John Charles Francis
12 July 1905 – 18 January 1919
The Lost Prince is a British television drama about the life of Prince John
It won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries in 2005.
Prince John was the fifth son and youngest of the six children born to King George V and his wife, Queen Mary. He was the uncle to the current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II. 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 1909, at the age of 4, 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, Charlotte Jane "Lala" Bill, and befriended local children whom his mother had gathered to be his playmates.
Prince John & His Nanny
In 1910, George succeeded to the throne upon Edward's death and John became fifth in the line of succession to the British throne. John did not attend his parents' coronation on 22 June 1911, as this was considered too risky for his health; nonetheless, cynics said that the family feared their reputation would be damaged by any incident involving him. John was deemed not "presentable to the outside world."
During his time at Sandringham, John exhibited some repetitive behavior as well as regular misbehavior and insubordination: "he simply didn't understand he needed to behave." Nonetheless there was hope his seizures might lessen with time.
In 1916, as his seizures became more frequent and severe, John was sent to live at Wood Farm, with Bill having charge of his care. Though John maintained an interest in the world around him and was capable of coherent thought and expression, with his lack of educational progress the last of his tutors was dismissed and his formal education ended. Physicians warned that he would likely not reach adulthood.
Sadly 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 nanny remained devoted to the memory of the young prince right up to her own death in the 1960's when she was approaching her nineties. A large photo of Johnny as a toddler was kept on her fireplace mantel until her 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 favorable treatment by his parents, in comparison with his siblings, and contrary to the belief that he was hidden from the public from an early age, John for most of his life was a "fully-fledged member of the family", appearing frequently in public until after his eleventh birthday.
His long acknowledged learning disability and a possible intellectual disability have both been linked to his severe epilepsy; recent speculation finds some behavior consistent with autism