Figure 1.--The Environment around the children's great grandmother was very different than the enviroment around their grand parents.
Albert and his older brother David, as well as their sister Mary, were born into rather startlingly different circustance. More children were to come, but these three older children grew up in the nursery together and were very close to each other. Their great grandmother Queen Victioria was still alived and continued to live in an evironment of mourning and gloom. This could not have been more drastically different than the world of their grand parents the Prince and Princess of Wales who lived in a world of lights and spcial elegance. Both, but especially the Princess of Wales loved to spoil and dote on the children. Than their was their own parents, Prince George and Princess Mary. Their father believed in a rather plain life and insisted on strict discipline for the children.
Their great grandmother Queen Victoria, or Gangan as she was referred to, was still alived and continued to live in an evironment of mourning and gloom. Her husband Prince Albert had died when she was 42 and she mourned him for the rest of her life. Victoria's dress symbolized the world of mouring the children found when visiting her. Vicoria dressed in black for the rest of her life, except for a white widdows cap with streamers--diamonds might be added for special occasions. She wore gold braclets that contained locks of her children and grandildren. She also wore a two sided locket that contained portraits of her first two children to die, Princess Alice and Prince Leopold. locket The royal quarters, especially Winsdsor, Osborne and Balmoral, all contained shrines to grear grandfather. The rooms where he worked and died were left unused in just the condition they were in on the day he died. The family quarters were filled with mementos of Prince Albert, locks of his hair, photographs, figurines, bysts, statutes and much more. Young Prince Albert, named after his Great Grandfather, remembered Great Grandmother's summer palace Osborne, designed by his Granfather for his growing family, as the family necroplis as it was so filled with relics. The gloom in which Gangan lived was deepened by the silence. Biographer Darah Bradford writes, "All this mourning and the isolation in whivcvh she loved, added to the almost total silence with which she liked to be surounded, must have made visting `Gangan' a depressing ordeal for her grerat grandchildren." [Bradford, 1989, p. 6]
This could not have been more drastically different than the world of their grand parents the Prince and Princess of Wales who lived in a world of lights and spcial elegance. Both, but especially the Princess of Wales loved to spoil and dote on the children. Their grandparents' home could not br more of a contrast living right next door in Sandringham House. One historian described their grandparent' home Sandringham House as bathed in "perpetual sunlight" in contrast to their own military styled, rather spartan home at York Cottage. As one historian puts it, both Alix and her husband were "in their element as grandparents". While with grandmama they were outrageously endulged. The Duke and Duchess of York, did not especially approve of Alix's endulgences with the children, but neither was about to make a strong issue of it which would have terribly upset Alexandra. The Duchess was a level-headed woman. Prince George was Alexandra's favored child. The relationship between them was very close. She knew that there was no way her husband would deny his adored mother access to her grandchildren, despite differences as to how children should be raised. Alexandra as a result was allowed to have the children whenever she wanted. The young princes and princess loved to visit their grandmother who spoiled them terribly, in contrast's to their fathers' strict navy routein. The children quickly learned that the excuse, "but grandmama said we could" often got them out of difficult situations. Alix developed an especially close attachment to Prince John, the youngest child.
The environment provided their own parents, Prince George and Princess Mary, were different still. Their father believed in a rather plain life and insisted on strict discipline for the children.
Battiscombe, Georgina. Queen AlexandraBradford, Sarah. The Reluctant King: The Life and Reign of George VI, 1995-1952 (New York: St. Marin's Press, 1989), 506p.
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