Daughter of Empire: My Life as a Mountbatten

Written by Lady Pamela Hicks
Review by Lucy Bertoldi

Lady Pamela Hicks is a well-known British aristocrat with a bloodline stemming from Queen Victoria, who was her great-great-grandmother. Prince Philip (married to Elisabeth II) is her first cousin, and what could be more fascinating than having had the Tsarina Alexandra as her great-aunt? In her memoir, she sheds light on events and notable historical figures of the 20th century and earlier in recounting the first 30 years of her life as Pamela Mountbatten (her maiden name). Royalty lovers will relish getting a close look at what it was like taking part in Queen Elizabeth II’s (“Lisbeth”) life as her lady-in-waiting.

Despite family dysfunction (both her parents openly took lovers – especially her mother), Pamela seems well-rounded, unpretentious and appreciative of her good fortune. Traveling and relocating continuously due to imminent war or charitable works, the Mountbattens saw the world and mingled within the highest ranks, opening Pamela’s mind to the diversity and acceptance of other cultures. Refreshingly, Daughter of Empire presents no stale, boring factual details. Instead, we read about a life filled with celebrity-like happenings delivered with impeccable taste. Revealing, yet properly reserved.