London: Lord Mountbatten's daughter Pamela Mountbatten says there was deep love between her mother Edwina and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Speaking exclusively to CNN-IBN, Lady Pamela also said that speculation that there was any kind of physical aspect to the relationship was misplaced.
Karan Thapar: In your introduction you write - "towards the end of the 15 months we spent in India, the immediate attraction between my mother and Panditji blossomed into love." What do you mean by love?
Pamela Mountbatten: I mean a very deep love, the kind of love that the knights of old...esoteric love really, nowadays everybody assumes that it has to be a carnal love, but you can just have as deep and emotional love with two like souls in a way, people who really grow to understand each other, and be able to listen to each other and to complement each other and find solace in each other.
Karan Thapar: In you book you write with incredible candour - " my mother had already had lovers, my father was inured to it." But then you add - " the relationship with Nehru remained platonic. Can you be really sure of that?
Pamela Mountbatten: I would say yes, because anyway, Nehru was a very honourable man, who liked my father - there was great affection between the two. And it was nearly always in my father's houses - either in England or in India that they were together and I think he would have never dishonoured his freind's...
My mother was so happy with Jawaharlal, she knew that she was helping him at a time when it's lonely at the pinnacle of power, it really is, and if she could help, and my father knew that it helped her, because a woman can after a long marriage feel frustrated and perhaps neglected if somebody's working terribly hard. And so if a new affection comes into her life, a new admiration, she blossoms and she is happy.
Karan Thapar: So both of them in a sense fulfilled a need. Jawaharlal and Edwina needed each other.
Pamela Mountbatten: I think they did, and my father understood that need, and of course it made my mother - who could be quite difficult at times, as many extraordinary women can be - happy. And yet this time when she was so happy with everybody you know, it was lovely to be with her, when there were no prickles.
Karan Thapar: You say that the Edwina-Nehru relationship was also of use to your father as viceroy, that he often appealed to Panditji through the influence your mother had, and that this was particularly useful in handling tricky situations like Kashmir.
Pamela Mountbatten: That is true and he did use her like that, but he certainly wasn't going to throw her. He didn't say to her 'go and become the Prime Minister's lover because I need you to intercede.' It was a by-product of this deep relationship...
Karan Thapar: Absolutely, he realised that there was an emotional relationship he could use for the betterment of everyone.
Pamela Mountbatten: Absolutely.
Karan Thapar: Many people in India believe that, in fact, the decision that Jawaharlal took to refer Kashmir to the United Nations, was taken under your father's advise. Could that have been an area where your mother's influence could have been particularly useful?
Pamela Mountbatten: I think it could have been, because Panditji being a Kashmiri of course - you know inevitably the emotional side comes in from one's own country, doesn't it? And my father just in dry conversation mightn't have been able to to get his viewpoint over. But with my mother translating it for Panditji, and you know appealing to his heart more than his mind, that he should really behave like this - I think probably that did happen.
Karan Thapar: Panditji was a widower, he needed female affection, he must have wanted it. Your mother was alluring and beautiful, they were so close to each other, it would be natural for the emotional to become sexual.
Pamela Mountbatten: It could be, and maybe everybody will think I'm being very naive, but the fact that she had had lovers in the past, somehow this was so different, it really was.
Watch a special and exclusive two-part interview with Lady Pamela Mountbatten in Devil's Advocate on Sunday at 8:30 pm on CNN-IBN.