27th August 2013
© MMXIII Philip A. Stewart-Johns of Glencairn

The Hon. Sir Norton Louis Philip KNATCHBULL, Bt., 8th Lord Brabourne - was born on 8th October 1947 at King’s College Hospital, London.  He is the eldest son of The Lady Patricia Edwina Victoria KNATCHBULL (née MOUNTBATTEN) CBE, MSC, CD, JP, DL, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma (b.1924) and the late Sir John Ulick KNATCHBULL, Bt., CBE, 7th Lord Brabourne (1924-2005), and as such is heir to the Earldom of “Mountbatten of Burma”.   

Until the death of his father - when Norton succeeded to his father’s Barony, he was styled “Lord Romsey”.   Norton is a god-son of Admiral of the Fleet HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (b.1921) and is a direct descendant of HM Queen Victoria (1819(1837-1901).  He is therefore in the line of succession to the British Throne, but despite his Royal connections, he is not a member of the Royal Family.
Norton, 8th Lord Brabourne

To carry on the connection to the Mountbatten/Knatchbull Family and the Royal Family, in 1982 Norton was asked to be one of the six god-parents of the future Sovereign - HRH Prince William of Wales (now HRH The Duke of Cambridge) (b.1982)) the son of HRH The Prince of Wales (b.1948) and HRH The Princess of Wales (formerly The Lady Diana Spencer) (1961-1997)).  The newly born Prince’s christening was held in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace on 4th August 1982 - the 82nd birthday of the child’s great-grandmother (HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1900-2002))

Norton married Miss Penelope Eastwood (b.1953) on 20th October 1979 at Romsey Abbey, Romsey - a few months after the assassination of his illustrious grandfather, Mountbatten.  Although Norton was not with his grandfather on that fateful day in August 1979, the events were to change his life forever.  His parents (who were seriously wounded in the explosion that killed Mountbatten) were forced to attend the wedding ceremony in wheelchairs.

The best man at the wedding was Norton’s close friend (and cousin) - Admiral of the Fleet HRH The Prince of Wales (b.1948).  Due to the combined interest of Royalty and the events in Mullaghmore, the wedding certainly ensured a great deal of press attention.  “Tatler” magazine listed the wedding in their top 100 most notable weddings of the 20th Century.   
The Christening of
HRH Prince William of Wales
(now HRH The Duke of Cambridge)
(Lord Brabourne is standing on the left)
Norton, 8th Lord Brabourne (then Lord Romsey) with his wife, Penelope on their wedding day
The Brabournes have had three children -

The Hon. Nicholas Louis Charles Norton KNATCHBULL (born 15th May 1981), god-son of Admiral of the Fleet HRH The Prince of Wales (b.1948)

The Hon. Alexandra Victoria Edwina Diana KNATCHBULL (born 5th December 1982) - a god-daughter of the late Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997)

The Hon. Leonora Louise Marie Elizabeth KNATCHBULL (born 25th June 1986 and died 22nd  October 1991).  She died after a one-year battle against a kidney tumour, at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, at the age of 5.  She was buried on 26 October 1991 at Broadlands and a small memorial service was held in the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace. The Leonora Children's Cancer Fund was set up in her memory.