Books: Great Britain's Uncle Dickie Mountbatten

by Philip Ziegler; Knopf; 784 pages; $24.95

His great-grandmother was Queen Victoria, who was photographed holding him on her lap in the last year of her life. The children of Nicholas and Alexandra of Russia were his cousins. So was Edward, Prince of Wales, later briefly King Edward VIII of England and interminably the Duke of Windsor, who was best man at his wedding. As a young man, Prince Philip, penniless but promising, married his adored young cousin Lilibet. His sister was the Queen of Sweden. Louis Mountbatten himself--and how he loved it all--was wealthy, flashingly handsome, a polo-playing friend of rajas and movie stars, a somewhat too...

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