Death of Lord Louis Mountbatten: was Prince Charles’ mentor really killed in an attack?

It was one of the most anticipated series of the year. Since Sunday, December 15, fans of The Crown can discover season 4 of the series which traces the reign of Elizabeth II, during pivotal periods in her life. From now on, it is at the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s that the writers take us, in the middle of the Margaret Thatcher era and during Lady Diana’s debut among the Windsors. And it is impossible for them not to relate a terrible drama in the royal family: the death of Lord Louis Mountbatten, played on screen by Charles Dance.

It is indeed from the first episode that fans of the series witness this tragic event which marked Prince Philip, of whom he was the maternal uncle, but also Prince Charles, while he was for the Crown Prince. a true mentor. Staged during an attack, did this tragedy unfold in this way? If Buckingham Palace regularly cries out for the inaccuracy of certain scenes of the series, it is in all respects true. It was on August 27, 1979 at the age of 79 that Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed in Donegal Bay in Ireland when his boat exploded while he was out at sea with several members of his family.

An attack that left four dead and three seriously injured

In this explosion, caused by a 23-kilogram remote-controlled bomb that was triggered remotely after being placed near the boat’s engine, also perished Louis Mountbatten’s grandson, Nicholas Knatchbull, aged 14, as well as a young boy from County Fermanagh, Paul Maxwell aged 15. His eldest daughter Lady Patricia, her husband John Knatchbull and their second son Timothy, twin brother of Nicholas, are seriously injured, while Lady Brabourne, mother of John Knatchbull, dies the day after the attack as a result of his injuries. An attack claimed by the IRA (Irish Republican Army, ed), which at the time was campaigning for the independence of Northern Ireland from the monarchy of the United Kingdom.

If this attack primarily targeted Elizabeth II by attacking one of her relatives, Lord Louis Mountbatten proved to be a privileged target for the IRA, since he regularly stayed in his Classiebawn Castle, in Ireland from North. An attack probably also motivated against him by his great military past, which was claimed as revenge in Bloody Sunday, a killing that occurred in 1972 in Derry, where 14 people were killed by the British army during a march for the Northern Irish Association for Civil Rights. In response to Lord Mountbatten’s death, Margaret Thatcher implemented a more inflexible policy of repression than ever against members of the IRA.

Prince Philip and his uncle Louis Mountbatten © Agence

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