The Crown Season Four revisits a painful part of Windsor family history. LibriVox is a hope, an experiment, and a question: can the net harness a bunch of volunteers to help bring books in the public domain to life through podcasting? Isabel Bowes-Lyon (Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, Londres, Inglaterra, 4 de agosto de 1900 – Windsor, [1] 30 de marzo de 2002) fue la esposa del rey Jorge VI y por lo tanto reina consorte del Reino Unido y los dominios británicos, desde 1936 hasta la muerte de su esposo en 1952.También fue la última reina consorte de Irlanda y la última emperatriz de la India. He defended the time-honored tradition of Burke’s Peerage taking royals at their word, but expressed shock that the royals would knowingly erase their relatives from the public record. In Season Four, Episode Seven of The Crown, titled “The Heredity Principle,” creator Peter Morgan delves into a shocking Windsor family secret: the institutionalization and subsequent abandonment of two of the Queen’s first cousins, who, owing to their developmental disabilities, were shamefully hidden from the public and declared legally dead. When The Sun’s 1987 investigation broke news of the scandal, some interpreted the Queen Mother’s failure to correct the public record and her timely patronage as evidence of a royal cover-up. Kinsey contacted the Queen and the Queen Mother, but both declined to take a meeting about Katherine’s future, and Buckingham Palace released no comment. Nerissa and Katherine are two of the daughters of John Bowes-Lyon, who is brother to the Queen Mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Some reports claim that Fenella Bowes-Lyon continued to visit her daughters until her death in 1966, but no official record exists of either sister ever receiving a family visit, nor did they ever receive birthday gifts, holiday gifts, or cards. Darwin had nothing on you lot—shame on all of you.”, The 60 Best Movies to Stream on Netflix Right Now, The 14 Best Tracksuits to Wear Every Damn Day, He Invented a Pasta That Puts Spaghetti to Shame, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Davina Bowes-Lyon, Countess of Stair (1930 – 2017) Davina Bowes-Lyon married John Aymer Dalrymple, 13th Earl of Stair, and afterward was styled Countess of Stair. 'The Crown' Season 4, Episode 7 uncovers the heartbreaking story of Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon, the queen's cousins hidden by the royal family. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's Cutest Moments, The Case for Getting Dressed Up to See Your Gyno, The New Age of Fashion Criticism Lives on Twitter, The Expert Guide To Getting a Good Night's Sleep, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. “Their illness, their idiocy and imbecility would make people question the integrity of the bloodline. “Throw in mental illness, and it’s over. Katherine was moved to a care home nearby when the Royal Earlswood Hospital closed in 1997. Episode 7 also explores the lives of two little-known royal family members, Nerissa and Katherine Bowes Lyon, first cousins to Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret. But as becomes clear during the episode, Nerissa and Katherine have almost no visitors and have essentially been abandoned by the royals. That same day, Edward, now known as Duke of Windsor, entered into an agreement with his younger brother and successor, King George VI, that secured him £25,000 annually for the rest of his life. When news of Katherine and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon broke in 1987, the royal family was engulfed in scandal, with the public outraged that the royals could treat their own flesh and blood with such callousness. If you add the Bowes-Lyon illnesses to that, the danger is it becomes untenable.”. During a session with her therapist, she discovers that she and Queen Elizabeth have two cousins who have been hidden from them—and from everyone. Emma Dibdin is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles who writes about culture, mental health, and true crime. Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon were the respective third and fifth daughters of John and Fenella Bowes-Lyon. “It is not normal to doubt the word of members of the royal family.”, The Queen Mother reportedly learned of the Bowes-Lyon sisters in 1982, having believed them dead until that year. