Thursday, June 15, 2017

The new Earl Mountbatten of Burma

Norton Louis Philip Knatchbull, the 8th Baron Brabourne, will officially be styled as the 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma, after his mother's funeral and burial.

He was born at London on October 8, 1947, the eldest child of Lady Patricia Mountbatten (elder daughter of Louis, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma) and John, the 7th Baron Brabourne.   He is married to Penelope Eastwood.

After the murder of his grandfather by the IRA in August 1979,  the Hon. Norton Knatchull became Lord Romsey, the secondary title for the Mountbatten earldom, which his mother succeeded to in her own right.   The earldom had a special remainder for Louis' two daughters and their male descendants.

Norton inherited the Broadlands estate from his grandfather, who had inherited it from his wife, the late Edwina Ashley, who died in 1960.  The estate is not entailed.

Lord Brabourne will most likely be styled as the Earl Mountbatten of Burma.  He will not cease to be be the Baron Brabourne, but the earldom is a higher peerage.  Both titles are in the peerage of the United Kingdom.

So what will happen to the Brabourne title.  Nothing.  Norton will remain as Baron Brabourne until his death, and both peerages, as well as the Knatchbull baronetcy, will pass to his only son, the Hon. Nicholas Knatchbull, 36.

The new earl may decide to have the Brabourne barony be his son's courtesy title, rather than Lord Romsey.   There is at least one precedent for this.

In 1959,  James George Alexander Bannerman Carnegie, who bore the courtesy title, Lord Carnegie, as heir to his father's earldom, the Earl of Southesk, succeeded his maternal aunt, Princess Arthur of Connaught, as the 3rd Duke of Fife.   He remained heir apparent to his father's earldom.

The Earl of Southesk died in 1992,  Shortly afterwards, the Duke of Fife announced that his son, Charles, then styled as the Earl of Macduff (secondary title for the Fife dukedom) would now be styled as Earl of Southesk.   The Duke remained the titular Earl of Southesk, but allowed his son to be styled as the earl (but not as the peer.)  This was due to the inheritance of the Southesk estates in Scotland.

Lord Southesk succeeded as the 4th Duke of Fife in 2015.  His eldest son, Charles, is now styled as the Earl of Southesk.

Thus it seems plausible that the new Earl will make a similar decision, and have Nicholas styled as Baron Brabourne, rather than Baron Romsey, as the courtesy title.

Nicholas is not married.  The order of succession for the Mountbatten earldom is:  the Hon. Michael-John Knatchbull (brother of Norton);  the Hon. Philip Knatchbull (brother of Norton);  Frederick Knatchbull; John Knatchbull (sons of Philip); the Hon. Timothy Knatchbull (brother of Norton); Milo Knatchbull; Ludovic Knatchbull (sons of Timothy) and Ashley Hicks, who is last in line.

There are other male heirs to the Brabourne barony after Ludovic Knatchbull.  These are the descendants of the Hon. Adrian Norton Knatchbull-Hugessen, the youngest son of the first Baron.

The new earl is a godson of the Duke of Edinburgh, and is one of the Duke of Cambridge's godparents.

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