11. The theory Prince Albert was Jack the Ripper emerged in 1962
Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, endured several scandals during his lifetime. He remains the subject of much speculation among historians and biographers today. He may have suffered from a venereal disease, though likely not syphilis as alleged by ripperologists who claim he was Jack the Ripper. Their claims usually include the belief the Prince acquired syphilis from a female prostitute, and committed the murders after being driven mad by the disease. Another version states the Prince fathered a child with a prostitute in Whitechapel, a fact known by at least three of the five canonical victims. Albert, according to the theory, committed the murders to prevent his indiscretion from becoming known. The theory remains a popular one among ripperologists and in Hollywood. But it is almost certainly not true.
Catherine Eddowes and Elizabeth Stride were murdered on September 30, 1888, in Whitechapel. On that date Prince Albert was in residence at Balmoral, Scotland, more than 500 miles from London. Despite this presentation of fact, which is included in court documentation contemporaneous to the time, Albert as Jack the Ripper is a popular theory. Several films present the theory as factual, as do others which feature fictional characters, including Sherlock Holmes. Rumors and scandals followed Prince Albert after his death at Sandringham, from pneumonia, at the age of 28. Some propose he was murdered by agents of the Royal Family, in order to hide further scandals and to remove him from the line of succession. Whatever his other foibles and indiscretions, he was most certainly not the Whitechapel murderer known as Jack the Ripper.