The Diaries of Lord Louis Mountbatten 1920-1922 - Tours with the Prince of Wales
The Diaries of Lord Louis Mountbatten 1920-1922 - Tours with the Prince of Wales
Mountbatten, Louis and Ziegler, Philip (editor)
In March 1920 Louis Mountbatten, an ambitious and eager naval officer aged nineteen, accompanied his cousin the Prince of Wales on a royal tour of New Zealand and Australia. Officially he was Flag Lieutenant to the Prince's Chief of Staff, Admiral Halsey, but his real role was that of minder and confidant to his moody and often tiresome cousin. He was asked to keep an informal diary recording the more private side of the tour, and did so with gusto, describing in ribald and often libellous detail the various contretemps and confusions that occurred behind the scenes of what was outwardly a decorous and well-organized affair. Its comments about some of the more prominent personalities in New Zealand and Australia were particularly forthright, and would have caused great embarrassment if published - a remote possibility which became alarmingly real when the ship's doctor absconded with one of the twenty copies and tried to sell it to an American journalist for £5000. In 1921 there followes a tour of India and Japan. This time Mountbatten's diary was strictly for family consumption and therefore fuller and more personal. It provides a vivid account of life in British India and among the maharajas at the highest possible level, yet also paints a most revealing portrait of the Prince of Wales, with all his charm and desire to please, yet with the weaknesses also apparent. The visit to Japan, because the background is less well known, is also of especial interest. Whether catching duck with a butterfly net, ordering a kimono for his fiancee, or sneaking a look at a new Japanese battleship, Mountbatten is unfailingly observant, interested and amused...
Second hand Hardback