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Lady Iris Mountbatten

Lady Iris Mountbatten
Lady Iris Mountbatten in 1952
Born Iris Victoria Beatrice Grace
(1920-01-13)13 January 1920
London, England
Died 1 September 1982(1982-09-01) (aged 62)
Toronto, Ontario
Spouse(s) Hamilton Joseph Keyes O'Malley (divorced); Michael Neely Bryan (divorced); William Alexander Kemp
Children Robin Alexander Bryan
Parents Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke and Lady Irene Denison

The Lady Iris Mountbatten (Iris Victoria Beatrice Grace Mountbatten) was born in Kensington Palace, London on 13 January 1920, the only child of Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke, eldest of three sons and one daughter of Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg. Her Mother, the Marchioness of Carisbrooke GBE (1938), DJStJ, Order of Queen Maria Luisa, was born Lady Irene Francis Adza Denison (4 July 1890 – 16 July 1956) the only daughter of William Francis Henry Denison, 2nd Earl of Londesborough and Lady Grace Adelaide Fane (3 October 1860 – 13 June 1933), a daughter of Francis William Henry Fane, 12th Earl of Westmorland.

Lord Carisbrooke's only sister Ena was Queen consort to King Alfonso XIII of Spain, thus making Lady Iris a first cousin of the Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona, grandfather of the present King, Felipe VI of Spain. Lady Carisbrooke had two brothers of whom only one, Hugo William Cecil Denison, 4th and last Earl of Londesborough, was married. He and his wife had one child, Iris's only maternal first cousin, Lady Zinnia Rosemary Denison (25 November 1937 – 13 July 1997) a keen equestrian and Master of the Whaddon Chase Hunt 1982-84. 'The Lady Zinnia Judd Challenge Trophy' named in memory of her, is presented in the Hunter Championship for the 'Best Hunter in Show' at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

On 29 November 1934, Iris was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her cousins George VI.

She attended a variety of royal and aristocratic events in her youth, being a well known and much photographed débutante. During World War II she worked as a nurse's aide, later moving to the United States. She becoming an actress and model, appearing as a hostess for a live TV children's programme Versatile Varieties (CBS Television, 1951). She also appeared endorsing Pond's Creams and Warrens Mint Cocktail Gum. A goddaughter was Sharon McCluskey (daughter of Ellen Lehman McCluskey of the Lehman family), later Sharon, Countess Sondes, second wife of Henry Milles-Lade, 5th Earl Sondes.

She married three times:

  • On 29 January 1941 Lady Iris received Royal License by King George VI to marry Captain (later Major) Hamilton Joseph Keyes O'Malley (after an engagement formally announced in The Times 18 January 1941). They married in St. Mary's CE Parish in Balcombe in Sussex. Captain O'Malley was born 18 October 1910, in Farnborough House (Army Barracks) in Aldershot, Farnborough, Hampshire. He was a great-great grandnephew of Sir Samuel O'Malley Bt. , 'Chief of the Name', member of the Irish Guards, educated Downside and abroad, eldest son of Lt Col Middleton Joseph O'Malley (later O'Malley-Keyes, son of Middleton Joseph Moore O'Malley, Justice of the Peace) and of Jane Byrnes O'Malley, formerly Malley (married 19 October 1909 in New York), only daughter of Businessman Edward Malley of New Haven, Connecticut, of Ross House, Westport, of Newport, County Mayo in Connaught, Ireland, and of Castille Meretmont in Biarritz, France. Commanding Officer Giles Vandeleur attended the wedding (as best-man and Army comrade of Hamilton O'Malley). They divorced on 24 September 1946. Lady Iris formerly reverted to her maiden name of Mountbatten by Deed poll dated 7 January 1949.
  • On 11 December 1965 to William Alexander Kemp (10 July 1921 – 12 December 1991) son of Clarence Arthur Kemp and Helen Janet Ballantyne, a Canadian actor and announcer.

Lady Iris died on 1 September 1982 at Wellesley Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The cause of death was a brain tumour. Her ashes were brought to the Isle of Wight for interment in the Battenberg Chapel at St. Mildred's Church, Whippingham.

Lady Iris had only one child, a son by her second marriage: Robin Alexander Bryan [1] (born in New York City, New York, on 20 December 1957) He has three children:

  • by Louise Houle: Edward Curtis Houle, born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1979
  • by Arizona N?: Faith Bryan, born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1979
  • by Pamela Jean Foster: Elijah Alexander Bryan, born in Toronto, Ontario, on 14 May 1995.



  1. ^ Pendlebury, Richard (7 July 2008). "The West Country travel agent's wife 612th in line for the throne and the other unlikely Britons in our list of royal succession". Daily Mail. 
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