by Terri Wagner
Years ago I was wondering around the streets of Nawlins in a hot and humid August when I ducked into a bookstore and found this gem of a book. The following descriptive narrative is amazing isn't it?
"Prince Eddy has been born January 8, 1864, two months premature and without preparations or a nurse in attendance...From infancy the Prince had been blighted with poor health. As he matured, his lack of character and his inordinate slowness were causes for greater concern. From birth he bore a hearing deficiency, a problem which accounted for his learning disability...Prince Eddy was inclined to dark moods, and though his manners were correct, he was aloof and awkward, suffered a nervous tic, and possessed a piercing, unpleasant, high-pitched voice." Matriarch by Anne Edwards, 1984.
There are so many clues in this wonderful paragraph that makes me instantly sympathetic to this young man: premature in a time when that was practically a death sentence, his LD and hearing loss, his obvious physical difficulties. You have to wonder how much better he would have fared in today's world of exceptional children.
An aside this was Queen Victoria's grandson who was heir to the throne. He died somewhat sadly and rather conveniently leaving the stage clear for his younger brother and Prince Eddy's fiance, Princess May, to marry and become King George and Queen Mary. While by all accounts their marriage was a happy one, I still can't help but wonder about that poor neglected fellow.
In fairness I have to add he displayed quite erratic behavior and strange dressing habits (isn't that hysterical and yet I think of the strange clothes some of our youth today wear). He died January 14, 1892 at only 28. It is claimed that the royal family while sad did breath a silent sigh of relief. His brother George being a more suitable heir.
Every time I read that descriptive paragraph, I want to reach across the veil and say, ok what was his real problem? And I am amazed that no one ever seriously considered putting him aside as the heir. He was what they had to work with and so be it. That stiff British upperlip I kinda admire.
Prince Albert Edward (Eddy) left, his brother, Prince George (George V)