The sad story of Prince Friedrich of Hesse.
Who was the prince? He was a grandchild of Queen Victoria – the son of her daughter Alice. Princess Alice married Grand Duke Louis, a member of the German royal family. Friedrich was their fifth child.
When just a toddler, he was diagnosed as having haemophilia which, as we know, was hereditary and passed down from Queen Victoria herself.
Although Friedrich’s parents were alarmed, they believed that as long as the boy was protected from harm, he should be able to lead a normal life. Indeed, Alice’s brother Leopold had haemophilia and was twenty years old at the time of Friedrich’s diagnosis.
But alas, Friedrich was to live until he was only two and a half.
In May 1973 Alice and Louis took the family for a day out in the countryside. Everyone had a wonderful time and it’s said that this was probably the last enjoyable day Alice had for the rest of her life.
Friedrich enjoyed himself as much as the rest of the family.
Early the following morning, Louis left the palace to attend an appointment. Alice was still lying in bed. Friedrich and his older brother Ernest had joined their mother in her room.Her bedroom was situated in such a position as to be able to see the adjoining sitting room from the window.
Ernest wandered into the sitting room and Friedrich, wanting to know where his brother had gone, went to the bedroom window and climbed up onto a chair.
The little boy fell twenty feet to the ground below.
Servants rushed to him and although he was unconscious, there were no apparent injuries. The doctors checked to see if the boy had a fractured skull but this proved to be negative. Friedrich regained consciousness but didn’t say a word or make a sound. His mother, Alice, refused to leave the boy’s bedside.
Because of haemophilia, the bleeding in his brain caused the little boy to die that afternoon – the 29th May, 1873.
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