Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Nehru and the Mountbattens

with 6 comments


In 1947, Henri Cartier-Bresson was in India for the first time to document the newly independent India. His most famous picture of the Independent India was that of Viceroy Lord Mountbatten, and PM Nehru on the steps of Government House, Delhi. Nehru and Mountbatten’s wife Edwina shared a joke while the viceroy looked whimsically away. HCB’s juxtaposition compared and contrasted the English reserve and native candidness.

The photo takes another dramatic interpretation when it became known that Lady Edwina Mountbatten had an affair with Jawaharlal Nehru throughout Mountbatten’s viceroyalty. The pair even resumed that relationship on Nehru’s subsequent visits to England. Lord Mountbatten, who was also rumored to be a closeted homosexual (his wife was also accused of being a bisexual), knew about the relationship, and was not only tolerant but encouraging. When Edwina died at the age of 58 in 1960, Nehru not only gave an eulogy in the Indian Parliament but also sent an Indian Navy frigate to the spot where she had been buried at sea in the English Channel, to cast a single wreath of marigolds.

For a scholarly account of the relationship and how it influenced Indian independence, see Alex von Tunzelmann’s Indian Summer.


Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

August 1, 2009 at 11:51 pm

6 Responses

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  1. This photo needs no comment at all.These people tore the country apart for their own benefit.Millions of people died,million of people were homeless.Instead of fighting aginst the British,these clever politicians started the war between Hindus and Muslims.What more is needed to say ?

    Abir Karmakar

    October 13, 2009 at 3:24 pm

  2. […] recent recollections of Alex von Tunzelmann‘s book Indian Summer reminded me of a famous photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson of Lord and Lady Mountbatten and Nehru. Looking at the image with my papa, he said it made Nehru look like a buffoon. Von […]

  3. the photo says in enormity, Nehru was no less a libiduous insane who sold the nation behind a** hole. J&K was brought to UN resolution for no apparent reason for india’s benefit, once the instrument of accession was sealed by Hari Singh, the earstwhile J&K king, on the instinct of Edwina in pursuation of Mountbation. for a romantic widower to get a closer huf of beuty Edwina has been top priority over the nation building. the custom made orchestrated image of Nehru by the congress party in india has never allowed the truth to come in public. a movie “Indian Summer” has much to show the chemical locha between the two. however, the congress party of india has made its mis-adventure by intervening in between and ensuring “the nehru-edwina in bed are not aired and even their kiss scenes not to be shown”. this was the order of the indian government before giving this hollywood directed movie to go ahead.


    May 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm



    August 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    • aese base wali congress kya karegi desh ka

      Yogendra singh

      June 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

  5. […] One of several pictures used as “evidence” of an affair between Prime Minister Nehru and Mountbatten’s wife. Courtesy of IconicPhotos.org. […]

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