The only child of legendary pop musician Prince tragically died just a week after his birth. Prince’s son, Boy Gregory, was born to his first wife, Mayte Garcia, October 16, 1996, and died October 23, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Prince, who passed away at his Minnesota home on April 21 at the age of 57, did not have any other children. His first wife told The Mirror last year that she had a miscarriage not long after Boy Gregory’s death. He later married a second time, to Manuela Testolini, but they did not have any children.
“To lose two babies is really scary… it really caught on me emotionally, physically, everything. It took me at least 15 years to get over it and still, to this day, I miss my son,” Garcia told The Mirror last year. “I believe a child dying between a couple either makes you stronger or it doesn’t. For me, it was very, very hard to move forward and for us as a couple I think it probably broke us.”
Boy Gregory died from complications of Pfeiffer syndrome, a rare birth defect. According to the U.S. National Library of Science, the syndrome is “is a genetic disorder characterized by the premature fusion of certain skull bones (craniosynostosis). This early fusion prevents the skull from growing normally and affects the shape of the head and face.”
The syndrome affects about 1 in 100,000 individuals.
According to the Star Tribune, Boy Gregory was 7 pounds, 12 ounces, when he was born. An autopsy was not performed, the newspaper reported, but Dr. John Fangman listed the baby’s cause of death as natural.
Prince did not publicly release information about the birth and death of his son. It was leaked by two sisters, Arlene and Erlene Mojica, who worked for Prince at his Minnesota estate, according to E! News. They were later fired and sued by Prince for breaching confidentiality.
Prince had told the St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Whenever we give birth to our children, the world won’t know their names, their sex, anything. Our child has to make those decisions.”
Prince and Garcia appeared on Oprah a week after their son died, giving her a tour of his home. He showed her the boy’s playroom, but did not acknowledge his death. Garcia told The Mirror they weren’t able to process the death.
When Oprah asked the status of Garcia’s pregnancy, Prince replied, “Well, our family exists. We’re just beginning it. And we’ve got many kids to have, a long way to go.”