As an Anglophile, I've watched lots of documentaries and films on British Royal families. What comes through to me over and over again is that although the royal parents may love their royal children, showers of love and affection are simply "not done." The children are raised by nannies, governesses and other support staff. They are then shipped off to far reaches of the kingdom and slapped into various boarding schools.
The Lost Prince is about Prince Johnnie, son of George V and Mary, who has at the very least epilepsy and some learning difficulties. As was the custom of the day, such frailties were kept secret from one's subjects (his cousin Alexei Romanov's haemophilia was never public knowledge either). In Prince Johnnie's case, he was hidden away from public view and finally removed from his family entirely, presumably to maintain public trust in the strength of the dynasty.
As sad his life may appear to us 21st century types, I am left wondering if Johnnie didn't have the better deal than the rest of his siblings. He was loved and adored by his nannies. He spent his time living in a world of his own design, while maintaining a tether to his surroundings and the people in it. I look at his two most famous brothers, Edward and George VI and I have to believe Johnnie had a happier (albeit short) life.
Was his life and situation poignant? Yes, absolutely! But, in the years after Johnnie's death, would anyone have wanted to trade places with his more famous brothers, Edward and George VI? Neither had the tools or emotional confidence to face the challenges that nearly crushed them separately. Johnnie on the other hand spent his last days tilting at windmills and romping in the English countryside.
Children with disabilities have been treated so inhumanely, due in part to parental helplessness, ignorance and shame. Johnnie, however, was lucky; instead of being locked away in an asylum or lobotomized like Rosemary Kennedy, his parents simply made him disappear - into his own world.
I don't agree with their choice at all, but given that up until Princes William and Harry, the main sources of love for British princes appears to have been hired help and not from the parents, little Johnnie did okay.
The Lost Prince is a lovely movie that will touch you immensely - at least it did me.