Thursday, August 12, 2021

Lady Iris Mountbatten Discusses Life in the USA in 1949

Lady Iris Mountbatten, 1947.
Photograph (c) FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images.

In the summer of 1949, twenty-nine year-old Lady Iris Mountbatten gave an interview to The American Way Weekly. She discussed her hopes and dreams surrounding her decision to relocate to North America. A great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Lady Iris Mountbatten was the only child of Lord and Lady Carisbrooke.

"I like it here. I feel that I can make something of myself. It is a challenge, I'll admit, but there is opportunity here. I have discussed it with my parents. They say that if it is what I want, and if it will make me happy, then I am free to do it," she commented. 

Lady Iris felt that since writing was her cup of tea, then she very much would like to become a radio or television script-writer: "If necessary, I would work under a nom de plume." Iris noted that she was not averse to discontinuing using her courtesy title, as she thought it was sometimes an impediment. "Sometimes it can be a handicap. No one would have paid any attention to me when I first arrived in America if I weren't 'Lady Iris Mountbatten.'" Iris commented that she found no particular reason to think she was better than any other person simply on account of the family into which she was born. "It was purely accidental. None of us can control our birthrights. I can take no credit for it. I'm interested only in accomplishing something on my own merits - as an individual - and not as a member of the nobility."

Lady Iris recalled her experience of court life as an relative of the British royal family. "In my younger days, when I attended court functions, I was so scared of making a breach of etiquette [that] I could never relax for a second. I felt as taught as a violin string. Sometimes I used to wish I was one of the footmen standing at the door so I could just stand and stare at all the magnificence.

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