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he existence of Prince John has only been discovered recently as his existence was well hidden from the British public due to reasons that have not been yet disclosed by the Royal British Family, however, most historians argue that it was to not affect the public image of the royal family. His appearance was very rarely made public and this was due to an illness from which he suffered from a very young age.

A mystery unveiled

John was born in 1905, he was the fifth child of King George V and Queen Mary. The existence of Prince John was found by the public from a picture of all the children of King George V and Queen Mary which was put up for auction and sold for 3,500 euros. What makes the picture so rare besides the presence of Prince John in it is that the picture is signed by his brothers and sister, apart from himself.

Left to right: Prince Henry, Prince Edward, Prince Albert, Princess Mary, Prince George and, sitting on Edward’s knee, Prince John (Source: InternationalAutograph/BNPS)

The picture was discovered in the 1990s and showed the public a face that was not associated with the royal family (to the public’s knowledge). The photo is now owned by a private collector of rare historical items

Prince John didn’t have a very easy childhood as at the age of four he suffered his first epileptic seizure. Other sources state that he might have also been autistic, although the world didn’t yet know of autism at the time. What is even more surprising about this story is the way he was treated by the royal family due to his severe illness.

Prince John; Prince George, Duke of Kent (Source: National Portrait Gallery)

As Prince John grew up, his illness worsened, with epileptic seizures that occurred more often and that affected his overall health. The queen and king at the time knew that this was affecting his brothers and sister, therefore they made the decision to isolate Prince John from his siblings when he was only 11 years of age.

Since then, he lived at Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate, looked after by his nanny Charlotte Bill, who Prince John would call “Lalla”. Sadly, at the age of 13, Prince John died from a severe seizure. Rumors have it that the family didn’t really react to his death, as they expected him to die at a young age due to his poor health.

As mentioned before there are still many missing pieces to this story, however, a letter from the future monarch, King Edward VIII, which was found in 2015 states:

“His death is the greatest relief imaginable or what we’ve always silently prayed for. This poor boy had become more of an animal than anything else and was only a brother in the flesh and nothing else.”

The British royal family at the time were in good relations with the Duke of Albany, who also suffered from epilepsy, but had recovered. Therefore, the British royal family was also hoping that Prince John would recover, but to not take any risks of his siblings getting too attached or conferring a bad image to the royal family in case he died, they isolated him.


Once again, it is imperative to understand that these aren’t facts, but assumptions that have been made by historians along the way, which in some perspective seem plausible. The British Royal family has always been known throughout history to be quite cold with their siblings and to care more about their own status as royalty.

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