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at, Norman Korpi on His Return to 'The Real World', HBO Has Released a New 'Game of Thrones' Trailer. Buckingham Palace declined to comment, calling the matter “an issue for the Bowes-Lyon family.” It also came to light that three other members of the Bowes-Lyon family with similar developmental disabilities were placed at Earlswood on the very same day as Katherine and Nerissa: their cousins, the three sisters Idonea, Etheldreda, and Rosemary Bowes-Lyon. Katharine Bowes-Lyon, the niece of the late Queen Mother, died on February 23 but her death was only announced by her family yesterday. All About The Crown: News, Spoilers, and Episode Recaps, What 'Hamilton' Changed About the Schuyler Sisters, A Timeline of the True Story Behind 'Athlete A', Suzette and Selena Quintanilla’s Bond as Sisters, A Timeline of the True Story Behind 'Unbelievable'. This makes them first cousins to Elizabeth and Margaret. The sisters are aware, and proud of, their royal connection—they keep photographs of Elizabeth and Margaret by their beds, and every time the royal family appears on television, they stand and curtsy. “They’re your nieces–daughters of your favorite brother. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. John was the elder brother of … In 1963, the Bowes-Lyon family reported to Burke’s Peerage, the guidebook to the British aristocracy, that both of the sisters had died, Nerissa in 1940 and Katherine in 1961. Who is Prince Andrew’s bride Sarah Ferguson ? Since the sisters remained hidden at the time, Nerissa's funeral was attended only by hospital staff, according to The Telegraph. The idea that one family alone has the automatic birthright to the crown is already so hard to justify. Read on for a primer on the fact vs. fiction of this devastating true story. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. The Telegraph reported that “the Bowes-Lyon sisters seem to have been entirely abandoned by the Royal family, aside from the £125 a year they paid Earlswood.” Speaking in 1987, a hospital representative reportedly said that “[they were] last visited, so far as I’m aware, by direct relatives in the early 1960s.”, The Crown suggests that the Queen Mother has known of the cousins’ existence all along and justifies the decision to hide them. It is believed Miss Bowes-Lyon lived at a care home in Surrey since the closure of … An episode of The Crown Season 4 sheds a light on two estranged royal relatives. (PA Images) Read more: Why 'The Crown' Season 4 is the Netflix show's best season yet If you've been watching The Crown then you would have heard of Katherine and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon, the daughters of John Herbert Bowes-Lyon (the Queen Mother's brother), and his spouse, Fenella. Every product on this page was chosen by a Harper's BAZAAR editor. In 1987, The Sun revealed the existence of the cousins in an article packed with horrific details that painted the royals in a less-than-flattering light. The hearts of Brits everywhere went out to Katherine—so much so that she received flowers from all over the nation. In 1987, a genetic expert determined that all five Bowes-Lyons women suffered from a genetic disorder, which did not affect the Queen or her heirs. Katherine lived out the rest of her life in another care facility, where she died in 2014 at the age of 87, without the royal family ever publicly acknowledging her existence. Bessie Wallis Warfield (Blue Ridge Summit, 19 de junho de 1896 – Paris, 24 de abril de 1986) foi uma socialite norte-americana. The family reported the cousins’ deaths to publisher Burke’s Peerage, which Vogue called “the who’s who of British aristocracy.” According to SurreyLive, Burke’s claimed that there had been no attempt to cover up the cousins’ existence, and said that the mistake was caused by errors made by a family member when filling in the forms they were sent. The Peerage: Davina Katherine Bowes-Lyon In 1986, the Queen Mother became the patron of the Royal Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults, which describes itself as “the leading voice of learning disability.”. After learning that her nieces were, in fact, alive, the Queen Mother sent them a check, which was used to purchase candy and toys, but she did not visit her nieces, nor did she correct the public record in Burke’s Peerage. Katherine Bowes-Lyon and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon, the Queen's cousins (Image: Netflix / The Crown) In an ironic twist, the Queen Mother was a patron of MENCAP (Image: GETTY) Katherine later died in 2014. “My family, the Bowes-Lyons, went from being minor Scottish aristocrats to having a direct bloodline to the crown, resulting in the children of my brother paying a terrible price,” the Queen Mother says in response. Episode 7 of The Crown Season 4, titled "The Hereditary Principle," is a heartbreaking and startling hour that focuses on Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter) as she unravels a dark family secret. It’s wicked, and it’s cold-hearted, and it’s cruel, and it’s entirely in keeping with the ruthlessness which I myself