Pamela Mountbatten entered a remarkable family when she was born in Madrid at the very end of the "Roaring Twenties." Daughter of the glamorous heiress Edwina Ashley and Lord Louis Mountbatten, Pamela spent much of her early life with her sister, nannies, and servants--not to mention a menagerie of animals that included, at different times, a honey bear, chameleons, a bush baby, and a mongoose. Her parents' vast social circle included royalty, film stars, celebrities, and politicians. Noel Coward invited Pamela to watch him film, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. dropped in for tea.
However when war broke out Pamela and her sister were sent to New York to live with Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, while the prime minister appointed her father to be the last Viceroy of India. Amid the turmoil, Pamela came of age, meeting the student leaders who had been released from jail, working in the canteen for Allied forces and in a clinic outside Delhi. She also developed a close bond with Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.
"If you are addicted to Downton Abbey, chances are that you will relish Daughter of Empire, a British aristocrat's memoir of her childhood and coming of age...She is also a keen observer of a way of life now vanished, except on PBS" (The Wall Street Journal). "Not many people remain who can tell stories like Lady Pamela Hicks" (Vanity Fair).