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Mountbatten, the royal family, and British influence in post-independence India and Burma

Title:Mountbatten, the royal family, and British influence in post-independence India and Burma
Author:S.R. Ashton
Publication:Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
Enumeration:vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 73-92, January 2005
Abstract:One of the unexplored themes in the career of Mountbatten is why more use was not made of his services in similar contexts in the years after his Indian viceroyalty and governor-generalship. This article examines his influence in private and unofficial capacities in his dealings with post-independence India and Burma in the 1960s and early 1970s. In India it considers Mountbatten's efforts on behalf of the Indian princes when Indira Gandhi's government threatened their privy purses and privileges. In Burma it discusses Mountbatten's attempts to persuade Burma to return to the Commonwealth and his influence over General Ne Win, Burma's military ruler. Mountbatten was unsuccessful in both cases. By contrast in Burma, Princess Alexandra was better placed to represent British interests, suggesting perhaps that we should look more closely at the role of members of the royal family in promoting Britain's foreign policy.

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