I was fascinated to watch a Channel 4 programme narrated by Giles Brandreth, about Princess Alice (the Duke of Edinburgh's mother). She had three daughters before Prince Phillip and after a while began telling people that she was in touch with Christ. Sadly, her mother took her away from the Prince (when he was 9 years old) under cover of darkness to a Sanatorium abroad for wealthy people. She was locked away for over two years, and was eventually diagnosed with Schizophrenia.
Eventually after years she was able to discharge herself (she had missed the weddings of her daughters because she was locked away) and did not go home but 'disappeared' and lived in a hostel in Greece, not venturing out. She did set up a hospital and orphanage and was very helpful to a Jewish family during the war. Princess Alice founded her own religious order in later life (the Sisterhood of Martha and Mary) and the most poignant recording to watch was at the Queen's Coronation in 1953 where she appeared as a solitary figure following them down the aisle dressed in a nun's habit. I wondered if this poor woman could have suffered PP?
I was so interested to think that royalty in history might have had similar delusions to myself that I did some more research. I found reference in history to Harriet Mordaunt (7 February 1849 - 9 May 1906) who was the Scottish wife of an English Baronet. She had a daughter, prematurely, Violet Caroline, in 1869. Harriet was the respondent in a sensational divorce case in which the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) was embroiled and, after a counter petition led to a finding of mental disorder, "pueperal mania". Poor Harriet spent the remaining 36 years of her life in a mental asylum.
Even celebrities are not immune to PPD ….. Brooke Shields has written about her journey through postpartum illness, “Down Came the Rain”. Marie Osmond in her memoirs in 2001 wrote about her journey out of postpartum depression. Also Zoe Ball and the comedienne, Ruby Wax have had PPD. However, I have not found a celebrity who has had postpartum psychosis. I wonder if anyone has an interest in this - or knows of someone famous that could have suffered from PP? If so, please add your comments!
I hope you have enjoyed this trip back in time to the present day and will leave you to ponder that, perhaps we all have a thread that linked us to royalty and celebrity however immobilising it is / was at the time?