Mum of son killed with Mountbatten in IRA bombing portrayed by The Crown relives heartbreaking last moment she saw him
THE mum of a boy killed in the assassination of Lord Mountbatten portrayed in The Crown has relived the heartbreaking last time she saw him.
Paul Maxwell, 15, was on the royal’s boat when it was blown up by the IRA in August 1979 off the coast of Ireland.
The atrocity is recreated in the new series of Netflix hit The Crown, starting on Sunday, with Charles Dance playing Lord Mountbatten.
Mountbatten had been on the boat with daughter Patricia, her husband John, their twin sons Nicholas and Timothy, both 14, and John’s mother Doreen and crew member Paul.
Nicholas, Paul and Doreen were also killed in the blast.
Mountbatten – the Queen’s cousin – was holidaying with his family at Classiebawn Castle, near Mullaghmore in County Sligo, Ireland.
He as heading out for a day of lobster fishing when the IRA detonated the bomb and earlier Paul had said goodbye to his mum for what would be the last time.
“He said, ‘Goodbye Mum, I will see you later on’. I never saw him again,” Mary, who is now 80, told The Mirror.
Paul’s 16-year-old sister was walking along the cliffs in Mullaghmore and saw the explosion.
The IRA took responsibility for the explosion calling it "an execution" and published a statement promising to continue the "noble struggle to drive the British intruders out of our native land".
Bomb maker Thomas McMahon was convicted of murder and he was caged for life but released in 1998 under the Good Friday Agreement.
Mary says The Crown bring back the grief she felt 41 years ago but she will still watch it.
“It will bring back that day, of course it will,” said Mary.
“The sharpness of that day and the sheer grief that there was, also the horror of that day. It was absolutely dreadful. No family should ever have to go through that.”
Mary said her son loved the sea and dreamed of having a career in the Royal Navy so landing the job on Lord Mountbatten’s boat, Shadow V, was a dream come true.
She said the pair became friends and the royal would tell Paul stories of his time in the Navy during World War II.
The tragedy also led to a lifelong bond between Mary and Patricia Mountbatten, the daughter of Lord Mountbatten and mother of Nicholas.
“Patricia Mountbatten, she and I corresponded every year for 38 years until she died,” she said.
We corresponded all about our families, what was happening with her family, what was happening with my family. We had a very, very strong bond.
“We were two mothers who had lost our sons. It was a most unusual situation – a member of the Royal Family and myself, just a commoner, having this particular bond because of that tragedy.”
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