Saturday, July 31, 2021

Fourth time is the charm for Nicholas Knatchbull

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 Nicholas Knatchbull has married his longtime fiance, Ambre Pouzet, reports the Daily Mail.   He does not use the courtesy title Baron Brabourne.

The civil wedding took place at Broadlands, the family estate is in Romsey, Hampshire.

Nicholas, 40, is the eldest child of the 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma and his wife, Penelope.  He has a younger sister, Lady Alexandra Hooper.   Lord and Lady Mountbatten's youngest child, Leonora, died from kidney cancer in  October 1991.

He is a godson of the Prince of Wales, whose late father, the Duke of Edinburgh, was Lord Mountbatten's godfather.   Lady Mountbatten is a close friend of the Queen and the late Prince Philip, with whom she shared a love of carriage driving.  She attended his funeral in April.

Nicholas is entitled to use the courtesy title, Baron Brabourne, even though Brabourne is a peerage in its own right.   Lord Mountbatten inherited the Mountbatten earldom from his mother, Patricia, the elder daughter of  Louis, the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and the Hon Edwina Ashley.  Lord Mountbatten, an uncle of the late Prince Philip, was the youngest of four children of Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine and Prince Louis of Battenberg.  He was born HSH Prince Louis of Battenberg, but in 1917, his father relinquished his German titles and was created Marquess of Milford Haven, Earl of Medina, and Viscount Alderney.  As a younger son of Marquess, Prince Louis' new style was Lord Louis Mountbatten.   

The family's surname was the anglicized version of Battenberg.    In 1946, Lord Louis was created Viscount Mountbatten of Burma.  A year later, King George VI bestowed the earldom on Louis with inheritance through his daughters and their male heirs.   His elder daughter, Patricia, who married John, 7th Baron Brabourne, succeeded her father following his assassination in August 1979.   Until Patricia became the 2nd Countess, her children were styled as Honourables as children of a Baron.  When she became second countess, her eldest son, the Hon. Norton Knatchbull was styled as Lord Romsey, the earldom's secondary title.  His children were styled as Hon. first name Knatchbull until 2005, when Lord  Romsey succeeded his father as the 8th Baron Brabourne.

 The Countess Mountbatten died in 2017.  Although Norton had inherited two peerages, he is styled by the senior peerage, the earldom.  Although no announcement was made after Patricia's death, it was assumed that Nicholas would be styled as Lord Brabourne rather than Lord Romsey although the courtesy title has been eschewed at this time.

There is a precedent for this.  Princess Maud, the younger daughter of Princess Louise, Princess Royal, and the 1st Duke of Fife, married Charles Carnegie, 11th Earl of Southesk (1893-1992).  Their only son, James, was styled as Lord Carnegie until February 26, 1959, when he succeeded his maternal aunt, HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught, Duchess of Fife, as the 3rd Duke of Fife.  This peerage's succession was vested in the two daughters of the first Duke of Fife and their male heirs.  Maud, who was Princess Arthur's younger sister, died in 1945.  Princess Arthur's only son, Alistair, 2nd Duke of Connaught, died in 1943.  He was unmarried.  His father died in 1992.  The Duke of Fife succeeded to his father's earldom, but it was decided that his son, Charles, the Earl of Macduff, would now use the style Earl of Southesk and his eldest son would have the courtesy title, Lord Carnegie.  

The Broadlands estate is not entailed, which means it is not automatically inherited by the new peer.  The house and estate may be inherited by Nicholas' younger sister, Lady Alexandra Hooper, the mother of two sons, or other descendants of the late 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

Lord and Lady Mountbatten have been separated since 2010 when the then Lord Romsey left his wife and marital home to live in the Bahamas with his new love, Jeannie,  Lady Nuttall.  This relationship ended in 2011, and Lord Brabourne returned to England.  

Lady Brabourne had taken over the running of the Broadlands estate and did not allow her husband to live in the house.  He moved into a converted barn on the estate. 

Nicholas abused drugs from an early age.  He was 18 years old when he was caught with possession of cannabis and ecstasy  In May 2001, newspapers reported that Nicholas had been sent abroad to a rehab center.   His family was "very supportive at a very difficult time," reported the Daily Mail.

He underwent treatment twice for drug addiction at the Cottonwood center in Tucson, Arizona, and was also an inpatient Farm Place Clinic in Surrey and the Stepping Stones Addiction Centre in South Africa.  When he was 22, Nicholas was "sectioned under the Mental Health Act for his own safety after he "disappeared" from the Priory clinic where he was being treated for addictions to LSD, cocaine, and ketamine.

In 2002, there were several reports that then Lord Romsey (Nicholas father) had set up a trust to protect Broadlands, just as the late Duke of Marlborough had done in 1994 when his son and heir, George, the Marquess of Blandford, was battling drug addiction.  The Duke died in 2014.  It was reported at the time that "the Palace will remain under the control of trustees" but the new Duke could become one of the trustees.  

The decision to protect the Broadlands estate was made in 2001 when Norton obtained his son's power of attorney.  He made it clear that Nicholas could inherit the estate only if he made "his own way on the world and comes self-supporting."

