The Relationship between Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten

The relationship between Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten of Burma, was indeed ubiquitous. There is a hum of agreement that Lady Mountbatten held strong influence, even in brokering talks between Nehru’s India and Imperial Britain, represented by her husband. But their relationship transcended the bloody politics that introduced them.⁣

Lady Mountbatten and Nehru shared a deeply loving relationship based on the ’equality of the spirit and intellect, which she craved’ (Pamela Hicks, daughter of Louis and Edwina Mountbatten). Their letters confirm that their relationship was never sexual in nature, but spiritual. ⁣

Upon her leave from India, Edwina gifted Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, an emerald ring and told her to pawn it off if they ever encountered financial difficulty.⁣

During the farewell party, Nehru directly addressed Edwina;⁣

“Wherever you have gone, you have brought solace, you have brought hope and encouragement. Is it surprising, therefore, that the people of India should love you and look up to you as one of themselves and should grieve that you are going?”⁣

The two exchanged love letters from 1948 until the day Edwina died in 1960. Beside her bed, the blue satin ribbon which held Nehru’s letters lay undone.⁣

“I have fond memories of Simla – horseriding and your touch.”