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Who is Lady Pamela Hicks? The oldest member of the royal family since the death of Elizabeth II

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Elizabeth II died aged 96 on September 8, 2022. On that date, her cousin, Lady Pamela Hicks, became the oldest member of the royal family. Lady Pamela is 93 years old. She is both a distant cousin of Elizabeth II and a first cousin of Prince Philip, therefore twice a cousin of King Charles III.

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Queen Victoria’s oldest descendant is Lady Pamela Hicks

Queen Elizabeth II was Queen Victoria’s oldest descendant until her death on September 8, 2022, at age 96. Since her death, it is her cousin, Lady Pamela Mountbatten, known since her marriage as Lady Pamela Hicks, who is the eldest of all the descendants of Queen Victoria, known as the grandmother of Europe.

Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, who died in 1901, had 9 children, 42 grandchildren, 87 great-grandchildren and 142 great-great-grandchildren. Among the great-great-grandchildren, we found Queen Elizabeth II but also her husband, Prince Philip or, among others, King Harald V of Norway, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Queen Sofia of Spain and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Elizabeth II was the oldest great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, while the youngest is Elisabeth Ramsay, born in 1962, a descendant by Prince Arthur.

Lady Pamela Hicks (93) is the oldest of all of Queen Victoria’s descendants since the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Pictured here at the funeral of her older sister, the 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, in 2017 (Photo: Mark Stewart/Camera Press/ISOPIX)

Lady Pamela Mountbatten was born in 1929 and is now Queen Victoria’s eldest descendant. She is the second daughter of Louis Mountbatten, Viceroy of India, who received the title of Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Louis was himself the second son of Prince Louis of Battenberg, who became Louis Mountbatten on his British naturalization, and who received the title of Marquess of Milford Haven. The title of Marquess of Milford Haven was passed down to his eldest son, George, and continues to pass through the senior branch. The title of Earl Mountbatten of Burma passed in the female line to Patricia Mountbatten, eldest daughter of the Viceroy of India and elder sister of Pamela.

Cousinship between the British Royal Family and Lady Pamela Mountbatten, wife Hicks (Image: Royal Histories)

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The Mountbattens at the head of the British royal family

Pamela Mountbatten, close to her royal cousins, was bridesmaid at the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, her first cousin. Pamela remained close to the couple and when Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952 she continued to be her lady-in-waiting. In 1960, Pamela married interior designer David Nightingale Hicks, with Princess Anne as maid of honor.

Wedding photo of Lady Pamela Mountbatten with David Hicks in 1960 with Princess Anne as bridesmaid (right) (Photo: Keystone Press / Alamy / Abacapress)

Lady Pamela and David Hicks had three children, Edwina, Ashley and India, born in 1961, 1963 and 1967. David Hicks died in 1998 of lung cancer. Since the death of Prince Philip in 2021, Lady Pamela is the last surviving great-grandchild of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom. Lady Pamela’s aunt was Louise Mountbatten, who was Queen of Sweden from 1950, when she married King Gustav VI Adolf, already widowed by his first wife, Margaret, herself a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Lady Pamela Hicks with her daughter, India Hicks, at their residence in Oxfordshire (Photo: Chloe Dewe Mathews/News Licensing/ABACAPRESS.COM)

The Mountbatten family is all the more highlighted since the death of Elizabeth II. In agnatic line, although the name of the royal house remains Windsor, the current dynasty since the reign of Charles III is that of Mountbatten, after the name chosen by the Duke of Edinburgh on his naturalisation. The descendants of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip who do not bear a title also bear the surname of Mountbatten-Windsor in the Civil Registry.

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The surname of Mountbatten is recent since it is a literal English translation of the German name of Battenberg which was chosen by Prince Louis of Battenberg during his British naturalization in 1917. The title of Prince of Battenberg is a title granted to the morganatic branch of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. The son of Grand Duke Ludwig II of Hesse married in 1851 Julia Hauke, a Polish countess, who was given the title of countess of Battenberg by her stepfather, a title that would be passed on to her children, because of the morganatic character of the wedding. Later, the title of Count of Battenberg was raised to the rank of Prince of Battenberg. Louis de Battenberg, one of the children of Prince Alexander of Hesse and Julia Hauke, was therefore born Count of Battenberg and then became Prince of Battenberg. Settled in the United Kingdom, he enlisted in the army and was naturalized British in 1917 as Louis Mountbatten, receiving in exchange the title of Marquess of Milford Haven. Louis had married Princess Victoria, one of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters. His brother Henri had married Princess Beatrice, one of Queen Victoria’s daughters. His daughter Alice married Prince Andrew of Greece and they are the parents of Prince Philip.

Princess Victoria of Hesse-Darmstad, who became Princess of Battenberg on her marriage, then Victoria Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford Haven in 1917. She is the grandmother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (Image: public domain)

Prince Philip, born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, chose the name Mountbatten from his maternal family when he was naturalized British before his marriage to Elizabeth, the daughter of King George VI. He also received the title of Duke of Edinburgh from his father-in-law, but he had to renounce his Greek royal titles and his position in the line of succession to the Greek throne.

King Charles III descends from the family of the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, who became Kings of Denmark (Image: Histoires Royales)

King Charles III is descended in male line from the Greek royal family, itself descended from a son of King Christian IX of Denmark, from the Glücksburg branch of the Schleswig-Holstein family. The British royal family, since September 8, 2022, is dynastically a younger branch of the family of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, itself a branch of the former family of the counts of Oldenburg. Until the death of Elizabeth II, the British royal family was a branch of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family, ever since King Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria. From George 1st to Queen Victoria, the Hanover dynasty reigned over the country.

Nicholas Fontaine

Chief Editor

Nicolas Fontaine has been a freelance web editor since 2014. After having been a copywriter and author for numerous Belgian and French brands and media, he specialized in royalty news. Nicolas is now editor-in-chief of Histoires royales. [email protected]