Prince John of the United Kingdom
(1905-1919)

Died aged 13

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 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, King Edward VII. In 1910, George succeeded to the throne upon Edward's death and John became fifth in the line of succession to the British throne. In 1909, John was discovered to have epilepsy. 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 disclosed to the wider public only after his death. Prince John's alleged 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 with his siblings. Furthermore, the Prince's apparent seclusion would have enabled him to be himself and explore his own niches away from royal life. Contrary to the belief that he was hidden from the public from an early age, John for most of his life had the role of a fully-fledged member of the family, appearing frequently in public until after his eleventh birthday, when his condition became severe.

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