By the summer of 1947 it was the talk of Delhi and one writer observed: “Nehru’s relationship with Lady Mountbatten is sufficiently close to have raised many eyebrows.”The concern, particularly among the British as well as among Nehru’s political enemies, was that never in the history of British colonial rule had an Indian had such access to British officialdom at this level.
This was a time when newspapers rarely reported extra- marital affairs and it was generally accepted that, if discretion was used, all sorts of relationships (often with both sexes) would be tolerated.
It was not Paul Robeson who had captured Lady Mountbatten’s desires but a popular black cabaret entertainer of the day, Leslie “Hutch” Hutchinson.
All this was very much recalled by the British community in India when word of the affair between Nehru and Edwina seeped out.
It concerns one of the leading hostesses in the country – a woman highly connected and immensely rich.
Her association with a black man became so marked that they were the talk of the west End.