The Prince was baptised 3 August 1905 at St Mary Magdalen Church in Sandringham; his godparents were the King of Portugal, the Duke and Duchess of Sparta, Princess Alexander of Teck, King Haakon VII of Norway, Prince Johann of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg - his namesake - and the Duke of Fife.
At age 12, his condition having deteriorated, he was settled with his own household at Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate. Here, John was happy and well cared for. He had a nanny, Charlotte Bill, known in the family as "Lalla." Thomas Haverly was a coachman from Windsor Castle, chosen to drive for John because he was known to be reliable. He took the Prince on outings in the country or to the sea and to the "big house" at Sandringham when any members of the family were in residence. Wood Farm also had its own cook and a live-in maid. John had a tutor, Henry Peter Hansell (1863-1935), as well. An area of the garden was set aside for him with a plaque, "Prince John's garden," and gardeners who helped him tend it. Indoors, he had his books, a pedal car (in which he was photographed) and a ride-on train. Family photos show him riding a bicycle and a horse without assistance.
Other comments in the Queen’s diary include: "Tuesday, January 21st 1919. Canon Dalton & Dr Brownhill conducted the service, which was awfully sad and touching. Many of our own people and the villagers were present. We thanked all Johnnie's servants, who have been so good and faithful to him."
She was genuinely moved by their loyalty and went further than simply thanking them. Thomas Haverly's daughter was given John's blackboard, which in time passed on through her own family, and Winifred was given a number of his books with Queen Mary's own hand-written inscription, "In memory of our dear little Prince." The Queen also treasured photographs of him, her own diary notes of their time together, and letters. One of these, written by John to Winifred's uncle who had broken his arm in a riding accident, reads: "Dear Mr. Stratton, I hope your arm is better. Are you going to church? With my love from John."
The fuller entry from the Queen's diary reads:
"Lalla Bill telephoned from Wood Farm, Wolferton, that our poor darling Johnnie had passed away suddenly after one of his attacks. The news gave me a great shock, though for the little boy's restless soul, death came as a great release. I brought the news to George & we motored down to Wood Farm. Found poor Lalla very resigned but heartbroken. Little Johnnie looked very peaceful lying there ... For him it is a great release as his malady was becoming worse as he grew older and he has thus been spared much suffering. I cannot say how grateful we feel to God for having taken him in such a peaceful way, he just slept quietly... no pain, no struggle, just peace for the poor little troubled spirit, which had been a great anxiety for us for many years ever since he was four."
Prince John was buried 21 January 1919 at Sandringham Church (the Church of St Mary Magdalene), Norfolk.
The dramatist Stephen Poliakoff wrote and directed a television film The Lost Prince that viewed many of the events that transpired on the world stage during the reign of King George V through the eyes of the youngest son, Prince John. It aired on BBC One in 2003 and on BBC Two in 2006, and on PBS in 2004 and again in 2005, and on SBS in 2007. The title role was played by two young British actors, Daniel Williams (young Prince John) and Matthew Thomas (older Prince John). Charlotte "Lalla" Bill's character was played by Gina McKee. The film won three Emmy Awards.
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