The Crown season 4 is marking several major moments for the Royal family in the new episodes, including the death of Lord Mountbatten and its catastrophic effect.
An essential part of the inner circle of the Windsors, the Queen’s cousin, Lord Louie Mountbatten, first Earl Mountbatten of Burma, led a series of Royal duties and the British relationship within the Commonwealth.
As tragedy struck and he was killed, the Netflix series suggests that his death kickstarted a chain of events that changed history.
But how much of the series is real, and what actually happened that eventful day in 1979?
Was Charles really as close to ‘Uncle Dickie’ as the show portrays him to be?
Here is a brief rundown on the war hero’s life and influence on the monarchy, including how he died, who was to blame for his death, and what occurred as a result.
How did Lord Mountbatten die?
On August 27, 1979, Mountbatten and a number of friends were on a fishing trip off the coast of County Sligo, Ireland on his boat, Shadow V.
However, at around 11.30am, a bomb that was planted on the boat – which had been left unguarded – exploded.
Mountbatten initially survived the bombing, and was pulled from the water by local fishermen with severe injuries, which he shortly succumbed to. He was 79 years old.
Of the seven people on board, there were three other fatalities in the attack – Mountbatten’s 14-year-old grandson Nicholas Brabourne and 15-year-old Paul Maxwell, a local resident who was hired by the party as a boat boy for the day, died immediately.
Lady Doreen Brabourne died the next day in hospital, with the others sustaining serious injuries.
The IRA – Irish Republican Army – later claimed responsibility for the attack, and said in a statement it was to ‘bring to the attention of the English people the continuing occupation of our country’.
What happened as a result of the attack?
As well as the bombing of Mountbatten’s ship, a second attack was launched the same day, with 18 British soldiers being killed in an IRA ambush near the Irish border at Warrenpoint.
It also marked a heightening of a period of Northern Ireland history known as The Troubles – a 20-year civil conflict which launched a campaign aimed to drive British forces from Northern Ireland, allowing them to become a united and independent nation with the Republic of Ireland.
It was a conflict that would continue until the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.
Mountbatten did not consider himself at risk of any attack because of his age, and the fact he had retired – despite nearly being centre of assassination attempts before. In fact, it was his sentimental attachment to the family that made him the perfect target.
Having a particularly close relationship to Prince Charles, he had helped raise the heir to the throne as a mentor. He was also the last Viceroy of India, Chief of Defence staff, and hailed as a war hero.
In the family he was affectionately known as Uncle Dickie.
In response to the attack, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher declared the IRA a criminal organisation, and withdrew its rights as a political party.
In response, they went on hunger strike, with nationalist and member of Parliament, even dying from the strike in 1981.
In the weeks following Mountbatten’s assassination, Sinn Fein vice president Gerry Adams said that the reaction showed the hypocritical nature of the British, and added: ‘As a member of the House of Lords, Mountbatten was an emotional figure in both British and Irish politics.
‘What the IRA did to him is what Mountbatten had been doing all his life to other people; and with his war record I don’t think he could have objected to dying in what was clearly a war situation.
‘He knew the danger involved in coming to this country. In my opinion, the IRA achieved its objective: people started paying attention to what was happening in Ireland.’
Tommy McMahon, a member of the Provisional IRA, was charged with the attack and murder, and was sentenced to life in prison.
However, as part of the clauses of the Good Friday Agreement, he was released in August 1998.
The Crown season 4 is available now on Netflix.
Credit: Original article published here.