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Royal tragedies the world has forgotten

Like any family, the Windsors suffered their share of loss and heartbreak, but some — like the deaths of the other Princes George and William — have almost faded from public memory altogether.It was on August 27, 1979, that Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, the much-loved uncle of Prince Philip and mentor to Prince Charles, was killed by an IRA bomb while lobster-fishing with his family in Ireland.The 79-year-old was at his home Classiebawn Castle in County Sligo. A party of seven set off to go fishing on his boat, including Lord Mountbatten, his daughter Patricia, her husband Lord John Bradbourne, their 14-year-old twin boys, Timothy and Nicholas, John’s mother, Lady Doreen Bradbourne, and 15-year-old Paul Maxwell who worked on the boat. At 11.45am, an IRA bomb exploded, killing Mountbatten, Nicholas and Paul. Lady Bradbourne died the following day.On September 5, Mountbatten received a ceremonial funeral in Westminster Abbey and was buried in Romsey Abbey, Hampshire.Almost two decades later, Westminster Abbey would be the setting for another emotional funeral after Diana, Princess of Wales died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.Once again, the royal family received the terrible news whilst in Balmoral and Diana’s funeral took place on September 6, with the young Princes Harry and William famously following their mother’s coffin through the streets, to Westminster Abbey, before she was buried at her ancestral home Althorp, in Northamptonshire.But what of the other tragedies that time is erasing?Mysterious death of the other Prince GeorgeThe end of August is unlucky for the Royal Family – on August 25, 1942, the popular and handsome Prince George, Duke of Kent, was killed in an air crash when his RAF plane, captained by Australian Flight Lieutenant Frank Goyen, crashed in Caithness, en-route to Iceland, where the prince was visiting RAF Reykjavik.A total of 14 people died, with one survivor. While some mystery surrounds what happened, pilot error was officially blamed. George, 39, was the charismatic and rakish uncle to the Queen, younger brother to Edward VIII and George VI, and about to become governor-general of Australia.He was married to Princess Marina and had three children – Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra. However, according to biographer Christopher Wilson, there was an extra person on the plane – a woman – and the true details were covered up, records mysteriously lost and George airbrushed from history.Lost PrinceAnother brother to George VI and Edward VIII, was poor Prince John, known as The Lost Prince. John was the fifth son to George V and Queen Mary and was diagnosed with epilepsy and it’s now thought autism.As his condition worsened, young John was sent to live in Wood Farm, Sandringham – the house Prince Philip would later retire to. He lived there with his governess and disappeared from view, his family visiting him occasionally.On January 18, 1919, John passed away aged just 13, after a severe seizure and was buried after a private family funeral at Sandringham. While his mother was saddened by his loss, writing “for the poor little boy’s restless soul, death came as a great relief,” his older brother Edward, callously wrote of his death, “this poor boy had become more of an animal than anything else and was only a brother in the flesh and nothing else”.Secret Bowes-Lyon sistersPrince John wasn’t the only child hidden away, as viewers of The Crown Series Four saw. Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon were two of five daughters of the Queen Mother’s brother, John Herbert Bowes-Lyon and cousins to the Queen and Princess Margaret.The Netflix drama showed Margaret discovering the sisters were not dead, as listed in Burke’s Peerage, but instead locked away in an asylum.Both women had severe learning disabilities and had been institutionalised since Nerissa was 22 and Katherine 15 and there they remained, until Nerissa died in 1986, aged 66 and Katherine in 2014 aged 87.Tragic death of Princess CeciliePrince Philip had a dark and challenging childhood – exiled from Greece as a baby, his mother Princess Alice had a breakdown and went into a psychiatric hospital, before becoming a nun and the family broke apart when his sisters all married German princes.When he was 16 and studying at Gordonstoun in Scotland, his sister Cecilie, husband Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse, sons Ludwig, six, and Alexander, four, and mother-in-law Grand Duchess Eleonore, died in a plane crash on November 16 1937, in Ostend, Belgium.They were on their way to the wedding of George’s brother Prince Louis, in London and it emerged Cecilie, who was eight months pregnant, had given birth to a son on the flight.Cecilie’s daughter, Johanna, who was not on the plane, was adopted by Louis and Princess Margaret but died two years later from meningitis.Untimely loss of the other Prince WilliamBefore the Duke of Cambridge, there was another handsome, dashing pilot Prince William. William, the son of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, was the Queen’s cousin. After studying at Cambridge and Stanford, he took a job with the diplomatic service and indulged in his passion for flying – including piloting himself to Japan in 1968.However, again – at the end of August, on the 28th of the month, 1972, William’s life was tragically cut short when his plane crashed during an air show in Wolverhampton. He was 30 years old.In a tragic twist, William’s father Henry – a former governor-general of Australia – had suffered a stroke two years before and his wife Princess Alice revealed she never told him their son had been killed. He died two years later.NAT – Stay Informed – Social Media

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