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Lord Mountbatten took the Duchess of Argyll out for an ice cream

The day Lord Mountbatten took A Very British Scandal’s the Duchess of Argyll out for an ice cream and a drive… then hit the brakes so she smeared the cone on her face! Daughter Lady Pamela recalls her father’s ‘schoolboy’ prank

  • Lord Louis Mountbatten took society swan Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, out for a drive, his daughter Lady Pamela Hicks, 92, has revealed 
  • Margaret, a great beauty of her age, wanted an ice cream and he took her
  • On the way back he played a ‘childish’ prank and hit the brakes so Margaret’s cone hit her face, leaving her covered in ice cream
  • Margaret, whose story was told in A Very British Scandal, never saw him again 

She was one of the great beauties of her age who was courted by princes and millionaires

And it has been revealed Margaret, the Duchess of Argyll, whose notorious divorce was brought to life in A Very British Scandal, also caught the eye of Prince Philip’s uncle, Earl Mountbatten of Burma. 

Lord Mountbatten’s daughter, Lady Pamela Hicks, 92, has shared how her father, known affectionately as ‘Dickie’, once took the society beauty out for a drive and an ice cream, only to play a joke at her expense.


Margaret, the Duchess of Argyll, whose notorious divorce was brought to life in A Very British Scandal, caught the eye of Prince Philip’s uncle, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, it has been revealed. Lord Mountbatten (left) took the society swan (right) for a drive and an ice cream

It is not known when their rendezvous took place but it is thought Lord Mountbatten was married at the time. 

Mountbatten, who was 12 years Margaret’s senior, would have crossed paths with the debutante at society events. 

‘She was not likable but she had been as a young girl very beautiful,’ Lady Pamela recalled of Margaret, in an Instagram video shared by her daughter India Hicks.

‘My papa [Louis Mountbatten] took her for a drive in the car because she was so pretty. She wanted an ice cream but she bought her a cornet. 

‘He was so young, he had that terrible schoolboy sense of humour and while she was putting the cornet to her face, he put the brake on. 

‘That beautiful face was covered in ice cream. Of course she never spoke to him again!’

Lord Mountbatten’s daughter, Lady Pamela Hicks, 92, has shared how her father, known affectionately as ‘Dickie’, once took the society beauty out for a drive and an ice cream, only to play a joke at her expense. She told the story in a video (above) shared by her daughter India

Born in 1912, the only child of a self-made Scottish millionaire, Margaret was a great beauty of her age, welcoming playwright Noel Coward, actor Cary Grant and oil tycoon J Paul Getty, among others, to her Mayfair home.

She was just 15 when the future movie star David Niven, two years her senior, got her pregnant while holidaying on the Isle of Wight, after which her father sent her to a London nursing home for a secret termination. 

In 1951 Margaret wed Ian Douglas Campbell, the 11th Duke of Argyll, after meeting him on a train at Paris’s Gare du Nord station in 1949. He’d pursued her relentlessly, knowing she was rich while his own estate was worth nothing.

At the time he was married to her second wife. 

The couple are now best remembered for their notorious divorce case, which was brought to life by Claire Foy and Paul Bettany in BBC mini-series A Very British Scandal.    

The Duke and Duchess of Argyll are now best remembered for their notorious divorce case, which was brought to life by Claire Foy and Paul Bettany in A Very British Scandal (above)

Society scandal: The Duke of Argyll with his wife, Margaret, in April 1952, whom he met while married to his second wife. Margaret was considered one of the great beauties of her age

The Duke of Argyll went on to marry for a fourth time while Margaret remained alone until her death in 1993. 

Meanwhile Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who played an influential role in the life of his nephew, Prince Philip, and his great-nephew, Prince Charles. 

Charles referred to Lord Mountbatten as his Honorary Grandfather, and consulted him on matters both of state and of the heart.

Their close relationship was depicted in the hit Netflix series The Crown, where Lord Mountbatten was portrayed by Greg Wise (seasons 1 and 2) and Charles Dance (seasons 3 and 4). 

Lord Mountbatten married Edwina (above) and had two daughters, Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, who died in 2017, aged 93, and Lady Pamela

Lord Mountbatten married Edwina Ashley and had two daughters, Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, who died in 2017, aged 93, and Lady Pamela.

Edwina Mountbatten died of unknown causes in 1960, at the age of 58. Her husband, Louis, died in the 1979 IRA bombing that also claimed the life of his 14-year-old grandson Nicholas and Paul Maxwell, a 15-year-old crew member. 

Doreen, Dowager Lady Brabourne, the mother-in-law of his daughter Patricia, died from her injuries. 

Charles read the lesson at Lord Mountbatten’s funeral. 

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