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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.

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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.