Lady Patricia was born in London, England on 14 February 1924, the daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten and Edwina Ashley and the elder sister of Lady Pamela Hicks. She is a third cousin to Queen Elizabeth II, first cousin to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and Godmother to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. On 26 October 1946, she married John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne, who at the time was an officer in the Coldstream Guards. They had 8 children. Lady Patricia became the second Colonel-in-Chief of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry on 15 June 1974. She succeeded her cousin, the Lady Patricia Ramsay, formerly HRH Princess Patricia of Connaught, for whom the Regiment was named in 1914. Like her predecessor, she immediately developed a strong affection for the Regiment and a genuine interest in the welfare of all Patricia soldiers and their families. In return, the members of her Regiment greatly admired her elegance and embraced her down-to-earth approach and great sense of humour. She is revered and will continue to be so within the Regiment.
Lady Patricia was educated in Malta, New York and England. In 1943, at age 19, she joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service as a Signal Rating and served in Combined Operations in the UK and then Supreme Allied Headquarters, South East Asia. It was during this time, she met Lord Brabourne, an aide to Lord Mountbatten. In 1973 she was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Kent and also served as a magistrate. She is active in numerous organizations, among them: a Patron to the SOS Children’s Villages UK, a Dame of the Order of St. John, Patron to the Countess Mountbatten’s Own Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth, and an active supporter of the Lions International Blood Research Appeal (LIBRA). She has maintained a deep interest in the King’s College Hospital and in health matters, and is a strong supporter of the Child Bereavement Charity.
On 27 August 1979 Lady Mountbatten’s father, Lord Louis, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, was assassinated by a bomb planted on his yacht by the Irish Republican Army. Also killed were Lady Mountbatten’s son Nicholas, her mother-in-law and a 15 year old farm boy, by the name of Paul Maxwell. After the death of her father, Lady Mountbatten succeeded to his titles and is now the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, CBE, MSC, CD, JP, DL. However, to the Officers and Men of her Regiment, she prefers to be addressed as Lady Patricia.
Lady Patricia relinquished her appointment as Colonel-in-Chief of the PPCLI at a formal ceremony in Edmonton, Alberta on Saturday 17 March 2007. She was succeeded by The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson. Lady Patricia’s 33 years of service to the Regiment and Canada was formally recognized by Her Excellency Governor General Michaëlle Jean on 28 August 2007 when she was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross. Lady Patricia continues her relationship with the Regiment as the Honourary Patron of the PPCLI Association, an appointment she assumed at a ceremony in Calgary at the end of August 2007.