Heartache for Prince Charles as he visits the place that evokes a deeply personal loss

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla
(Image credit: Getty)

Heartache for Prince Charles as he makes a return visit to a place that evokes memories of a deep loss.

Prince Charles faces heartache as he visits a place that evokes a deeply personal loss.

The Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla are half way through a four-day visit to Ireland this week, having kick-started their tour on Tuesday, 22nd March, the couple visited North Ireland as part of the celebrations to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

But the visit holds a deeply personal heartache for Prince Charles as his mentor, Lord Mountbatten was assassinated here by the IRA in 1979.

The last two days of their trip are to be spent in the Republic of Ireland - a place they last visited in 2019. But for Charles, the whole trip to Ireland is bound to evoke some painful memories as it was where Lord Mountbatten was killed.

This year will mark the 43rd anniversary of his death, as the former Navy admiral was blown up during a fishing trip with his family off Mullaghmore, County Sligo, on August 27, 1979, when a bomb planted by Thomas McMahon on their Shadow V boat was detonated.

Prince Charles and Lord Mountbatten

NEPAL - JANUARY 01: Prince, Charles, Prince of Wales and Lord Mountbatten, wearing full naval uniform, visit Nepal to attend the coronation of King Birendra on January 01, 1975. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Lord Mountbatten was known by his family as 'Dickie' was the Queen's second cousin and Prince Philip's uncle and Prince Charles once gave a heartbreaking speech about the tragic loss in 2015 when he visited the seaside village of of Mullaghmore.

At the time he said, “In August 1979, my much-loved great uncle, Lord Mountbatten, was killed alongside his young grandson and my godson, Nicholas, and his friend, Paul Maxwell, and Nicholas's grandmother, the Dowager Lady Brabourne.

“At the time I could not imagine how we would come to terms with the anguish of such a deep loss since, for me, Lord Mountbatten represented the grandfather I never had.

“So, it seemed as if the foundations of all that we held dear in life had been torn apart irreparably."

Prince Charles and Prince Philip at Lord Mountbatten funeral

Charles, Prince of Wales (left) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attending the funeral of Earl Louis Mountbatten (1900 - 1979) in full Naval regalia, London, 9th September 1979. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

He added, “Through this dreadful experience, though, I now understand in a profound way the agonies borne by so many others in these islands, of whatever faith, denomination or political tradition.”

Prince Charles' close bond with Lord Mountbatten was portrayed in Netflix's fictional royal drama The Crown. the Prince said he first remembered meeting his great-uncle when he was just five during a trip to Malta and he is understood to have given Charles marriage advice, even though he went on to divorce Princess Diana.

In a real-letter to Charles, Lord Mountbatten wrote, “In a case like yours, the man should sow his wild oats and have as many affairs as he can before settling down, but for a wife he should choose a suitable, attractive, and sweet-charactered girl before she has met anyone else she might fall for.”

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)