Prince Albert - Known as Bertie - Has a Case of "Knock Knees"

Prince Albert - Known as Bertie - Has a Case of

Prince Albert (the future George VI, called "Bertie") is pictured here (on the left) with two of his brothers.  David, the Prince of Wales (and future Edward VIII) is on the right.

Bertie had "knock knees."  The medical professional had a painful way of dealing with that condition in the early 20th century.  To undergo knee straightening, a person’s legs were actually tied (using an excruciating method) to the splints.

How did Bertie deal with the splints?  We learn more from Royal Education: Past, Present and Future (split into paragraphs for easier reading):

...like his father and all his brothers except David [the Prince of Wales and future King Edward VIII], Bertie suffered from knock knees [called genu valgum by doctors]. In an attempt to correct this defect, a system of splints had been devised which Bertie wore during the day and, for a while, also at night.  

The experiment proved to be a painful one for the wearer, though the Prince bore it stoically.  'I am sitting in an arm chair with my legs in the new splints and on a chair,' he wrote to his mother.  'I have got an invalid table, which is splendid for reading but rather awkward for writing at present.  I expect I shall get used to it.'  Nevertheless, Hansell was soon reporting that the splints were affecting his pupil's progress. 

The situation improved slightly when he was allowed to dispense with them during the day.  (Royal Education: Past, Present, and Future, by Peter Gordon and Denis Lawton, page 187.)

Scroll up, one page, to see Bertie with three of his siblings wearing kilts and drilling with a bagpiper.


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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 26, 2014

Updated Last Revision: Apr 15, 2015

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.



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"Prince Albert - Known as Bertie - Has a Case of "Knock Knees"" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 26, 2014. Dec 18, 2018.
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