Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS (né Prince Louis of Battenberg; 25 June 1900 – 27 August 1979), was a British statesman and naval officer, and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (the husband of Elizabeth II). He was the last Viceroy of India (1947) and the first Governor-General of the independent Union of India (1947–48), from which the modern Republic of India would emerge in 1950. From 1954 until 1959 he was the First Sea Lord, a position that had been held by his father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, some forty years earlier. In 1979 Mountbatten was assassinated by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), who planted a bomb in his fishing boat, the Shadow V, at Mullaghmore, County Sligo in the Republic of Ireland. He was one of the most influential and controversial figures in the decline of the British Empire in the mid to late 20th century.
Lord Mountbatten was born as His Serene Highness Prince Louis of Battenberg, although his German styles and titles were dropped in 1917. He was the youngest child and the second son of Prince Louis of Battenberg and his wife Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. His maternal grandparents were Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, who was a daughter of Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort. His paternal grandparents were Prince Alexander of Hesse and Princess Julia of Battenberg. His paternal grandparents' marriage was morganatic, because his grandmother was not of royal lineage; as a result, he and his father were styled "Serene Highness" rather than "Grand Ducal Highness", were not eligible to be titled Princes of Hesse and were given the less desirable Battenberg title. His siblings were Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark (mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh), Queen Louise of Sweden, and George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven.
His father's forty-five year Naval career reached its pinnacle in 1912 when he was appointed as First Sea Lord in the Admiralty. However, two years later in 1914, due to the growing anti-German sentiments that swept across Europe during the first few months of World War I, Prince Louis was removed from his position and publicly humiliated by King George V, and Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill. Though both men professed 'sadness' at having to do this, private conversations and letters show them both to perfectly happy to sacrifice their "blue-eyed German". This forced retirement of his father was devastating to Louis. In 1917, when the Royal Family stopped using their German names and titles and adopted the more British-sounding "Windsor", Prince Louis of Battenberg became Louis Mountbatten, and was created Marquess of Milford Haven. His second son acquired the courtesy title Lord Louis Mountbatten and was known as Lord Louis informally until his death notwithstanding his being granted a viscountcy in recognition of his wartime service in the Far East and an earldom for his role in the transition of India from British dependency to sovereign state.