Prince Philip hoped for peace in a letter in 1979.

Prince Philip hoped for peace in a letter in 1979.Getty

A letter from Prince Philip revealing that he hoped the reaction to the murder of his uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten by the IRA would help bring peace to Northern Ireland has gone up for sale in an online auction. 

Editor's note: On this day, Aug 27, 1979, the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and last Viceroy of India, was killed along with three companions, two of them children, by the IRA when his boat is blown up near County Sligo.

Another letter from Margaret Thatcher shortly after she was targeted by the IRA in the Brighton Bombing is also set to be auctioned later this month. 

Read more: New documentary makes salacious claims about Lord Mountbatten's affairs

Lord Mountbatten was assassinated by the IRA in 1979 when the terrorist organization blew up his fishing boat off the coast of Sligo. The attack also claimed the life of Mountbatten's teenage grandson - Nicholas Knatchbull -  and the life of a teenage crew member - Paul Maxwell -  from Enniskillen, in County Fermanagh. 

Mountbatten was pulled from the waters alive by a local fisherman but died shortly afterward from his injuries. 

The Royal Family received dozens of letters of condolences following Mountbatten's murder and among the sympathizers was actor Lionel Jeffries, who Prince Philip is responding to in the letter. The letter was sold at auction in May 2020.

Read more: Lord Louis Mountbatten's assassination by the IRA

Prince Philip said that he hoped the widespread outrage and condemnation that greeted Mountbatten's murder would cause the IRA to have a change of heart and abandon their campaign of violence in Northern Ireland. 

"I am most grateful to you for your thoughtful letter of sympathy," Prince Philip said in the letter. 

"Let us hope that the great wave of revulsion against this senseless act of terrorism may yet bring a change of heart in those that believe that violence and brutality are the only solutions to their problems." 

Jeffries died in 2010 and the letter passed into the possession of one of his relatives. The relative auctioned off this letter and four other secretarial letters were written on behalf of other members of the royal family. 

Read more: Wallis Simpson refused to return family heirlooms claims Lord Mountbatten's daughter

Margaret Thatcher, meanwhile, penned a letter to journalist Montague Modlyn shortly after the Brighton Bombing almost claimed her life. 

Modlyn wrote to Thatcher to express his sympathies following the bombing of the Conservative Party Conference in the Grand Brighton Hotel in October 1984. The blast killed five people, including a Conservative MP. 

Thatcher wrote a hand-written reply to Modlyn and said that evil would not prevail. 

"It was very good of you both to be at Brighton for the closing speech. The enormity of what happened is just coming home to us. But evil must not prevail," she said in the 1984 letter.

Read more: Was Lord Mountbatten in an open marriage?

* Originally published in our sister publication IrishCentral in May 2020.