- Queen Elizabeth’s disabled cousins were hidden from the public.
- The incident was revisited in an episode of the The Crown.
- Did they want them to disappear?
After the unfortunate news of Queen Elizabeth’s death, some dark incidents from the royal family’s past have resurfaced. For instance, the rumor that Queen Elizabeth’s cousins were declared dead and secretly admitted to a psychiatric hospital. But why?
According to Vanity Fair this was explored in an episode of the popular Netflix series The Crown, which is focused on chronicling the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s to modern times. As the decades pass, personal intrigues and family political rivalries are revealed.
Disabled cousins of Queen Elizabeth were declared dead and admitted to a psychiatric hospital
The shocking events were revealed again on The Crown, exploring the shocking fate of Katherine and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon, cousins of Queen Elizabeth II. Many consider it one of the ‘best kept secrets’ of the royal family.
Younger generations wanted to know more about what was depicted in the streaming series The Crown and some media have brought to light more details about the cousins of Queen Elizabeth II.
40 years later the story was exposed
According to Vanity Fair, in 1987 The Sun broke the news that two of Queen Elizabeth’s first cousins, Katherine and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon, had been secretly committed to Royal Earlswood Mental Hospital in 1941.
Forty years passed before it became known what had happened to the young women who were barely 15 and 22 years old, respectively. The story was loaded with devastating details, such as how the family had reported the sisters’ deaths to Burke’s Peerage, a publisher of books on the British aristocracy, in 1963 even though Nerissa lived until 1986 and Katherine was still alive at the time the news was published.
They died in terrible conditions
According to Vanity Fair, Katherine and Nerissa, who had a mental age of around three, were secretly institutionalized by their mother, Fenella. Fenella is said to have visited her daughters until she died in 1966 but the hospital had no record of Nerissa and Katherine receiving family visits.
When Nerissa passed away in 1986, only a few nurses attended her burial in what appeared to be a «pauper’s grave», marked with a simple plastic sign, according to some British media reports as well as Vanity Fair.
Queen Elizabeth II and her family said that it was not ‘her problem’
The Queen Mother allegedly knew of Katherine and Nerissa’s hospital admission as far back as 1982. After discovering her nieces were alive, she sent them a check «which was used to buy sweets and toys.» However, she did not visit her relatives or correct the public record.
After the story broke, Buckingham Palace declined to comment, calling the matter a problem for the Bowes-Lyon family. So Queen Elizabeth II, her mother and those belonging to the royal family washed their hands of the tragic incident which was revealed in 1987.