In 2006 Nicholas was determined to win his battle with drugs and decided to enter the Stepping Stones clinic which was opened by Lord Spencer's first wife, Victoria.

Nicholas told friends "I have to get my life back."   But he found it difficult to give up his drug addiction, 

At the time of his 21st birthday, he was living in a one-room apartment, a crack den, in Southampton, where he binged on heroin and cocaine.  The Daily Mail broke this story, and shortly after publication,  Nicholas entered another rehab center, the Osea Island clinic,  for treatment.  A year later in November  2010, he was caught on video smoking crack cocaine.   This was three months after his father abandoned Broadlands for the Bahamas  Only days after Norton's departure,  Lady Brabourne took over the running of the Broadlands estate.

Nicholas's new wife, French-born Ambre Pouzet, 37,  was his fourth fiancee.  His three previous engagements,  Zeaphena Bradley, a single mother, Rahel " Raz" Tedros, a nurse, and musician Emma Chaing, all ended before the wedding ceremony.

Bradley and Nicholas broke up after 18 months in July 2012.  Three years later he proposed to  Raz Tedros and planned to marry in a "simple" wedding in August 2015.  Although Raz made "Nick very happy, " their wedding never took place. 

In the meantime, Lord Brabourne's relationship with Lady Nutall had ended, and was back at Broadlands, but his wife would not allow him to live in the main house.  He moved into a converted barn on the Broadlands estate.

In June 2016,  Lady Alexandra married Thomas Hooper.  She was given away by the Prince of Wales, as her father, was by then too ill to take part in the ceremony although he attended the wedding as did Nicholas.   

Two years earlier she succeeded her father as patron of the Mountbatten School in Romsey.

Nicholas's engagement to Emma Chaing was made public in August 2016 when Emma announced it on her Facebook page.    The engagement did not last long.  

It was in June 2018 that the British tabloids reported that Nicholas was now involved in a relationship with Ambre Pouzet (who used the name Ambre Saint-Clare), a performing mermaid in what is described as "mer-lesque" shows.

Nicholas, who has been drug-free for nearly 10 years, lives with his new wife in a cottage on the  Broadlands estate since their relationship was made public.   He works as a musician and a gardener.  Ambre no longer works as a mermaid and is now a behavioral therapist. 

I won't provide a link to the article because it has so many errors.  In one of the article's bullet headlines, Nicholas is described as 37.  The first paragraph describes him as 40, which is correct.  The fourth paragraph states "Nicolas' (sic) sister Alison's nuptials.  His sister's name is Alexandra.  It is Nicholas with an H. 

The article includes a photo of Lady Alexandra and Prince Charles as he walks her down the aisle.  She called Alison in the caption.

Harriet Johnstone is listed as the writer of the article, but she is not very good.  She writes Charles "has had a close relationship with the Knatchbull family since family childhood."  Well, duh.  Family, Harriet, family.  Charles' godmother was Patricia, the 2nd Countess of Mountbatten, who was Prince Philip's first cousin.  Lady Mountbatten was one of Queen Elizabeth II's childhood playmates.

The background information about the royals and the Knatchbulls is included in a sidebar for this article.  I think Johnston cut and paste information from Lady Alexandra's wedding because the next paragraph states:  "He was famously devoted to the 1st Earl Mountbatten - Alexandra's great-grandfather -Louis who had hoped the Prince would marry his granddaughter Amanda."    This same sentence is used as a caption for a photo of Charles and Lord Mountbatten.

Harriet, sweetie, the article is about Nicholas with an H ... not his sister, Lady Alexandra.

Lord Mountbatten was Charles' great-uncle and mentor.    

Several paragraphs later:  Lord Mountbatten's grandson is Norton Knatchbull, the bride Alexandra's father.  Oh, Harriet, Harriet, Harriet ... Alexandra got married in 2016.  This article is about her brother.  

Nicholas's father, Norton, is now the 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma.  

The final four paragraphs are awful.  "Meanwhile, Nicholas, a great-grandson of Earl Mountbatten of Burma and a godson of Prince Charles, is next in line to the prestigious Mountbatten title after his father.

[Nicholas' father is the Earl Mountbatten of Burma.  He is also Baron Brabourne but is not styled by this title because the earldom is higher in the peerage.  Nicholas should be styled as Lord Brabourne but has chosen not to use a courtesy title.]

"His father Lord Brabourne is the godson of the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles was his best man.

[This should read His father Lord Mountbatten is the godson of the Duke of Edinburgh.]

"Lord Brabourne is also Prince William's godfather, while Prince Charles was Lord Mountbatten's godson."

[Lord Mountbatten is also Prince William's godfather, but the late Earl was not one of Charles' godparents, although his daughter,  Lady Patricia (2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma), then styled as Lady Brabourne, was one of the godparents, along with Prince George of Greece, King George VI,  Princess Margaret, King Haakon VII of Norway and the Hon. David Bowes-Lyon.]

Harriet, it does not take a lot of time to check facts.  Stop being sloppy.


Barbara said...

Typical Daily Mail failures. Thank you for calling them out… not that it will help; I think they do not care.

Wendy Hunter said...

I almost said “you can’t make this stuff up”, but clearly you can! And by “you”, I mean the DM!