The great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and godmother to The Prince of Wales, the 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma once suggested that war “gives you quite a different outlook on life”. A mother of eight who lost one son during an IRA attack that also killed amongst others her father, Mountbatten bravely gave her support to the Queen meeting the former terrorist Martin McGuiness in 2012. Of the occasion, she commented: “I think it’s wonderful. I’m hugely grateful that we have come to a point where we can behave responsibly and positively”. Described as “one of the most formidable women in England” by Vanity Fair and “the personification of the stiff upper lip” by her own sister, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma has a fuchsia named in her honour and only gave up as Colonel-in-Chief of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in 2004 after coming to the conclusion that “when I turned 80, I said, ‘For goodness sake, I can’t drive a tank any longer’ ”.