Now, however, the 53-year-old granddaughter of Earl Mountbatten has announced her engagement to long-time partner David Flint Wood.
The news comes after the philanthropist had long insisted she had no plans to marry the former advertising executive, even after five children together in their quarter century as a couple.
Miss Hicks revealed her change of heart on Instagram at the weekend: ‘David and I are getting married. Five children and 25 years later! We quietly decided a few months ago.
She was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer but India Hicks has never taken her own marriage vows – despite a 25-year relationship. She is pictured second left at the wedding with the Queen and Diana
‘A celebration of unflinching love. Until death do us part.’
Last night she told the Daily Mail: ‘After months and months of lockdown, many people were ready to kill each other – we were ready to get married.’
Thousands of her 250,000 followers posted congratulations, including actress Naomi Watts.
She said: ‘OMG I just cried. Romance wins. And … some good news at last!’
TV presenter Ben Fogle said: ‘You guys! Love this.’ Supermodel Elle Macpherson wrote simply: ‘Forever.’
Miss Hicks and her fiance, 59, a former Saatchi & Saatchi executive, moved to the Bahamas in 1996 and have built and restored four houses and a hotel there.
The 53-year-old granddaughter of Earl Mountbatten has announced her engagement to long-time partner David Flint Wood (pictured together)
They have four children: Felix, 23, Amory, 21, Conrad, 17, and Domino, 12. The couple also fostered a young Bahamian, Wesley, now 23, after his waitress mother died of cancer.
Miss Hicks has coupled her entrepreneurialism with philanthropy, including working with the Global Empowerment Mission, which provides disaster relief to those afflicted by hurricanes and other crises.
She is also a partner of the food bank on Harbour Island, where the family lives.
Last year she said: ‘People often ask us why we have never got married but we have just never felt the need. Being strangers in a strange land has bonded us more than any ceremony could.’
The news comes after the philanthropist had long insisted she had no plans to marry the former advertising executive, even after five children together in their quarter century as a couple
In 2018 she said: ‘The children all carry his name, which is important to me. Our family unit is so strong but I have no ambition to be married at all.’
Miss Hicks is the daughter of Lady Pamela Mountbatten, who was herself a royal bridesmaid at the Queen’s 1947 wedding, and interior designer David Hicks.
She was educated at £40,000-a-year Gordonstoun, near Elgin, Scotland, until she was expelled for inviting boys to her room.
Despite her family and royal connections, Miss Hicks has worked to earn her keep. Originally a model, she became a designer and businesswoman, launching a luxury lifestyle business before closing it last year.
She said she enjoyed having more time for her children. Miss Hicks was one of the five bridesmaids at the 1981 wedding of Diana and Charles, who is her godfather and second cousin.
She had been on holiday in the Bahamas aged 13 when the prince phoned and personally asked her to take on the role.
‘I had to practise,’ Miss Hicks later recalled. ‘It was during these rehearsals I got to know Diana, whom I first met at a dress fitting. She always seemed more like a head girl than a princess-in-waiting, with never a shy moment in private.’
She was educated at £40,000-a-year Gordonstoun (pictured), near Elgin, Scotland, until she was expelled for inviting boys to her room
Perhaps tellingly, Miss Hicks has kept her bridesmaid’s wreath from the ceremony at St Paul’s in its original box.
And last week she posted a photograph of her dress – still in perfect condition – on social media. Remarkably it was on a hanger on her stairs alongside another royal bridesmaid dress, that worn by Lady Pamela, 91.
Miss Hicks wrote: ‘Lots of questions asking if my mother still has the dress she wore as a bridesmaid to the Queen. She does. See it here. Next to the one I wore to Charles and Diana’s wedding.
‘Both have travelled the world in exhibitions and been on display in museums before coming home to chill for a bit.’
When aged 11, Miss Hicks had been due to be on her grandfather Earl Mountbatten’s boat when it was blown up off Ireland by the IRA in 1979, killing him and three others. She escaped after staying in the family holiday home to watch a film.