Mountbatten family

The Mountbatten family is a European dynasty originating as a cadet branch of the German princely Battenberg family. The name was adopted during World War I by family members residing in the United Kingdom due to rising anti-German sentiment amongst the British public. The name is a direct Anglicisation of the German Battenberg (literally Batten Mountain), a small town in Hesse. The title of count of Battenberg, later prince of Battenberg, was granted to a morganatic branch of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt, itself a cadet branch of the House of Hesse, in the mid 19th century.

House of Mountbatten
Noble family
Blazon: Quarterly, 1st and 4th: Azure, a Lion rampant double-queued Barry of ten Argent and Gules and ducaly crowned Or, within a Bordure compony of the second and third (Hesse); 2nd and 3rd: Argent, two pallets Sable (Battenberg).
Parent familyBattenberg
Place of originGrand Duchy of Hesse
Founded14 July 1917 (1917-07-14)
Current headGeorge, Marquess of Milford Haven
TitlesExtant titles:
Marquess of Milford Haven
Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Extinct titles:
Marquess of Carisbrooke
Connected membersLouis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Queen Louise of Sweden
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Connected familiesHouse of Windsor
House of Hesse
House of Glücksburg
House of Bernadotte
Cadet branchesMountbatten-Windsor
(by cognatic descent)

The family now includes the Marquesses of Milford Haven (and formerly the Marquesses of Carisbrooke), as well as the Earls Mountbatten of Burma. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, the consort of Queen Elizabeth II, adopted the surname of Mountbatten from his mother's family in 1947, although he is a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg by patrilineal descent. Lady Louise Mountbatten became Queen Consort of Sweden, after having married Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden.


The Mountbatten family are a branch of the German house of Battenberg. The Battenberg family was a morganatic branch of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt, rulers of the Grand Duchy of Hesse in Germany. The first member of the House of Battenberg was Julia Hauke, whose brother-in-law Grand Duke Louis III of Hesse created her Countess of Battenberg with the style Illustrious Highness in 1851, on the occasion of her morganatic marriage to Grand Duke Louis' brother Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine. Julia was elevated in her title to Princess of Battenberg with the style Serene Highness (HSH) in 1858.[1]

Two of Alexander and Julia's sons, Prince Henry of Battenberg and Prince Louis of Battenberg, became associated with the British Royal Family. Prince Henry married The Princess Beatrice, the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria. Prince Louis married Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, and became the First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy. Due to anti-German feelings prevalent in Britain during World War I, Prince Louis, his children, and his nephews (the living sons of Prince Henry), renounced their German titles and changed their name to the more English sounding Mountbatten. (They rejected an alternative translation, "Battenhill".)[2] Their cousin, George V compensated the princes with British peerages. Prince Louis became the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, while Prince Alexander, Prince Henry's eldest son, became the 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke.[1][3]


Marquesses of Milford Haven

The marquessate of Milford Haven was created in 1917 for Prince Louis of Battenberg, the former First Sea Lord, and a relation to the British Royal family. He was at the same time made Earl of Medina and Viscount Alderney, also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[3] Princess Alice of Battenberg never took the name Mountbatten as she married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark in 1903; her son, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, took the name upon becoming a naturalised British citizen.[4]

The heir apparent to the marquessate is the present holder's son Henry Mountbatten, Earl of Medina (b. 1991)

The 1st Marquess's youngest daughter, Lady Louise Mountbatten, married the crown prince of Sweden in 1923. On his accession in 1950 as Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, Louise became Queen consort of Sweden.[5][6]

Earls Mountbatten of Burma

Earl Mountbatten of Burma is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, created in 1947 for Rear Admiral Louis Mountbatten, 1st Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, youngest son of the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven and the last Viceroy of India. The letters patent creating the title specified the following special remainder to his daughters. The subsidiary titles of the Earldom are Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, of Romsey in the County of Southampton, created 1946, and Baron Romsey, of Romsey in the County of Southampton, created in 1947. Both of these titles, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, have the same special remainder as the Earldom.[7]

The heir apparent to the earldom is the present holder's son, Nicholas Knatchbull, Lord Brabourne (born 1981).

Marquess of Carisbrooke

Marquess of Carisbrooke was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, created in 1917 for Prince Alexander of Battenberg, eldest son of Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom and Prince Henry of Battenberg. He was made Viscount Launceston, in the County of Cornwall, and Earl of Berkhampsted at the same time, also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[3] The titles became extinct upon Lord Carisbrooke's death in 1960, as he had no sons.

