As Prince Philip’s uncle, Dickie maintained a close relationship with the royal family throughout his life.
“Prince Philip was brought up at times by the Mountbattens,” Andrew tells New Idea. “[Dickie] helped engineer his relationship with the Queen – he was very keen to create the Mountbatten dynasty.”
Dickie acted as a mentor to both Philip and the future king, Prince Charles, and was even honoured by Prince William and Kate Middleton as the namesake for their youngest son, Prince Louis, born in 2018.
With this seal of approval from the monarchy, Dickie lived a life free from consequences. But now, more than four decades since his death, Dickie’s appalling secret has finally come to light.
“I unearthed an FBI file on [Dickie], saying that he was a man of very low morals who had a reputation for [sexually] abusing young boys,” Andrew claims.
Once he started digging, Andrew found that in addition to Dickie’s paedophilia, “both he and Edwina had numerous affairs”.
Rubbing shoulders with the elite on a daily basis, the Mountbattens were friends with everyone from Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt to Salvador Dali, Grace Kelly and Fred Astaire.
“They were a charming, charismatic, good-looking couple,” Andrew says. “A lot of people sucked up to them because it gave [them] access to the royal family.
[Dickie] had an affair with actress Shirley MacLaine, and Edwina made a pass at Charlie Chaplin on their honeymoon. I know that [Dickie] passed on his girlfriends to other members of the royal family.”
Because they remained married for 38 years, and had two daughters together, Dickie and Edwina’s frequent extramarital affairs stayed concealed from public knowledge.
“They were discreet and operated within a tight circle,” Andrew says. “The press was deferential and because they were so close to the royal family, no-one dared say anything.”
Andrew also notes that Dickie had a dangerous “sense of entitlement”, a trait shared by some contemporary royals, including Prince Andrew, who is currently embroiled in a legal case involving his connection to late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew conducted over 100 interviews, and spent three years researching and writing the biography, in spite of obstacles at every turn. “There’s a massive cover-up,” he says. “We’re still seeing many of the official files about their lives, as well as diaries and letters, closed. Some of those FBI files were closed after I requested [to] see them.”
When Andrew published his findings, the royal family did not actively deny the claims, and “refused to comment on any of the things in the book”.
Assassinated by the IRA in 1979, Dickie’s scandalous past was buried along with him. “That earned him a lot of sympathy and people stopped looking at some of the things,” Andrew says. “But one has to wonder … did people actually want him to die? Would that solve a lot of problems for [the government and royal family]?”
Regardless, Andrew is certain this is just the tip of the iceberg – that there are plenty of secrets still hidden. “I’m sure there were many more affairs,” he claims. “Buckingham Palace and others have been closely involved in monitoring my book. It’s clear they’re worried about what more I might find.
"As stuff begins to come out like the Andrew story, I think we’re much more open to the fact that [the royals] aren’t quite as brilliant as everyone thinks. My argument is, we have to have the warts-and-all picture of them, and if they’ve done things that were wrong, people need to know,” he said.
For more, pick up the latest issue of New Idea Royals. Out now!