Happy Birthday to Lady Pamela Hicks, who turns 90 today! The younger daughter of Earl Mountbatten of Burma, a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, and the Hon. Edwina Ashley, she was born, quite suddenly, in Barcelona, with King Alfonso XIII of Spain (a cousin by marriage of her father) becoming her godfather, and was the first cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh and a niece of Queen Louise of Sweden. She grew up in England, stayed with Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt III at her residence in New York City during WWII, and accompanied her parents to India when they were appointed the last Viceroy and Vicereine of India (you can read about her experiences in India Remembered: A Personal Account of the Mountbattens During the Transfer of Power). After returning to Britain, Lady Pamela was appointed as a Lady-in-waiting to her cousin-in-law, Princess Elisabeth, for a tour in 1952. While in Kenya, the Royal party received news that the Princess’s father, King George VI, had died in London, and that the Princess was now Queen Elisabeth II. Lady Pamela recounts how when embracing the Princess, she realized that she was now Queen, and curtsied to her new sovereign. She later accompanied the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on the 6-month post-Coronation Commonwealth Tour, and was the Corps Commandant of the Girls’ Nautical Training Corps from 1952 to 1959. In 1960, Lady Pamela married noted interior decorator and designer David Nightingale Hicks at Romsey Abbey, near the family seat of Broadlands. The couple had three children, Edwina, Ashley, and India and remained happily married, residing at Britwell House and then The Grove, until his death in 1998. Lady Mountbatten passed away during their honeymoon, and Lord Mountbatten was assassinated by the IRA in 1979, during a family holiday in Ireland. In 2012, Lady Pamela published her memoirs ‘Daughter of Empire: Life as a Mountbatten’ chronicling her childhood, her time in India, and her time as lady-in-waiting to the Queen. I wish her a very Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns!