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Charles Dance, OBE, portrays Lord Mountbatten in seasons three and four of The Crown. The fourth season premieres this Sunday, November 15 on Netflix worldwide and will cover the period 1977 until 1990. Lord Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma died on August 27, 1979, aged but why was he assassinated and who was behind the killing?Express.co.uk has everything you need to know
WARNING: This article contains spoilers about The Crown season 4
Why was Lord Mountbatten assassinated?
On Monday, August 27, 1979, Lord Mountbatten was killed during a family trip to Mullaghmore, County Sligo, Ireland.
He was assassinated by a hidden bomb on his fishing boat, Shadow V, which had been moored in the harbour at Mullaghmore, 12 miles from the border with County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland.
The bomb had been placed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) member, Thomas McMahon the night before.
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On board the boat at the time of the explosion was Mountbatten’s eldest daughter, Patricia, Lady Brabourne; her husband Lord Brabourne; their twin sons Nicholas and Timothy Knatchbull; Lord Brabourne’s mother Doreen, Dowager Lady Brabourne; and Paul Maxwell, a young crew member.
Mountbatten was pulled alive from the water following the explosion but died of his injuries before being brought to shore, reported the BBC.
His grandson, Nicholas, 14 and boatman Paul, 15 were killed by the blast and Doreen, Dowager Lady Brabourne, 83, died from her injuries on August 28, 1979.
The Provisional IRA claimed responsibility for the killing and issued a statement, explaining why they assassinated Lord Mountbatten.
The statement read: “The IRA claim responsibility for the execution of Lord Louis Mountbatten.
“This operation is one of the discriminate ways we can bring to the attention of the English people the continuing occupation of our country.
“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.”
Six weeks later, Sinn Féin vice-president Gerry Adams said: “The IRA gave clear reasons for the execution.
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“I think it is unfortunate that anyone has to be killed, but the furore created by Mountbatten’s death showed up the hypocritical attitude of the media establishment.
“As a member of the House of Lords, Mountbatten was an emotional figure in both British and Irish politics.
“What the IRA did to him is what Mountbatten had been doing all his life to other people; and with his war record, I don’t think he could have objected to dying in what was clearly a war situation.
“He knew the danger involved in coming to this country. In my opinion, the IRA achieved its objective: people started paying attention to what was happening in Ireland”
Provisional IRA bombmaker Thomas McMahon was tried for the killing of Lord Mountbatten, Nicholas Knatchbull, Paul Maxwell and The Dowager Baroness Brabourne.
On November 23, 1979, he was convicted following the uncovering of forensic evidence which showed flecks of green paint from Mountbatten’s boat and traces of nitroglycerine on his clothes, The Telegraph reported.
He was sentenced to life but In 1998, McMahon was released from prison under the Good Friday Agreement, spending just 18 years in jail.
On the same day as Mountbatten’s killing, the IRA also killed 18 British soldiers at the gates of Narrow Water Castle in County Down, Northern Ireland, one of the deadliest attack on the British Army during the Troubles.
The Crown premieres Sunday, November 15 on Netflix
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