For the most part, Prince Edward's earliest years were spent at Sandringham, where he, and the brothers and sister who came after him, were submitted, as soon as they became old enough, to a course of kindergarten training, which enabled the little Prince to show that he was, in the words of his grand-
Photo, IV. & D. Downey mother, the late Duchess of Teck, " extraordinarily precocious." Then, in 1907, when Prince Edward was thirteen and Prince Albert twelve years of age, they commenced their training at Osborne, ultimately being transferred to the Naval College at Dartmouth, which they recently left.
When King George took his sons to Osborne to begin their naval training, he no doubt recalled vividly the day, thirty years or so previously, when he and his brother, Prince Albert Victor, were taken by their father down to Dartmouth, and given into the charge of Captain Fairfax, who was then in command of the Britannia. The young Princes of those days quickly found that their Royal rank gave them no advantage over their fellow cadets. They shared the same classes, messed with them, played with them, and drilled with them. They stowed their kits in similar chests -the regulation sea-chest - m a r k e d with the initials "A. V. of W." and "G. of W." and generally led the same happy, in-formal life, establishing themselves quickly as favourites 6n board. The solitary distinction they enjoyed was that their hammocks were slung behind a separate bulkhead, thus ensuring a little privacy; and even this small concession was due to the Admiralty, and not to the request of their Royal father.
Life at a Training College
And the same methods were adopted in regard to Prince Edward and Prince Albert. No distinction was made between them and other cadets at Osborne or Dartmouth. They lived the ordinary life of a cadet, and when, on one occasion, an epidemic of illness broke out at Osborne, the Queen refrained from visiting them at a time when the mother of any other cadet would have been excluded, lest they should seem to have any advantage over their colleagues.
Two years were profitably spent at Osborne, the Princes going through the initial stages of engineering, with workshop practice, seamanship, navigation, and the usual curriculum of a public school. They had the same hours of study as the other cadets, the same food and accommodation, and, like all the other boys, one shilling a week as pocket-money, and no " tuck shop " account allowed. At Dartmouth they were up at 6.30 each morning, worked forty-five minutes before breakfast, and took their share of the "fagging." Here they continued their studies of steam engineering, navigation, and seamanship, studies which will be continued when the Princes go, as at present arranged, on a tour round the world on a battleship, just as their father did. Afterwards, it is probable that Prince Edward will go into a crack cavalry regiment, for he is intended to be a soldier in after life, although it would appear that his first love was for the sea.
"Daddy," he said some years ago, "I want to be a sailor."
"That's right," said his father. "Daddy's a sailor, you know, so you want to be a sailor, too? "
Here is another amusing story of Prince Edward's early childhood. One day he was studying his English history with uncommon intentness. His tutor took advantage of the occasion to examine him on the period of Henry
"Who wasper-kin Warbeck?" asked the tutor.
"Perkin War-beck," said Prince Edward, " was a pretender. He pretended he was the son of a king. But he wasn't. He was the son of respectable parents." There is another story, too, which again illustrates the simple manner in which the Royal children have been trained. A children's outfitter had called at York House with a suit of little Prince Edward's to be tried on. As she was waiting in the passage near the Royal children's apartments, the door suddenly opened, and Prince Edward came running out, crying:
"Oh, do come in-come in at once; nobody is here."
The outfitter replied:
"I think, your Royal Highness, J had better wait, as it may not be convenient for me to go into the nursery now."
"Yes, you can," said the child; "there's nobody here that matters, only grandpapa."
It might be mentioned, by the way, that Prince Edward and Prince Albert have not been altogether free from a boyish longing to "punch each other's heads" at times, and their father, finding them thus engaged on one occasion, is said to have declined to interfere.
"Let them have it out; they will make the better men for it," is the opinion he is said to have expressed.
It is significant of the care which has been bestowed upon the training of the Royal children that they have been taught to take an interest in the many charities with which their parents busy themselves. They are encouraged to give money, which has to be saved out of their own pocket-money, and thus make sacrifices for the less fortunate. There is a story which tells how Prince Edward was once asked by his nurse if he would give a few of the toys he no longer cared for to a certain poor boy. "I should like to make him a gift," replied the young Prince; "but mamma always tells us that a gift is not a gift at all unless it is something that we want ourselves, but which we give up for others. No, no, I will give him some of my own toys that I like myself."
The two youngest sons of King George V. and Queen Mary, Prince George and Prince John. The two little Princes are exceedingly fond of military drill, in which they take the greatest interest [Photo. Lafayette