Season 4 of The Crown depicts some of the most important political events that took place between 1979 and 1990, including Margaret Thatcher's appointment as Prime Minister in 1979, the last years of the apartheid, and the funeral of Lord Mountbatten.
The death of Louis Mountbatten, the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, bore a lasting impact on the royal family, with many decrying his ruthless murder as an act of vicious brutality. Here's what you should know about the tragedy.
So, who killed Lord Mountbatten?
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and the last Viceroy of India, was murdered in an attack organized by the Irish Republican Army or IRA. Thomas McMahon, an IRA member and experienced bomb maker, set up a radio-controlled explosive device on Shadow V, the royal's boat, the night before his murder, as per Esquire.
On Aug. 27, 1979, Lord Mountbatten and six others, including his daughter, Patricia, her husband, Lord John Brabourne, their 14-year-old twins, Timothy and Nicholas, Lord Brabourne's mother, Lady Doreen Brabourne, and a family friend, Paul Maxwell, set sail on the North Atlantic Ocean as part of a bank holiday weekend adventure.
According to a documentary titled Mountbatten: Death Of A Royal, they wanted to spend the beautiful day with lobster potting, tuna fishing, and other leisurely activities — tragedy struck. The group was already out at sea when the bomb exploded. Lord Mountbatten, his 14-year-old grandson, Nicholas, and Paul died on the spot. Lady Doreen Brabourne lost her life in hospital the next day.
"The boat was there one minute and the next minute it was like a lot of matchsticks floating on the water," an eyewitness who watched the tragedy unfold told The New York Times in 1979.
The attack against the royal took place on the same day as the Warrenpoint ambush, a double-bombing near Narrow Water in Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland, that cost the lives of at least 18 soldiers, severely injuring 20 others.
The IRA put out a press statement on the same day, stating that the atrocities aimed to shed light on the double standard that applies to the members of the royal family.
"The death of Mountbatten and the tributes paid to him will be seen in sharp contrast to the apathy of the British Government and the English people to the deaths of over three hundred British soldiers, and the deaths of Irish men, women, and children at the hands of their forces," read the statement.
Lord Mountbatten's killer was released from prison in 1988.
The horrible event had a lasting effect on the royal family, with many regarding Lord Mountbatten's killing as an act of barbarism.
His funeral was held at the Westminster Abbey on Sept. 5, 1979. In his speech, Prince Charles condemned the extremist behind the attack, McMahon, for the horrendous murder.
"[...] the kind of subhuman extremist that blows people up when he feels like it," Prince Charles said, as per Esquire.
McMahon was given a life sentence on Nov. 23, 1979. He was released as part of the Good Friday Agreement in August 1988.
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