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  1. #1
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    The Queen's hidden cousins: born into an era when mental disability was a sin

    The Queen's hidden cousins: They were banished to an asylum in 1941 and left neglected (Daily Mail)

    The date was 29 July, 1981, Prince Charles and Lady Di’s wedding day, and as the Queen arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral and waved to the crowds, two women in late middle-age, in shapeless, baggy dresses, shuffled with clumsy gait up to the television and waved and saluted back to her, unable to articulate speech but making excited noises.

    It was a poignant moment, recalls Onelle Braithwaite, one of the nurses who cared for them. ‘I remember pondering with my colleague how, if things had been different, they would surely have been guests at the wedding.’

    The two women were Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon – nieces of the Queen Mother and first cousins to the Queen – who had been incarcerated since 1941 in the Royal Earlswood Asylum for Mental Defectives, at Redhill in Surrey.
    ---
    The sisters were unfortunate to have been born in an era when mental disability was seen as a threat to society and linked to promiscuity, feckless breeding and petty crime, the characteristics of the underclass; associations encouraged by popular belief in the science of eugenics, soon to be embraced by the Nazis.

    ‘So the belief was if you had a child with a learning disability, there was something in your family that was suspect and wrong,’ explains Jan Walmsley, the Open University’s professor in the history of learning disabilities.
    ---
    much more to this intriguing article, with pictures, at DM link above

  2. #2
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    The Royal Earlswood, from Wiki.

  3. #3
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    The son of King George V, Prince John Charles Francis had epilepsy and possibly Aspergers. He died in 1919 aged 13


    The little Prince lived at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate and was well taken care of until his passing, especially by his devoted nurse, Miss Charlotte Bill. He was, of course, kept a secret for many years

    A much more humane approach IMO

    Prince John of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by KateB; 06-19-2015 at 09:14 AM. Reason: repair url tag.
    England's dancing days are done...

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Oh, this is so sad! I cannot imagine anyone being ashamed of a family member with a mental illness OR physical disability. That would make them even more dear to me!
    Thoughts and prayers for the people of Paris and all of France!

  6. #6
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    Makes me very sad too. But, as L.P. Hartley wrote, "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there."

  7. #7
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    It was far more common than people probably realize. For many centuries the royal houses and those of the duchy were rife with all sorts of mental and physical disabilities because they married cousins so often to keep the lands and estates from passing out of the line through outside doweries to the bride's husband's family.

    They had no idea how not allowing the family tree to branch would result in weakening of their bloodlines.


    Believe none of what you hear, and half of what you see ~ Benjamin Franklin

    (All my post are JMO)

  8. #8
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    In many many ways, we live in the best time ever experienced by man.

    mo

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiche View Post
    In many many ways, we live in the best time ever experienced by man.

    mo
    And that we do not realize it but look to the past as an easier, better time is our tragedy.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    Horribly sad
    Both for the sisters and for John


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    The Queen's hidden cousins: They were banished to an asylum in 1941 and left neglected (Daily Mail)


    much more to this intriguing article, with pictures, at DM link above
    Thanks for posting this. I'm going to share it with a couple of my classes on Tuesday.

  12. #12
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    and of course, there was the so called "Monster of Glamis" an enigmatic mystery and haunting all in one but it sounds like a similar story to that of the unfortunate Bowes Lyon girls, a baby boy, born with some disfiguring condition, kept secret and transformed into a monster in the imaginations of those who had never seen him
    Monster of Glamis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by KateB; 06-18-2015 at 08:40 PM. Reason: repair url tag.
    England's dancing days are done...



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