So Just Who Was Prince John Of The United Kingdom

We take a closer look at the life of Prince John of the United States – the forgotten son of the House of Windsor.

Over the centuries, when talking about the monarchy here in the United Kingdom, there are some names that have gone down in history as being synonymous with the British monarchy and will be remembered for centuries to come.

We have names such as Henry VIII, Queen Victoria, Elizabeth I, George V, and Queen Mary, to name but a select few. Some names, however, seem to have been forgotten and have been all but erased from the history books. Prince John of the United Kingdom is a prime example of that, so much so in fact, that he is referred to as the ‘forgotten son of the House of Windsor’.

With January 2022 now within sight, an ominous anniversary looms as it will mark 103 years since the tragic passing of Prince John of the United Kingdom.

But who exactly was the forgotten son of the House of Windsor and why did he pass so young?

Early Life

Prince John Charles Francis was born on the 12th of July 1905. He was the youngest of six children to Queen Mary and King George V.

Born in York Cottage at the Sandringham Estate, the young prince spent the majority of his life at this very estate, where he would happily play with his siblings until dusk.

Early in his life, it was clear that the young prince wasn’t in the best physical condition and by 4 years of age, he was noticeably slower than other children his age, and was prone to illness. It turned out that John was born epileptic and suffered his first seizure aged 4.

John was also less mentally developed than his siblings and would display unusual behaviour which many experts now believe to be what we know as autism.

So Just Who Was Prince John Of The United Kingdom
Prince George holding John. Photograph by James Lafayette, 1909. | Image: James Lafayette, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Illness And Growing Older

As the prince grew older, it was clear that he was sickly and in poor health. He also began displaying behavioural issues as he was far less subordinate than his siblings and was prone to mood swings and irrational behaviour.

The young Prince would often misbehave as he simply didn’t understand that he needed to behave.

Now, there are rumours that the royal family hid him from the public because of his behaviour and also his illnesses, but many royal historians rebuke these claims and state that the young prince was recognised as a full member of the royal family.

After WW1 broke out, the young prince rarely saw his parents who were carrying out royal duties. Eventually, he would be sent to live at Wood Farm.

So Just Who Was Prince John Of The United Kingdom
The royal children in 1912: (l-r) Albert, John, Henry, Mary, Edward, and George. Image: W. & D. Downey, London, SW, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Wood Farm And Death

By 1916, Prince John was regularly suffering from epileptic seizures and his health was declining. He was subsequently sent to live on Wood Farm.

He did not attend school and as a result, he was nowhere near as mentally developed as other children. Many doctors warned that it would be unlikely that John would reach adulthood.

John’s grandmother, Queen Alexandra, is said to have maintained a garden at Sandringham House, especially for the young prince, which he is said to have loved.

On the 18th of January 1919, John suffered an extreme seizure in his sleep and sadly passed away, aged just 13.

So Just Who Was Prince John Of The United Kingdom
Image: Amanda Slater from Coventry, West Midlands, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Despite his tragic passing, those close to him said that death was a blessing in disguise as it finally ended the poor boy’s suffering. His funeral took place the following day, and he was laid to rest at St Mary Magdalene Church.

Feature Image: Ernest Brooks, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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