have experienced in this family. Every product was carefully curated by an Esquire editor. Yet despite the cold shoulder from the royal family, the sisters seemingly never forgot their heritage. Nerissa Bowes-Lyon didn't die until 1986 at the age of 66, while Katherine Bowes-Lyon died in 2014 at the age of 87. In 1996, when Earlswood was shut down, the administrator of the hospital, Peter Kinsey, contacted the next-of-kin of all patients to inform them of the shutdown and discuss next steps. John Bowes-Lyon, centre (Photo: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) A year later the tabloids heard of the story and published a series of headlines, prompting Katherine … The FBI Releases New Evidence In the Brooks Case. Adrienne Westenfeld is a writer and editor at Esquire, where she covers books and culture. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at, 'The Crown' Season 5 Starts Filming This Summer, Emma Corrin Reacts to Her Golden Globe Nod, Gillian Anderson Shares Unseen 'The Crown' Photos, Fictional Show Won't Remind You It's Fictional, Inside Princess Diana's Affair with James Hewitt, Emma Corrin Shares Unseen 'The Crown' Snaps, What Princess Diana Meant to My Black British Mom. The story explained how the cousins had been secretly placed in the Royal Earlswood psychiatric hospital in 1941, and also revealed that the family had reported them dead in 1963. Brits were uniquely outraged by the details of Nerissa’s death in 1986, after which she was buried in a pauper’s grave at a funeral attended by only Earlswood staff members. Nerissa (1919–1986) and Katherine Bowes-Lyon (1926–2014) were two of the five daughters of John Herbert Bowes-Lyon (the Queen Mother’s brother) and his wife Fenella. Harper's BAZAAR participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. “The hereditary principle already hangs by such a precarious thread,” the Queen Mother explains. In 1941, when Nerissa was 15 years old and Katherine was 22, they were sent from the family home in Scotland to Royal Earlswood Hospital at Redhill, Surrey, where they would live out the rest of their days. Decades later, the Windsors would likely prefer to leave this shameful episode consigned to the ash heap of the past, but Morgan has dragged the skeletons out of the royal closet, excavating the Windsors’ shameful secret in a tender episode about family, faith, and mental illness. The "fake death" was more complicated than it appeared, however. In 1987, when The Sun broke the news that the supposedly dead sisters had been very much alive—and secretly institutionalized—all along, Harold Brooks-Baker, an editor at Burke’s Peerage, was stunned to learn of the inaccuracy. In the show, Margaret confronts her mother, horrified by the cruelty and deception. But when the story broke in 1987, people from all across Britain sent Katherine flowers. King George III, Prince John, your uncle. In a Channel Four documentary titled The Queen’s Hidden Cousins, which aired in 2011, careworkers at Earlswood testified that, whenever members of the royal family appeared on television, the Bowes-Lyon sisters would stand up and salute or curtsy. She lived until 2014 before passing at the age of 87. Nerissa died in 1986 at the age of 67, the year before her existence became public. In 1941, when they were just 22 and 15, the sisters were sent to the Royal Earlswood Hospital in Redhill, Surrey, where they would remain for the rest of their lives. Mentally, the women were young children and could not speak. ... and The Crown features a few moments of the state funeral of Britain’s former prime minister and wartime hero. Her grave was signified by just plastic tags and a serial number, until a tombstone was added after public outrage. She was laid to rest at a private family funeral. The True Story of Princess Margaret's Affair, Watch an Exclusive Trailer 'The Crown' Season 2, The Crown Misses the Political Turmoil in Wales, The True Story of the Royal 1983 Australia Tour. A private family funeral was held. Yes. The Crown leans into the eugenics of it all, hypothesizing that the Queen Mother knowingly consigned her nieces to a terrible fate in the name of keeping the bloodline pure. Though the shock and revulsion of The Crown’s Princess Margaret is fictional, her scathing words about the moral bankruptcy of the royal family ring nonetheless true. What's the Deal With Jerry Seinfeld's Apartment? “Locked up and neglected,” Princess Margaret rages at her mother. Katherine Bowes-Lyon in 1987. LibriVox About. Lady Elizabeth Anson, the granddaughter of Fenella Bowes-Lyon and the niece of Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon, disputed claims of a cover-up. Believed to be dead, Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon have in fact been