Queen ‘talked Lord Mounbatten out of 1968 plot to overthrow Labour government and oust Harold Wilson from Number 10’
- Lord Mountbatten nearly led coup during time of social unrest, new book claims
- After having word with the Queen, Mountbatten had a sudden change of heart
- He went from ‘prime mover in plan’ to claiming coup would be ‘rank treachery’
The Queen had to talk Lord Mountbatten out of leading a plot to overthrow a Labour government in 1968, according to a new book.
Lord Mountbatten, Prince Charles’ great uncle and mentor, came close to leading a group of industrialists, generals and tycoons in the coup to replace then Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
The plot was designed to replace the government with a coalition to unify the country in what Lord Mountbatten regarded as a time of national crisis.
Lord Mountbatten, Prince Charles’ great uncle and mentor, came close to leading a plot to overthrow the Labour government in 1968, according to a new book
The Queen had to step in and talk Mountbatten out of it, according to a new biography. She’s pictured in official portrait in 1968
Lord Mountbatten wanted to form a coalition and dethrone hen Prime Minister Harold Wilson (pictured)
It came at a time of increased trade union militancy, growing social unrest and economic decline.
With demonstrations in central London against the Vietnam war and an increasing number of worker strikes, sections of the elite began to believe society was disintegrating.
The thwarted coup is detailed in a new biography of Lord Mountbatten by British historian Andrew Lownie.
In the book, titled The Mountbattens: their Lives & Loves, Lownie reveals it took the intervention of the Queen to persuade him to cut his ties with the plotters.
On May 8, Lord Mountbatten hosted a meeting with plotters at his Belgravia home, to discuss what to do about the Wilson government.
Lord Mountbatten – who had previously been described as ‘a prime mover in the plan’ – had a change of heart.
The thwarted coup is detailed in a new biography of Lord Mountbatten (pictured with wife Edwina) by British historian Andrew Lownie
According to Lownie’s book, Mountbatten said the Queen was ‘desperately worried over the whole situation’ and described the coup as ‘rank treachery’.
The book, which is due to be published on Thursday, comes ahead of the 40th anniversary of Mountbatten’s death in 1979.
The royal was killed when the IRA blew up his yacht at his summer home, Classiebawn Castle, in Mullaghmore, a small seaside village in County Sligo, Ireland.