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Scandal Pg 2

Edwina’s relationship with “Hutch” was brought to public prominence again in November 2008, when the UK’s Channel 4 broadcast a documentary on his life entitled “High Society’s Favourite Gigolo”.  The TV programme showed how that Edwina and “Hutch” were indeed lovers and how their relationship ultimately ruined his life - leading to social ostracism and the destruction of his professional career.  In 2013, a storyline in the successful ITV serial drama “Downton Abbey” echoed the Edwina/Hutchinson relationship, with the daughter of a peer secretly falling for a young handsome black jazz singer.


Edwina duly won the court case and “The People” newspaper printed a full apology, with Edwina refusing to seek damages.  Sometime later Edwina’s sister - The Hon. Mary Ashley, later Lady Delamere (1906-1986) confirmed that indeed Edwina had lied under oath and that she had been outraged at being forced to have lunch at Buckingham Palace with King George V (1865(1910-1936) and Queen Mary (1867-1953) the very day after the trial had concluded as an act of “fake” solidarity.  Edwina found the whole episode hypocritical, put a great strain on her marriage and never forgave the King and Queen.  


Despite affairs on both sides, Mountbatten seemed to be particularly unhappy with Edwina’s “on-off” relationship with “Hutch” and was reported to have said that - “if ever I catch that man Hutch, I’ll kill him.” In 1949, when the Mountbattens were leaving the fashionable Dorchester Hotel in London, they bumped into “Hutch” on his way in and embraced Edwina warmly.  When she introduced “Hutch” to Mountbatten and he replied “good God - I thought he was dead!” Sadly Hutchinson’s career did not survive and following his wife’s death in 1958, he struggled with worsening financial problems and was reduced to playing in tawdry clubs and sold the North London home in 1967, where he had lived since 1929.

Edwina, Countess Mountbatten of Burma


Leslie “Hutch” Hutchinson’s grave at Highgate Cemetary, London

On 18th August 1969, “Hutch” died virtually penniless (having lost his fortune gambling) at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, London from overwhelming pneumonia' at the age of 69.  He left just £1,949 and no will. Ironically - on the day of his burial (where only 42 people attended), the undertakers received a call from Mountbatten offering to pay for “Hutch”'s grave and tombstone in Highgate Cemetery, North London.

1936 - 1940