His siblings were:

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the son of Princess Alice of Battenberg and grandson of the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, took the name Mountbatten when he became a naturalised British subject. Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten married Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King George VI of the United Kingdom, on 20 November 1947. In 1952, on the accession of his wife as Queen Elizabeth II, there was some dispute regarding the dynasty to which descendants of Elizabeth and Phillip would belong. Queen Mary (the new Queen's grandmother) expressed to Prime Minister Winston Churchill her aversion to the idea of the House of Mountbatten succeeding the House of Windsor as the royal dynasty.[4] Winston Churchill raised the matter in Parliament where it was decided that the name of the Royal House would remain Windsor, as decreed in perpetuity by Queen Mary's husband, King George V.[8]


Mountbatten-Windsor is the personal surname of some of the descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh under an Order in Council issued in 1960, which has not been applied consistently. While the Order specifically applies the surname "Mountbatten-Windsor" to Elizabeth's male-line descendants not holding Royal styles and titles, "Mountbatten-Windsor" has been formally used by some of her descendants who do hold Royal styles. The surname was first officially used by Princess Anne in 1973, in the wedding register for her marriage to Mark Phillips.[9] Prince William and his wife Catherine used the names "Monsieur et Madame Mountbatten-Windsor" when filing a French lawsuit against the French magazine Closer.[10][11] On 8 May 2019, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex announced the name of their son to be Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.[12]

Mountbatten-Windsor differs from the official name of the British Royal Family or Royal House, which remains Windsor. The adoption of the Mountbatten-Windsor surname applies only to members of the Royal Family who are descended from Elizabeth, and not, for example, to her cousins, or descendants of her sister, Princess Margaret.[9]


The city of Ottawa, Ontario, erected Mountbatten Avenue in memory of the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma. A Royal Canadian Sea Cadets corps, RCSCC No. 134 Admiral Mountbatten, was named after him in 1946.[13] A 9 ft 5 in (2.9 m) bronze statue by Franta Belsky of Lord Mountbatten of Burma was erected in 1983 outside the Foreign Office, overlooking Horse Guards Parade. The earl is dressed in the uniform of an Admiral of the Fleet.[14]

The Mountbatten Institute (formerly known as the Mountbatten Internship Programme), an organization based in New York and London dedicated to fostering work experience and cultural exchange by placing international graduate students abroad to earn postgraduate and degrees was set up by his eldest daughter, Patricia, 2nd Countess Mountbatten. It was named in honour of the countess's father, the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma.[15]

Despite the family's well-known connections with the Royal Navy, the Mount Batten Peninsula, overlooking the Royal Naval Base of Devonport, England, is not named after them but after Sir William Batten, a 17th-century Surveyor of the Navy.

Coats of arms

Family Tree

Genealogical Table of the Battenberg, Mountbatten and Mountbatten-Windsor Family

House of Hesse-DarmstadtHouse of Windsor(UK)House of Romanov(Russia)Greek Royal FamilySwedish Royal FamilySpanish Royal Family
Louis II
Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine,1830

Queen Victoria

Albert, Prince Consort

Prince Charles of Hesse and by the Rhine
Louis III
Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine,1848
Prince Alexander of Hesse and by the Rhine
Julia v. Hauke [lower-alpha 1]
Countess, later Princess of Battenberg

Empress Maria Alexandrovna
Emperor Alexander II of Russia
Edward VII

Princess Alice
Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom

Louis IV
Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine,1877
Prince Henry of Battenberg

Prince Louis of Battenberg[lower-alpha 2]

from 1917 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven
Prince Alexander of Battenberg
Prince of Bulgaria
Prince Francis Joseph of Battenberg
Emperor Alexander III of Russia
George V

Ernest Louis
Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine,1892 – abd 1918
Empress Alexandra of Russia
Emperor Nicholas II of Russia
son of Alexander III

from 1917 Alexander Mountbatten, Marquess of Carisbrooke
from 1917 Lord Leopold Mountbatten
Prince Maurice of Battenberg
Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg

Queen of Spain,1906 –1931
King Alfonso XIII of Spain
dep 1931
King George I of Greece,1863
King Constantine I of Greece,1913-17 & 1920-22
George V

Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse
Louis, Prince of Hesse and by Rhine
Princess Alice of Battenberg
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark
Louise Mountbatten
Queen of Sweden
King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
King, 1950

2nd Marquess of Milford Haven
Lord Louis Mountbatten[lower-alpha 3]

1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona
King Paul of Greece,1947
(1901– 1964))
Elizabeth II

Philip[lower-alpha 4]
Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten
David Mountbatten
3rd Marquess of Milford Haven
Patricia Knatchbull
2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma
m. John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne
Lady Pamela Hicks
King Juan Carlos I of Spain
King of Spain,1975-2014
King Sophia
King Constantine II of Greece,1964–73 & 1920-22
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

Anne, Princess Royal

Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
King, 1973
George Mountbatten
3rd Marquess of Milford Haven
Lord Ivar Mountbatten
Norton Knatchbull
3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma
6 others Felipe VI
King of Spain,2014
Crown Prince Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece


  1. This coat of arms is reported in the "Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe", by Jiri Louda and Michael Maclagan, Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. Publishers, New York, 1981, p216, table 109. While these arms are virtually the same as the city of Mainz, it is a common heraldic law that identical arms are allowed when the bearers are of different nations, but within a nation they are not (see for England, Warbelton v Gorges and Scrope v Grosvenor). However, Wikipedia reports a different set of arms for the family at the article on Hauke-Bosak (. However, these arms are for the family in Russia, and the reference given is an expired page in the Polish Wikipedia. There is no reference for the family seen in the Rietstap Armorial General.
  2. Admiral of the Fleet, RN
    First Sea Lord, RN (1912–14)
  3. Admiral of the Fleet, RN
    Chief of Combined Operations, Chiefs of Staff Committee (UK) and Combined Chiefs of Staff (US & UK) (1941–1943)
    Supreme Allied Commander,  South East Asia Command(1943–1946)
    Viceroy and Governor-General of India(1947)
    Governor-General of India(1947-48)
    Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet, RN (1952–1954)
    Fourth Sea Lord, RN (1950–1952)
    First Sea Lord, RN (1955-59)
    Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom) (1959–1965)
  4. Prince Philip was born a member of the Danish and Greek Royal House of Glucksborg and was known as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.
    On his marriage he became a naturalized British subject, disclaimed his Greek and Danish titles, and adopted his mother's maiden name of Mountbatten as his surname. As documented in the Mountbatten family and Mountbatten-Windsor articles, the dynastic name of the British Royal Family remains Windsor. However, the personal surname of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's descendants is Mountbatten-Windsor (e.g. Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor).
    Philip was created Duke of Edinburgh on his marriage. In 1957, Queen Elizabeth created him a British Prince.

See also


  1. Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (1973). Burke's Guide to the Royal Family. London: Burke's Peerage. pp. 303–304. ISBN 978-0220662226.
  2. Hough, Richard (1984). Louis and Victoria: The Family History of the Mountbattens. Second edition. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. p. 317. ISBN 0-297-78470-6.
  3. "No. 30374". The London Gazette. 9 November 1917. p. 11594.
  4. Bousfield, Arthur; Toffoli, Garry (2002). Fifty Years the Queen. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Dundurn Press. p. 101. ISBN 1550023608.
  5. Aronson, Theo (1973). Grandmama of Europe: the crowned descendants of Queen Victoria, Part 352. Cassell. ISBN 9781910198049.
  6. Judd, Denis (1976). Eclipse of kings: European monarchies in the twentieth century. Macdonald and Jane's. ISBN 9780685701195.
  7. "No. 44059". The London Gazette. 21 July 1966. p. 8227.
  8. "No. 30186". The London Gazette. 17 July 1917. p. 7119.
  9. "The Royal Family name". The British Monarchy. n.d. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  10. Lichfield, John (19 September 2012). "William and Kate win legal battle – but lose war to keep topless photos under wraps". Independent. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  11. "Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre referes Judgement de Refere Rendu le 18 Septembre 2012" (PDF). Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre. 18 September 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  12. "Royal baby: Duke and Duchess of Sussex name son Archie". BBC. 8 May 2019. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  13. "Mountbatten Avenue". National Inventory of Military Memorials. National Defence Canada. 16 April 2008. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015.
  14. Baker, Margaret (2002). Discovering London Statues and Monuments. Bucks, UK: Shore Publications Ltd. p. 20. ISBN 0747804958.
  15. "About Us". Mountbatten Institute. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.

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