India Hicks (Brittan Goetz)

February 2024

An afternoon with India Hicks

Emma Blackmore
Emma Blackmore


To celebrate the launch of her new bedlinen collection, India Hicks – designer, businesswoman and goddaughter of King Charles III – gets cosy with Club correspondent Emma Blackmore to talk about life in the Bahamas, charity chops and Avios strategies

India Hicks does not walk into the room, she floats. A charcoal grey blazer drapes lightly off her shoulders as she greets me in the Buckingham Suite at The Lanesborough hotel overlooking Hyde Park.

“Oh, let me sit on the bed,” she exclaims, as I pull up a chair. Behind her, a gold upholstered headboard leads into a duck-egg blue and gold canopy. The room abounds with Regency splendour. Just this morning, Hicks has flown with us from New York, and is later off for lunch with her mother (former bridesmaid to the late Queen), Lady Pamela Hicks. But if she’s tired or jetlagged, she certainly doesn’t show it. She glides her hand over the Tidal Blue bed runner, not the hotel’s own, but belonging to her new Warm Harbour bedroom collection for Heirlooms, a maker of bespoke luxury linens. ‘Live an extraordinary life’ can be seen in cursive next to seashells and spider lilies on the runner.


India Hicks’ Warm Harbour collaboration with Heirlooms

“My life hasn’t necessarily been extraordinary,” she smiles. “But it has been unusual. I never thought I’d live on a tiny island, three miles long, half a mile wide, in the Bahamas, that I’d have five kids – one of whom is Bahamian. Particularly now that I’ve got to the stage in my life when I’m 56 years old and look back and wonder: how did that happen? But I’m more excited for life than ever before, and I have a better understanding of my skill set, of what I can bring and what I can do.” She pauses to reflect. “But travel has always been a huge part of my life. It’s reflected in this collection here.” The 300 thread-count white cotton sateen bedlinens and cushions feature embroidered seashells and tropical motifs. 

“I didn’t want it to be all about me,” Hicks explains. “But I did have to add Jenga, my beloved parrot, and Banger, my dachshund, plus a lovely map of the Bahamas. I think people can feel like they’ve escaped when they go to bed, even if they’re in the heart of the city.”


Harbour Island, Bahamas (Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation)

You might think, what with living in paradise, that Hicks doesn’t require holidays. You would be mistaken. She has spent many summers in the 
Algarve, Portugal, in a house her father built that’s perched on a hill commanding a view of the Atlantic. She often stays with her trusty friend Christian Louboutin at Vermelho, Louboutin’s opulent 13-room hotel in the sleepy village of Melides.

“We met when I was 18 and he promised to teach me French if I taught him English,” Hicks reminisces. “He now speaks fluent franglais and my French is hopeless,” she laughs. From there, she travels to Comporta – complete with its sunset surfing, dolphin-spotting, and horse riding over dunes – before heading to Lisbon and weaving through its charming cobblestoned streets in a tuk-tuk and staying in the Tivoli on the Avenida Liberdade. “It’s so 1970s-chic, you almost expect to see Sean Connery by the pool ordering a martini at the sky bar overlooking the twinkling city,” Hicks adds.


Christian Louboutin hotel Vermelho in Melides, Portugal

Boots on the ground
But it’s not all luxury hotels for Hicks, the granddaughter of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and daughter of interior designer David Hicks and Lady Pamela Hicks, a cousin of the late Prince Philip and lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth II. The designer, humanitarian, author and entrepreneur dedicates much of her time to disaster relief assistance via Global Empowerment Mission (GEM). She regularly flies to Warsaw with us and then on to Kyiv – she first visited just three weeks after the invasion in 2022 to deliver vital aid.


Hicks volunteering for the Global Empowerment Mission

“During my most recent trip, I felt I was getting accustomed to seeing life in a warzone. I thought I’d be able to handle it better emotionally,” she explains. “And then, when I was flying from Warsaw through London to Miami, your cabin crew started handing out ice cream in a cardboard box. With GEM, I hand out boxes of food, warm blankets, battery packs for phone and the like. When the cabin crew handed me the ice-cream box, I burst into tears, sobbing in my seat. They were all terribly confused as to how ice cream had rendered me so hysterical!”

Hicks adds: “I always say that GEM is changing the lives of so many, but it’s changed my life, and it makes me feel useful.” She joined the cause in 2019 and has since helped in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian and in Morocco after the earthquake last September. “I never wanted to be just a board member,” she smiles. “I want to be boots on the ground.”

A loyal patron
The frequent flyer (she’s currently Bronze) collects Avios through her American Express® Premium Plus Credit Card, collecting 1.5 Avios per £1 spent. “Is that a strategy?” she asks. “It’s so easy! I also like to shop when I’m on board, as I’m often so busy on the ground that I don’t have time. There’s a wonderful bronzer on High Life Shop I’m always repurchasing, and I’m always looking for Maltesers. My children are constantly asking me to bring them back to the Bahamas. I love the food served, too, and I love picking up a copy of High Life magazine in the lounge. With British Airways, there’s this feeling that you’ve got the heart of Britain when you fly.”

India Hicks’ Warm Harbour collection is available in three tranquil colours: Shell White, Morning Mist and Tidal Blue

This article has been tagged BA, Travel Tips