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Best of 2014

Prince John: The Windsors Tragic Secret – video –

Best of 2014Editor's Pick

Prince John of the United Kingdom (John Charles Francis; 12 July 1905 – 18 January 1919) was the fifth son and youngest of the six children of King George V and his wife, Queen Mary. At the time of John’s birth, his father was the Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, Edward VII. In 1910, George succeeded to the throne upon Edward’s death and John became fifth in the line of succession.

The Princess of Wales with her four youngest children, c. 1905

The Princess of Wales with her four youngest children, c. 1905

In 1909, John was discovered to be afflicted by epilepsy and was also believed to have some form of intellectual disability, possibly autism. As his condition deteriorated, he was sent to live at Sandringham House and was kept away from the public eye. There, he was cared for by his governess, «Lala» Bill and befriended local children whom his mother had gathered to be his playmates. Prince John died at Sandringham in 1919, following a severe seizure, and was buried at nearby St Mary Magdalene Church. His illness was released to the wider public only after his death.

Prince John’s seclusion has subsequently been brought forward as evidence for the inhumanity of the royal family. However, records show that the Prince was in some ways given favourable treatment by his parents, in comparison to his siblings, and his mother had love and concern for him.

Biography

Birth

Prince George holding Prince John. Photograph by James Lafayette, 1909.

Prince George holding Prince John. Photograph by James Lafayette, 1909.

Prince John was born at York Cottage (on the Sandringham Estate) on 12 July 1905, at 3:05 a.m. He was the youngest child and fifth son of George Frederick, Prince of Wales and Mary, Princess of Wales (née Mary of Teck). He was named John despite that name’s unlucky associations for the royal family,[4] but was informally known as «Johnny». As a grandchild of the reigning British monarch in the male line, and a son of the Prince of Wales, he was formally styled «His Royal Highness Prince John of Wales» from birth.
John was christened on 3 August in the Church of St Mary Magdalene at Sandringham, the Reverend Canon John Neale Dalton officiating. His godparents were King Carlos I of Portugal (his third cousin once removed, for whom the Prince of Wales stood proxy), the Duke of Sparta (his first cousin once removed), Prince Carl of Denmark (his uncle by marriage and first cousin once removed, for whom the Prince of Wales stood proxy), Prince John of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (his great-great-uncle, for whom the Prince of Wales stood proxy), Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife (his uncle by marriage, for whom the Prince of Wales stood proxy), the Duchess of Sparta (his first cousin once removed, for whom Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom stood proxy) and Princess Alexander of Teck (his first cousin once removed, for whom Princess Victoria stood proxy).

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