A wonderfully intimate look into the life and work of India Hicks and her extraordinary family. In Season One we’re talking Movie Stars, Matadors and Maharajas as we have tea and cake with Lady Pamela, daughter of Lord and Lady Mountbatten and of course India’s much moved mum. Now in her 90s Lady Pamela’s stories will astound you; she’s first cousins with Prince Philip, travelled the world on the famous Commonwealth tour when Princess Elizabeth became Queen, befriended everyone from Grace Kelly to Gandhi and had a front row seat as her father, the last Viceroy of India, oversaw the complicated process of partition.Produced by Lisa Francesca Nand and edited by Alex George.
Lady Louis Mountbatten, mother to Lady Pamela, grandmother to India, was one of the most intriguing debutants of her day. As goddaughter of Edward VII and heiress to a vast fortune, she married Louis Mountbatten, great grandson of Queen Victoria, in 1922, cementing this powerful couple’s place in British society. In the first of two episodes Lady Pamela explores her mother’s glamorous years of parties and travels, before the war years and Vicereineship in India changed the course of her life.
India is joined by special guest, Tina Brown, award-winning journalist, author, founder of the Women in the World summits and former editor-in-chief of Tatler, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Awarded a CBE in 2007, she founded Women in the World in 2009 as a live platform for female leaders, CEO’s, celebrities, and global activists. Tina has popped in for tea with Lady Pamela and for this inspirational chat with India. Like we always say…there's no studio, no formalities just good conversation.
In the drawing room of Lady Pamela Hicks’ home in Oxfordshire Lady Pamela tells of living through some pretty extraordinary and now historic times. It’s just India, Lady Pamela and Lisa the producer; no studio, no formalities just conversation, tea and cake. In the last Viceroy’s House episode Lady Pamela recalls the sadness of saying goodbye to India, a country she had grown to love, leaving the many people who had become very dear to her and the family and their bittersweet arrival back home.
In the now very tense aftermath of partition Lady Pamela, along with her mother Lady Louis Mountbatten, are still supporting the refugees and Lord Mountbatten is working flat out. The political and social situation is very challenging and Gandhi starts his hunger strike. India, Lady Pamela and Lisa the producer have tea and cake in the drawing room in to another riveting account of Lady Pamela's memories. And yes we do talk about the friendship between Indian Prime Minister Nehru and Lady Edwina.
In the second Viceroy’s House episode Lady Pamela regales more incredible memories as a teenager in India when her father, Lord Mountbatten, was given what he knew was the ‘impossible job’ as the last Viceroy of India. In the now very tense build up to Indian partition 18 year old Lady Pamela and her mother Lady Louis Mountbatten are still working in the refugee camps, have become close friends with Gandhi and Prime Minister Nehru and witness some of the intense highs and lows of this challenging time
When her father, Lord Mountbatten was given what he knew was the ‘impossible job’ as Viceroy of India, Lady Pamela, still only 17, along with her mother, knuckled down to work. They spent time in the refugee camps, sat spellbound at meetings with Gandhi and Nehru and had a front row seat at one of the most challenging times in Indian and British history. Lady Pamela tells us, through the eyes of a teenager, what it was like to witness this extraordinary period in time.
A special episode on which India tells us of the traumatic events surrounding the hurricane in the Bahamas, the place she calls home, and how we can support these wonderful islands. Amongst many organisations offering support, we are highlighting the group first to deliver relief to those hit hardest by Hurricane Dorian, a team of private sector captains and medics dispatched immediately into those hard to reach areas. Please consider donating to their essential work.
The Commonwealth Tour resumes, this time for six whole months, with Lady Pamela as Lady in Waiting to the new Queen. In this episode we hear all about life on board the new Royal Yacht, Britannia, the thrilling adventures in far-flung corners of the Empire and the pressures on the Royals as they made their way around the world. Intriguingly enough, it all starts with a Lebanese boyfriend…
Lady Pamela is first cousins with Prince Philip and also grew up very close to her, albeit more distant family, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret and of course their parents the King and Queen. Lady Pamela tells how the Royal couple met and married and what it was like being on the famous Commonwealth Tour, including that poignant moment at Treetops in Kenya when Princess Elizabeth is told her father, the King, has passed away, and how Princess Elizabeth, still only 25, returned to the UK as Queen.
With Royals, ‘Subroyals’, Grand Dukes, Duchesses, Tsars and Tsarinas in the family, having Noel Coward, Grace Kelly, Wallis Simpson and Eisenhower visit was not so out of the ordinary. Lady Pamela tells stories of the grandmother she shares with Prince Philip, extraordinary other family members and some of the wonderful characters the Mountbattens called friends. What unusual gift did Wallis Simpson bring? Was the chef really a lion tamer? And what DO you do with a dead Indian Prince at the dining table
Like so many families the Mountbattens' lives were disrupted significantly in the Second World War with Lady's Pamela's father, Lord Mountbatten, missing after his ship was sunk. In this episode India and producer Lisa are transfixed by Lady Pamela’s account of being dispatched to New York to the house of the legendary Vanderbilts and the extraordinary time she had in their house next to Central Park whilst her parents, Lord and Lady Mountbatten, played key parts in the fight for Europe.
Imagine growing up in with a lion, a bear, a mongoose and a coatimundi. We’re having tea and cake with Lady Pamela Hicks, daughter of Lord and Lady Mountbatten and India Hicks' much loved mum. India and producer Lisa Francesca Nand hear about the exotic creatures that both terrified and tantalised the Mountbattens and their equally exotic visitors, the curious occasion when Lady Pamela and her sister were left for months on end in a random hotel outside Budapest and much more. Unmissable!
The family and friends who visited the Mountbattens during Lady Pamela's childhood read like a list of who's who in royalty, politics, high society, the world's greatest authors and artists and Hollywood's finest. Lady Pamela Hicks, India Hicks and their producer Lisa, listen as Lady Pamela regales astounding stories of Kings, Queens and lovers and the weird and wonderful life of growing up as a Mountbatten.
Produced by Lisa Francesca Nand and edited by Alex George.