Children's Pajamas


Ben Lemmon

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I had a question concerning the title of this thread. What did the pajamas look like that boys and girls wore in the Edwardian Era? I have tried to find an appropriate picture for this topic, but my searches have proved fruitless as of yet. I decided this was the best place to check for this information. Thanks in advance.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Boys - stripes I should think, or something like combinations. Girls would not have been in pyjamas. Ask Bob Godfrey, he's bound to know.
 

Ben Lemmon

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That's what I was hoping. Bob is a good source of information. After Googling what I was looking for, I found an older thread about the topic on the site. Our dear Shelley Dziedzic provided a link, but unfortunately, it no longer works. It might have been a victim of the economic deflation. I wonder what they might have looked like.

Monica, you said girls didn't wear pajamas. Would they have worn nightdresses like their mothers? Or would they have worn something completely different? Anyway, thanks for your help, Monica.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Mon is right, Ben. Edwardian boys of the middle and upper classes would have worn light coloured striped pyjamas of very traditional design, and girls had nightdresses - in both cases just like those worn by their parents. For working class kids, however, underwear would often suffice. Or, especially for the very young, some kind of unisex nightshirt.

Note that boys' pyjamas often look to be too large especially in length of arms/legs - partly for comfort, partly to allow for growth. Here's a (very accurate) film costume for a production set in 1914:

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Bob Godfrey

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I should add that in those times (as in my youth) the pyjama jacket would have been buttoned to the neck while the trousers were generally tied with a drawstring, which was a length of white cord rather like a giant shoelace. The cord was enclosed in a continuous loop at the top of the trousers.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Not still wearing striped pyjamas with a drawstring, Bob?

Isn't that a still from a TV programme about Prince John?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Play your cards right and you might find out, Mon.

Yes, that's Prince John in his jammies. There's a famous painting (done back in 1912 by Fortunino Matania) which shows a man on the boat deck dressed in exactly the same style. And there's another scene in The Lost Prince where young John is discussing the loss of the Empress of Ireland and asking "Why are all the big boats crashing at the moment?" Good question!
 
May 27, 2007
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I remember seeing that 'The Lost Prince' on PBS. I liked the costumes in it and Miranda Richardson was good as Queen Mary. Who played her husband King George?
 

Bob Godfrey

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George V was played by Tom Hollander, who also played George III in the mini-series John Adams. But he's maybe best known on your side of the Pond as the nasty Lord Cutler Beckett in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
 
May 27, 2007
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Thanks Bob.
smile.gif
I thought he was good as well. I enjoyed The Prince and it's nice to know the kid wasn't slapped in an institution.
 

Grant Carman

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Bob or George

I seem to remember when the young Prince died, he was buried in a small churchyard. I have 2 questions.

1 Was his body ever moved to the Royal burial ground at Frogmore? I mean the place behind Queen Victoria's mausoleum where non reigning royals are buried. if not,

2 What churchyard was it, and where is it, (next visit to the UK I might add it to my list)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Prince John was buried in the Church of St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham, Norfolk, which is the place of worship for the Royal Family when they are resident at their Sandringham Estate (eg traditionally at Christmas). The prince had been born on the estate and was baptised at St Mary's. The church is generally open to the public, and the house and gardens at certain times of the year but not, of course, when occupied.
 
May 27, 2007
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Hi Grant and Bob,

Glad you caught Grants Question because I don't have a clue although I've been studying Prince John because besides Will and Harry he's my favorite Royal. He sounds like the one with most sense. Pity he was only 13 or 14 when he died. I can't believe what his older brother David (Edward Later Duke Of Windsor) did when he died. Had a fit because he couldn't go out and party and had to wear black. Of course they weren't that close and there was an age gap of 11 years or more. The Duke Of Windsor also kept some photos of his Brother John. Maybe he felt bad or maybe not. I couldn't see William or Harry acting like that. Say what you will of the Late Lady Diana but at least she taught her boys courtesy and to be considerate of and loyal to others. Even if Harry wore that swastika. That's better then whining because you couldn't go to a party because your brother died.
 
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While no apologist for Edward VIII (or any other Royal for that matter) I never got the impression that he was anything other than an affectionate brother to John. Rather the reverse. His reaction to the social mourning requirements might have been more a rebellion against the mores of the time which had seen a child hidden away because he was different, and had handicaps, yet which demanded a public display of grief when he died.

I think I might have felt that way a bit if I'd been told never to mention or acknowledge my brother - until he died - and then I was to don black and eschew a social life for a suitable period of time.

As Bob's pointed out in a different thread, it wasn't easy to decide what to do with a non-normal member of the Royal family in those days, and every effort seems to have been made to both protect John and his family, and to have made his life as secure as possible. It's not easy to be Royal - less so then than now - it seems to me like being kept in luxurious house arrest. Which is why I think they should be given their freedom.
 
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Bob's just told me he's come up with something that confirms your view about Edward and John, George. I can't say I'm astonished exactly, but was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Oddly your President, when visiting, commented on how he liked John and how good his brothers were with him. That could have just been Bertie (George VI) of course, who was a bag of nerves himself with a stammer. I don't think George V was a very nice father to have....
 
May 27, 2007
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Hi Monica,

I think John and The Duke Of Kent got on very well. They were close together in years. I wonder which President it was who got to meet them? It would make sense he saw the younger boys. Because maybe they shared a nursery. As for Edward, Duke Of Windsor's remark I thought about it but he still sounds like he whining and not addressing the problem that they had to pretend that his brother didn't exist. He only stated was that they knew his brother was going west (dying) for years and now he couldn't go to parties and such because his brother was dead. His letter seemed to say why bother to mourn John when they knew he was going to die. Well because he's your brother. Doesn't seem like they were close and also had totally different lives. Didn't Edward have to apologise to his mother. I think that Queen Mary loved her son John in her way. The problem was it was messed up by duty and all the lunacy of the royal protocol. They probably did want to protect John and talked about him amongst themselves. They got letters from him. I think in King George and Queen Mary's mind John was safe in the country and save from ridicule.

By all means free the Royals. They have all the responsibilities and none of the power. Except for the Queen. She can still veto Parliament can't she? I admire the Queen. I should of added her to the list above. I'm sure she has her issues but she does the job she was brought up to do very well. She's made a few glitches but nobody's perfect. But all in all she pretty good compared to some of them. I have a photo of her Mother when she was Queen visiting Columbia University in New York during the 40's. My Great Uncle was a Chemist there. Seems he got to meet her. Which is as close as we've come to royalty.
 
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Thoughts about Prince John.
I think John was pretty sensible and made sensible comments had a very active social life and interest in the things and people around him and followed the news of the day. Which comes through when you read his letters and people's memories of things he said.
 

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