.1936).  The wedding ceremony was probably more famous for the fact that Princess Elizabeth was seen publicly with Mountbatten’s nephew - Prince Philip of Greece & Denmark which sparked rumours of an engagement.


John, 7th Lord Brabourne

in his uniform as a Captain in the Coldstream Guards

John, 7th Lord Brabourne

Pg 1


Patricia & John,

7th Lord Brabourne

on their wedding day

John, 7th Lord Brabourne 2