Lord Mountbatten: Kincora child abuse allegations explained, death, who is he, was he gay - is he in The Crown

It’s the first time allegations again Lord Mountbatten have been taken into a court

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Legal action has been taken against a number of Northern Ireland institutions on allegations that Lord Mountbatten abused a boy at a notorious Belfast children’s home in the 1970s.

Former Kincora resident Arthur Smyth has renounced his anonymity to make the claims against the earl, King Charles III’s great uncle.

Smyth’s solicitor, Kevin Winters of KRW Law, said the legal action was being brought against multiple state bodies for negligence and breach of duty of care.

He said that he had filed a summons, which would be issued in the High Court of Northern Ireland on Tuesday (18 October).

“It’s the first time that someone has stepped forward to take allegations against Lord Mountbatten into a court,” said Winters. “That decision hasn’t been taken lightly.”

The Kincora home opened in May 1958 on Belfast's Upper Newtownards Road, close to Stormont's Parliament Buildings, and closed in October 1980 following a sex abuse scandal.

But who was Lord Mountbatten, and what connections did he have to the British royal family?

Here is everything you need to know.

Who was Lord Mountbatten?

Lord Mountbatten attending the wedding of the Marquess of Hamilton to Alexandra Anastasia ‘Sacha’ Phillips in London in1966 (Photo: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)Lord Mountbatten attending the wedding of the Marquess of Hamilton to Alexandra Anastasia ‘Sacha’ Phillips in London in1966 (Photo: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Lord Mountbatten attending the wedding of the Marquess of Hamilton to Alexandra Anastasia ‘Sacha’ Phillips in London in1966 (Photo: Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Lord Louis Mountbatten was a British naval officer, colonial administrator and a close relative of the British royal family.

The maternal uncle of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Lord Mountbatten served in the Royal Navy during both the First and Second World Wars. He commanded the British forces in South East Asia that recaptured Singapore and Burma (modern-day Myanmar) during the latter conflict.

Following the war, Lord Mountbatten was India’s last foreign governor. He was appointed in February 1947 to oversee India’s partition, but resigned in June 1948 when India amended its constitution.

He led the British Mediterranean navy after leaving India, and rose through the ranks to become First Sea Lord, before becoming Chief of the Defence Staff.

Mountbatten is also alleged to have taken part in a coup to depose Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the late 60s.

The great uncle of King Charles III, Mountbatten was said to be a strong influence in the upbringing of his grand-nephew and later served as a mentor figure to him.

Mountbatten advised the then Prince of Wales to enjoy his bachelorhood while he could, before marrying a young and naive girl to secure a solid married life, according to Penny Junor’s book The Firm : The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor.

Was he gay?

Ron Perks, Mountbatten's driver in 1948, claimed Mountbatten visited the Red House, an upmarket gay brothel in Malta frequented by naval personnel.

According to Andrew Lownie, a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the FBI had information on Mountbatten's alleged homosexuality, and in 2019, files became public that revealed the FBI was aware of allegations that Mountbatten was homosexual and a paedophile as early as the 1940s.

The FBI file began after he was appointed Supreme Allied Commander in Southeast Asia in 1944, and described Mountbatten and his wife Edwina as "persons of extremely low morals", and included a claim by American author Elizabeth, Baroness Decies that Mountbatten was a homosexual with a "perversion for young boys."

How did he die?

An attempt against Mountbatten’s life was allegedly made by the IRA in 1978, when a sniper tried to shoot the earl while he was aboard his yacht. Bad weather scuppered the plans.

The following year Lord Mountbatten and three others were killed when the IRA detonated a bomb on his boat at Mullaghmore in County Sligo.

The power of the detonation destroyed the boat, and Mountbatten’s legs were nearly entirely blown off. Mountbatten, 79 at the time, was dragged alive from the water by neighbouring fishermen, but died from his injuries before being brought to land.

The assassination sparked worldwide anger and condemnation. The Queen received letters of condolence from world leaders, including US President Jimmy Carter and Pope John Paul II, and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said Mountbatten’s death left”a gap that can never be filled.”

Is he featured in The Crown?

Lord Mountbatten won’t be featured in the upcoming fifth season of Netflix’s The Crown, since he died over a decade prior to the new series’ 1990s focus.

Besides, the penultimate season of the lavish historical drama already has enough controversy going for it.

But Mountbatten has been featured in previous series of the hit show. He was portrayed by Greg Wise in the first and second seasons, before Charles Dance took over the role in the third series to play an older Mountbatten.

Season 5 of The Crown will debut on Netflix on Wednesday 9 November 2022. As ever, all episodes will be available at once as part of a box set.