institutionalized at a psychiatric ward since the early 1940s. We may earn a commission from these links. He was an uncle to Queen Elizabeth II, although he died when she was a small child. King Edward VIII leaped into financial uncertainty the moment he signed the Instrument of Abdication on December 10, 1936. How King George V (grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II) effectively consigned his cousin and that cousin’s family to a horrific death. A deeper look at the story of Katherine and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon, who were institutionalised and kept from public view for the majority of their lives. Earlswood was not the luxurious lodging to which royal family members were accustomed. She described her grandmother as “a very vague person [who] often did not fill out forms completely that Burke’s Peerage sent her.” However, an editor for DeBrett’s, a peerage guide much like Burke’s Peerage, commented, “an oversight like that doesn’t happen.”. Eduardo VIII do Reino Unido, seu terceiro marido, abdicou do trono e se tornou Duque de Windsor para poder se casar com ela.. Seu pai morreu pouco depois de seu nascimento, com Wallis e a mãe sendo parcialmente apoiadas por parentes ricos. Though little is conclusively known about the royal family’s knowledge or complicity in the trajectory of the Bowes-Lyons sisters’ lives, Morgan paints a damning picture of a family determined to hold onto power, whatever the cost. Their exact diagnosis is not clear, because in the cruel and lazy medical parlance of the era, they were simply described as "imbeciles." There have been enough examples on the Windsor side alone to worry people. Nerissa Bowes-Lyon (18 February 1919 – 22 January 1986) and Katherine Bowes-Lyon (4 July 1926 – 23 February 2014) were two of the daughters of John Herbert Bowes-Lyon and his wife Fenella (née Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis). Yet financial records suggest that someone in the royal household knew of the sisters, as the royals annually sent 125 pounds for their care and keeping at Earlswood. It was criticized for sanitation problems and overcrowding, with nurses and relatives of patients recalling an understaffed ward of forty patients cared for by just two nurses. It doesn't seem so. The Royal Earlswood Mental Hospital in Redhill, Surrey where Katherine Bowes-Lyon, was a resident from 1941 and where her sister Nerissa died in 1986. The gene pool of that family better have 100% purity. John Herbert "Jock" Bowes-Lyon (1 April 1886 – 7 February 1930) was the second son of the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and the Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and the brother of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (the future Queen Elizabeth and later the Queen Mother). When his wife, Eleanor, died, Edward erected crosses along her funeral route including Charing Cross in London. The reality of the matter was that Nerissa died in 1986, merely a year before the scandal broke, while Katherine lived until 2014. Born seven years apart in 1919 and 1926, respectively, Nerissa and Katherine both had severe development disabilities from birth and never learned to talk. The Earl and Countess of Stair had three sons. “If this is what the Bowes-Lyon family told us, then we would have included it in the book,” Brooks-Baker said. If you’re not first in line, if you’re an individual character with individual needs or, God forbid, an irregular temperament… then you’ll be spat out, or you’ll be hidden away, or worse: declared dead. Esquire participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Katherine Bowes-Lyon died, aged 87, on February 23. The unfortunate person in question? The Queen’s cousins, Katherine and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon, who each had a mental age of about three years old and never learned to talk in their lifetimes, were the third and fifth daughters of John Herbert Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother’s brother, and his wife, Fenella Bowes-Lyon. Can you imagine the headlines if it were to get out?”, In real life, according to The Daily Express (per SurreyLive), the Queen Mother only learned that Nerissa and Katherine were at Royal Earlswood in 1982, when she received a letter from the “hospital’s league of friends.” The Express also reported that the Queen Mother sent “a four-figure sum of money so birthday and Christmas presents could be given annually to the cousins.”. James Cutler/Shutterstock In 1963, the Bowes-Lyon family reported to Burke’s Peerage , the guidebook to the British aristocracy, that both of … This tallies with The Crown's depiction, in which both Elizabeth and Margaret believe the cousins to be long dead before discovering the truth.