The daughter of the late Lord Mountbatten has revealed his battle to recover family heirlooms ‘taken by the former King Edward’, after he abdicated the throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
Speaking in a podcast launched by her daughter India Hicks, 51, who is Prince Charles’ goddaughter, Pamela Hicks, 90, claimed that her father Louis, who died in 1979, ‘battled endlessly to get Wallis to return the family treasures’.
Lord Mountbatten was uncle to Prince Philip, and the second cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II, whose father George VI took over the throne when Edward abdicated. Pamela’s is great-great-grandchild to the late Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1901.
According to Pamela, Edward, the Duke of Windsor took possessions including ‘beautiful jewelled boxes’ when he went into exile in France, and the family were unable to recover them.
The daughter of the late Lord Mountbatten, who is pictured in 1930, has revealed his battle to recover family heirlooms ‘taken by the former King Edward’, after he abdicated the throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson
Speaking in a podcast launched by her daughter India Hicks, 51, who is Prince Charles’ goddaughter, Pamela Hicks, 90, pictured, claimed that her father Louis, who died in 1979, ‘battled endlessly to get Wallis to return the family treasures
Speaking in the recent podcast, Pamela said: ‘When the Duke of Windsor abdicated and went into exile, he took as his private possessions some beautiful jewelled boxes that were his father’s and grandfather’s. He shouldn’t have grabbed those, they had become stage things.
‘My father battled endlessly to try to get Wallis to hand those back, but never succeeded, as by that time she had descended into dementia and had a terrible lawyer who ruled her life.’
Pamela also remembered the unusual gift brought to dinner by Wallis one day when she was a child.
According to Pamela, Edward, the Duke of Windsor, seen in the 1950s with American wife Wallis Simpson, took possessions including ‘beautiful jewelled boxes’ when he went into exile in France, and the family were unable to recover them
She said: ‘As is an American custom to bring a gift, Wallis brought a chicken from Fortnum and Mason, the Austrian pastry chef said: ‘What am I to do with a chicken for lunch for 20?’.
She added: ‘We never could decide what she was thinking of. It was always rather difficult to know what she was thinking of, accepting that when she relaxed and got married she was a marvelous host.’
Speaking about Wallis, she added that she was easily bored, explaining: ‘No she wasn’t fun, in fact the Duke of Windsor loved nothing more then when they were on endless holidays like New York or Paris.
‘When my father, Lord Mountbatten, rung him to say he was visiting Paris and ask to meet up, Edward would always ask him to come when Wallis was out, or else she was so bored’.
Pictured: American socialite Wallis Simpson (nee Bessie Wallis Warfield) (1896 – 1986) a week before King Edward VIII abdicated. She became Duchess of Windsor in June 1937 after her marriage to Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor
Pamela’s aristocrat daughter India Hicks, 51, who was a bridesmaid at the Prince’s wedding to Diana and is 678th in line to the throne, was born in London but moved to the Caribbean 23 years ago.
India, who launched a podcast this month, was raised in Lambeth, South London, before relocating to warmer climates with long term partner David Flint Wood in 1996, and welcoming their first child a year later.
The couple share the sprawling white-washed villa – which boasts a pool and sea views – with their sons Felix, 21, Amory, 19, Conrad, 16, and daughter Domino, 11– along with Wesley, 22, who she adopted when he was 15, after his mother – a Bahamian waitress- sadly died.
In a 2016 interview with Business Insider, India cited her grandmother – the last Vicereine of India Edwina Mountbatten- as her professional inspiration.
Pamela’s aristocrat daughter India Hicks, 51, left,who was a bridesmaid at the Prince’s wedding to Diana and is 678th in line to the throne, was born in London but moved to the Caribbean 23 years ago
Other quirky revelations from Pamela Hicks on the India Hicks podcast
Prince Philip’s cousin Pamela Hicks remembered how she would curtsy to the Queen alongside the Queen mother after she took part in Trooping The Colour, and how she would have to curtsy to her own great grandmother, Princess Victoria.
She said: ‘I remember it was a little awkward telling my little school friends when they came over for tea why I would curtsy and kiss my grandmother’s hand. They were rather thrown. Whenever you would kiss, you would do a curtsy. It was just the custom with what we called a sub royal – even if you were going to bed.’
Pamela also revealed how she would store cigarettes in pockets in the petticoats, located by the ankles.
Recalling her lavish childhood, Pamela told how she got a musical birthday cake for her sixth birthday, and once there was jelly around a goldfish bowl by her favourite chef, a lion tamer.
Pamela also spoke about Hollywood star and wife of Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Grace Kelly, spending a weekend at one of her family homes in England.
She said: ‘Grace Kelly came for a weekend at Broadlands and she was beautiful. She spent the whole time complaining that you couldn’t get coloured Kleenex in England. Pink Kleenex. My father was duly delighted when she said that she had as a schoolgirl a cut out photograph of him.’