Daughter of Empire: Life As a Mountbatten
A source of inspiration for the film directed by Gurinder Chadha, releasing in March 2017, Viceroy's House – a magical memoir about coming of age in India, by the daughter of Lord Louis and Edwina Mountbatten.
“Imagine Downton Abbey meets Oscar Wilde. Now read Daughter of Empire: Life as a Mountbatten by Pamela Hicks, one of the most intimate accounts of turbulent domestic life in the shadow of world-altering events. . . . Two beautiful people, many continents, World War II, lots of distractions, and even more name-dropping. . . . What’s not to love?” – India Today
Pamela Mountbatten was born at the end of the 1920s into one of Britain's grandest families. The daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten and his glamorous wife Edwina Ashley, she was brought up by nannies and governesses as she was often parted from her parents as they dutifully carried out their public roles. A solitary child, she learned to occupy her days lost in a book, riding or playing with the family's animals (which included at different times a honey bear, chameleons, a bush baby, two wallabies, a lion, a mongoose and a coati mundi). Her parents' vast social circle included royalty, film stars, senior service officers, politicians and celebrities. Noel Coward invited Pamela to watch him filming; Douglas Fairbanks Jr. dropped in for tea and Churchill would call for 'a word with Dickie'.
After the war, Pamela truly came of age in India, while her parents were the Last Viceroy and Vicereine. This introduction to the country would start a life-long love affair with the people and the place.
· A source of inspiration for the forthcoming film VICEROY'S HOUSE (3 March 2017), directed by Gurinder Chadha (BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM), and starring Hugh Bonneville, Michael Gambon and Gillian Anderson.
· Reissued with a film tie-in cover.
· "Lady Pamela's page-turner of a life...an account of a childhood and adolescence spent amid grandeur and grandees...compelling." (The Wall Street Journal)
· "Fascinating, fizzy." (Harper's Bazaar)
· "Not many people remain who can tell stories like Lady Pamela Hicks...." (Vanity Fair)
· "The story of Lady Hicks, who lived the kind of life we think of as only existing in books and movies, with nannies, governesses and all the trappings of the English elite....Many fans of Downton Abbey will certainly enjoy it." (Kirkus Reviews)
· Full of insights into the lives and loves of not only the British aristocracy, but Hollywood stars and politicians.
· "Joyously entertaining...In what is arguably the poshest book that ever has or will be written, Hicks remembers it all with immense charm, wit, and brio, capturing a bygone world of country estates, glass cigarette holders kept in a petticoat pocket, sapphire-studded powder compacts, dials on bedroom doors turned to indicate when you'd like to be woken with tea and biscuits, and enough pets to populate an exotic zoo....entrancing." (The Daily Beast)
· “Lady Pamela’s memoir will appeal to those who like to take a peek into the lifestyles of the royal and famous. Underneath the glamour and glitz, this brief autobiography has a bit more substance, since Hicks was the daughter of Lady and Lord Mountbatten, cousin-in-law to Queen Elizabeth II, and an eyewitness to and a participant in some of the most momentous events of the twentieth century (especially from a British perspective). Of special note is her description of life in India during the transition to independence and her role as lady-in-waiting to the Queen during the royal world tour of 1954. Rather than exercising the 'poor little rich girl' approach popular with many emotionally neglected daughters of fortune, Hicks adopts a more sanguine tone, revelling in the rich texture of her life and experiences.” (Booklist)
· "Pamela Mountbatten has had a front row seat at many extraordinary historical events and, as this wonderfully entertaining memoir shows, the privilege has not been wasted on her. Her wry, intimate portraits of royals, politicians, and Hollywood stars are a joy to read." (Zoe Heller, journalist and novelist)
· "This is a book which will give pleasure to everyone who reads it." (Antonia Fraser, author)
· "A glance at court life from the Mountbatten perspective. . . . Lady Pamela's portrait of her upbringing by two remarkable parents is affectionate and spirited." (Daily Telegraph)
· “A jolly romp.” (Tatler)
· “A uniquely intimate glimpse of the Queen few really know. In this captivating memoir, her cousin reveals a playful and surprisingly emotional woman.” (Daily Mail)
· "Unsurprisingly, Pamela became one of the two ladies-in-waiting to accompany the Princess on her 1952 Commonwealth tour. Queen Mary told her: "You must remember that you will be "in-waiting" and so you are to call her "Princess Elizabeth" and "Ma'am" and never Lilibet. It was from that tour that Elizabeth returned as Queen, and Pamela's description of how the Princess learned of the death of her father, King George VI, is very moving." (Anne de Courcy, MAIL ON SUNDAY)
· "After India she writes as a participant of such well-known set-pieces as the current queen's wedding, her coronation and her first commonwealth tour. These are described with charm, geniality and a sense of humour." (David Gilmour, THE SPECTATOR)
· "There are also some touching behind-the-scenes glimpses of the Queen, to whom the writer was lady-in-waiting both before and after her coronation. She writes movingly of their tour of Kenya, when the message came that the king was dead. This devastating news had to be relayed to the new young queen, who received it with quiet dignity." (Jad Adams, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)
· "A memoir of an aristocratic upbringing and coming of age" (YOUR FAMILY TREE)
· "Lady Pamela Hicks recounts her life as a Mountbatten in this colourful and entertaining memoir. The daughter of heiress Edwina Ashley and Lord Louis Mountbatten, the former Lady in Waiting to our present Queen Elizabeth can trace her roots back to the 9th century and count two saints among her ancestors. Jam-packed with familiar characters from history, this is a wonderful tale of a life less ordinary" (FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE)
· Lady Pamela Hicks is a fascinating woman with a unique story – perfect for magazine coverage and radio.
· A blend of nostalgia for a lost world and a snapshot of a key moment in history.
· A wonderful evocation of a magical setting seen through the eyes of a child.