A new film focuses on the last Viceroy Lord Mountbatten overseeing the final transition of British India to Independence in 1947.

British rule was coming to an end after 300 years.

Viceroy’s House, starring Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson, looks at six months of tumultuous history leading up to the creation of two nations: India (Hindu) and Pakistan (Muslim).

British Prime Minister Clement Atlee appointed Mountbatten as Viceroy to oversee the granting independence to India within a deadline of June 1948.

Lord and Lady Mountbatten with Mahatma Gandhi, 1947

Mountbatten negotiated with Pandit Nehru, the ruling Congress Party’s leader; Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Muslim League leader and pacifist Mahatma Gandhi.

Nehru said India should remain united as a single country under his leadership but Jinna insisted upon a separate Muslim state.

Independence was declared on 14 and 15 August 1947 so Mountbatten became the Indian Governor-General until June 1948.

Lord Mountbatten swears in Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as the first Prime Minister of free India at the ceremony held on 15 August 1947.

It was a momentous decision which still affects politics today.

Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin Lord Mountbatten lived in Delhi in a household of 500 Hindu, Muslim and Sikh servants who lived downstairs.

Viceroy’s House screens in British cinemas from Friday, 3 March, and due for release in Australia from Thursday, 18 May 2017.

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