Historian helps to identify the condition of Peter the Wild Boy

The condition that affected Peter the Wild Boy, a feral child found abandoned in a German forest and kept as a pet at the courts of George I and II, has been identified more than 200 years after his death.

Peter's charming smile, seen in his portrait painted in the 1720s by William Kent on the king's grand staircase at Kensington Palace, was the vital clue.

Lucy Worsley, the historian at Historic Royal Palaces who has been researching Peter's strange life, suspected from contemporary accounts that he was autistic.

She showed the portrait and gave the description of his physical characteristics and odd habits to Phil Beale, professor of genetics at the Institute of Child Health.

Beale ran the symptoms through his database of chromosomal disorders, and came up with a diagnosis of Pitt-Hopkins syndrome, which was identified in 1978, centuries after Peter's death....

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