Mountbatten frequented Rabat brothel for gay naval officers - FBI files

A new biography has unearthed FBI files in which the war hero and diplomat is said to have regularly attended the Red House brothel near Rabat during his time in Malta in 1948

Lord Mountbatten in Malta in 1952
Lord Mountbatten in Malta in 1952

Lord Louis Mountbatten, the British war hero and diplomat, and uncle to Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, would often frequent a gay brothel in Rabat during his time in Malta, according to recently uncovered FBI files.

Mountbatten was an admiral in the Royal Navy and served as Supreme Allied Commander, South East Command during the second World War. He also held the post of Chief of Defence Staff and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee. He was killed in an IRA bomb attack while out fishing in August 1979.

The new revelations emerged during research for his and his wife’s biography by Andrew Lownie, a fellow of the Royal ­Historical Society and president of the Biographers’ Club, the Sunday Times reported.

According to report, Ron Perks, Mountbatten’s driver in Malta in 1948 is said to have revealed that the Red House near Rabat was one of Mountbatten’s favourite destinations. He described the place as “an upmarket gay brothel used by senior naval officers”.

The files are said to paint the 1st Earl Mountbatten as a sexually voracious man.

Mountbatten married his wife Edwina in 1922 and had admitted later in life that they had spent “all [their] married lives getting into other people’s beds”. Both had well-documented extramarital affairs, though rumours regarding Louis Mountbatten’s homosexuality have been rejected by his official biographer.

Villa Guardamangia, the residence where Queen Elizabeth II stayed during her time in Malta, was originally leased by Mountbatten in 1929. The house was refurbished and eventually bought by Mountbatten, who lived in it while stationed in Malta as commander of the Mediterranean fleet in the 1950s.

According to the report, the FBI files cover more than three decades, with the first being dated February 1944 in which Elizabeth­ de la Poer Beresford, Baroness Decies is quoted describing Mountbatten as a “homosexual with a perversion for young boys”.

“Many memos pertaining to his homosexuality have since been redacted or destroyed. One file dated April-July 1956 was destroyed in May 2017, shortly after Lownie requested the records,” the report claims.