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A FAMILY AFFAIR: It took one strong-willed daughter and a lifetime of memories for Lady Pamela Hicks finally to sit down and pen her memoirs. “I have a very bossy daughter and she said: ‘Just tell all the family stories before you’re dead, and then they will be there for my children,’” said Hicks at the launch party for “Daughter of an Empire: Life as a Mountbatten,” at Ralph Lauren’s Bond Street store in London Monday.
“I know perfectly well that with the grandchildren, you can never get them to listen or read about the grandparents.” Hicks added. “But still, she was bossy and so I’ve done it,” she said, referring to her daughter — and a former Ralph Lauren model — India Hicks.
Lady Pamela Hicks’ mother was the heiress Edwina Ashley and her father was Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, and an uncle of Prince Philip’s. A former lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth II, Hicks certainly has a lot to tell, and shares several generations of family history in her latest book.
“She’s had an amazing, extraordinary life with so many highs and lows and quite a difficult childhood,” said India of her mother.
“She was with the Queen when the Queen became Queen. How many people in the world can say that? She was at Mahatma Gandhi’s funeral, front row, having been very close to him during the apartheid of India. Who else can say that?”
The book is Hicks’ second after “India Remembered,” which she wrote about India’s independence. “That remains my favorite because that was such an incredible day of birth for these two nations: independent India and the new Pakistan,” said the elder Hicks.