An episode of the Netflix series "The Crown" has sparked anew controversy over the sad story of Queen Elizabeth II's cousin, and the hidden secret that the royal family has been working to hide for decades.
In a report published in the French newspaper "Le Figaro", writer Segolene Forgar says that searching for information on the Internet about the two sisters Nerissa and Catherine Bowes-Lyon will not reveal many secrets, because the royal court worked for a long time to keep everything related to the two girls secretly. .
The writer confirms that the fourth season of the Netflix series "The Crown" shed light on the fourth episode, which takes place in the 1980s, on some interesting details about the two sisters.
In addition, a documentary film previously revealed the neglect and isolation that Nerisa and Catherine experienced.
A hidden secret
Nerissa Bowes-Lyon was born on February 17, 1919, and her sister, Catherine, on July 4, 1926, from an aristocratic marriage that brought together John Bowes-Lyon, brother of Queen Mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, and Vinella Hepburn Stuart Forbes Trivusis.
They and their three other sisters did not have the opportunity to get to know their father until he died in 1930 of pneumonia.
According to the author, the two sisters Nerissa and Catherine were suffering from an intellectual disability, at a time when disability was considered a taboo in British society, which was explained by Professor of the Open University Jan Walmsley in 2011 saying, "A child with a disability is an unwanted element in the family."
So the last thing the royal family wanted to come to light in the 1940's and 1950's, when Elizabeth was about to take office at just 25 years old, was the subject of two royal girls with special needs.
The author says that the two sisters were sent in 1941 to the Royal Earlswood Hospital for Mental Illness in South London, and they were covered up, so that the book "Gentry" written by genealogist John Burke and includes biographies of the British royal family, announced that they had died.
Hospital staff knew that Neresa and Catherine were cousins of Queen Elizabeth II, the future Queen of England, but they had not divulged the secret.
Queen Elizabeth II followed her mother's approach to concealing the story of her mentally disabled uncle daughter (Getty Images)
Did the Queen plan to hide the secret?
Did the royal family plan to keep this secret?
This question remains without a definitive answer, as the author says.
The fourth episode of the fourth season of the series "The Crown" indicates that Queen Elizabeth and her mother were aware of the conditions that the two sisters, Nerisa and Catherine, are living in the hospital, but they claimed in a meeting with a newspaper in 1996 that they were ignorant of the matter.
According to the Sun newspaper, the Queen and her mother received a letter from the hospital in 1982, and have since sent money to the two sisters for New Year's celebrations and birthdays.
The news did not spread in the media until the mid-1980s, shortly after Nerisa died in 1986 at the age of 66.
As for her sister, Catherine, she died in 2014 at the age of 85, without many details being revealed.
Isolation to death
The writer adds that a documentary broadcasted by Britain's Channel 4 Channel in 2011 also shed light on what happened to Nerissa and Catherine Bowes-Lyon.
A number of nurses stated in the film that the two sisters did not receive any gifts or even greeting cards, despite their aunt, the Queen Mother, sponsors the Royal Mincap Association, which takes care of people with intellectual disabilities.
And when Nerissa died in 1986, none of her relatives attended the funeral, and no one knew her grave, which was not distinguished by anything but a plastic marker and a serial number, before the media revealed the news.
After that, the family decided it was appropriate to prepare a decent grave, and no one came to visit Catherine, who was still alive at the time.
O'Neill Braithwaite, a former nurse at the Royal Hospital for Mental Illness, said after the documentary was shown, “They were two beautiful sisters. To articulate, they would have been able to communicate better. They understood their surroundings more than we could imagine. "
The author concludes that the Royal Earlswood Hospital for Mental Illness was closed in 1997, and the "Daily Mail" newspaper revealed that at least one former nurse revealed the ill-treatment of patients at the center.
After its closure, Catherine was sent to a nursing home in Surrey, South London, where again, she was not visited by a member of the royal family.