1 Member of the British Royal Family Was in an Open Marriage

The British royal family seems to be obsessed with marriage, so much so that many people have lived in misery after marrying the wrong person. While Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have been mostly lucky in their union, others like Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Princess Anne, and Princess Margaret struggled horribly in their marriages.

Until Princess Margaret divorced Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1978, there had been no royal divorce since King Henry VIII’s in 1540. Thankfully things have changed a great deal since then.

However, one royal family member opted for an open marriage, which allowed him to keep up appearances while living the life that he wanted.

First Sea Lord Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten, at his office in the Admiralty
First Sea Lord Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten, at his office in the Admiralty | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Lord Mountbatten was like a father to Prince Philip and Prince Charles

Following his mother’s hospitalization due to mental health issues, Prince Philip’s father abandoned his family to go live in the south of France with his mistresses. As a result, Philip was taken in by his uncle, Lord Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, aka Dickie.

Lord Mountbatten also happened to be Queen Elizabeth’s second cousin once removed. Prince Philip adopted the Mountbatten surname and Lord Mountbatten, a distinguished naval officer, was there to guide him and Prince Charles until he was assassinated in 1979 by the Irish Republican Army.

It is said that Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, named their youngest son, Prince Louis, after Lord Mountbatten.

RELATED: Dark Secrets You Never Knew About Prince Philip’s Life

Lord Mountbatten’s sexuality has been called into question.

Historian Andrew Lownie has maintained that the FBI has files on Mountbatten’s alleged homosexuality. Lownie has also claimed he has interviewed several men who maintain they had relationships with Mountbatten.

Also, in 1948, Ron Perks, Mountbatten’s driver in Malta claimed that the naval officer often visited the Red House, which is a gay brothel in Raba.

However, John Barratt, Mountbatten’s personal and private secretary for 20 years, says there was no way the late naval officer was hiding his sexuality. Barratt claims that there was no way he could have kept it a secret from him.

Lord Mountbatten was in an open marriage

While questions regarding his sexuality are still unanswered, it is clear that Mountbatten was in an open marriage. It’s even hinted at in Netflix’s acclaimed drama series surrounding the British royal family, The Crown.

In the show, Mountbatten is portrayed by Greg Wise in the first two seasons, and then Charles Dance in Seasons 3 and 4. Mountbatten married Lady Edwina Ashley Mountbatten in 1922. 

While their relationship is not a prominent narrative, Queen Elizabeth says rather poignantly in the Season 2 premiere, “You married a wild spirit – we both did. Trying to tame them is no use.” Apparently, Lady Edwina carried on numerous affairs until the Mountbattens decided to have an open marriage.

“They would stay together with separate beds and, to some extent, separate lives,” The Washington Post reports. “But they would remain loving, mutually supportive chums. Above all, they would be discreet.”

According to The Times, Lord Mountbatten later claimed, “Edwina and I spent all our married lives getting into other people’s beds.”