A few years after their royal wedding, the couple became first-time parents as they welcomed their daughter, Lady Louise, in November 2003. In December 2007, they welcomed their second child and first son, James, Viscount Severn.
Upon both of their births, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex opted not to give their children prince and princess titlesalthough they can choose to receive the titles when they turn 18according to the 1917 Letters Patent, which decrees that all children of the monarch’s heirs have princely status and can use the designation His or Her Royal Highness.
“We try to bring them up with the understanding that they are very likely to have to work for a living,” the Countess of Wessex told Times of London about their decision not to give Louise and James titles. “Hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but I think it’s highly unlikely.”
As the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth IIPrince Edward and his family aren’t in the spotlight as much as his siblings, but they have made quite a few royal appearances together over the years.
In April 2015, Prince Edward’s children participated in their first overseas engagement when they accompanied their parents on a trip to South Africa. Since then, they have joined their parents to everything from the Commonwealth Games Trooping the Colour.
Here’s everything to know about Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex’s two children.
Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor
Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor was born on Nov. 8, 2003, at Frimley Park Hospital in Frimley, Surrey, about a month earlier. Louise was transferred to a neo-natal unit in St George’s Hospital, Tooting, London, away from her mother, who lost several pints of blood during the delivery.
As a result of her experience with her daughter’s premature birth, which also resulted in Louise having esotropia (an eye condition Sophie described as a “profound squint”), Sophie does charitable work on behalf of premature infants and avoidable eye conditions. Surgery has corrected Louise’s condition, but as Sophie told The Sunday Times in June, “it’s still not perfect, but none of us are.”
She was later baptized in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle in April 2004. She was the last child to wear the royal christening gown which was originally made in 1841 for Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Princess Victoria. The royal children after Louise have worn a replica of the gown for their royal christenings, including ceremonies Prince George and Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Louise has participated in major royal events over the years, including being a bridesmaid in Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding in 2011 when she was 7 years old. Years later, she also served as a special attendant at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.
Like her late grandfather Prince Philip, she has taken up carriage driving and has participated in several Royal Windsor Horse Shows. She has also followed in the footsteps of her royal cousin, Prince William, as she announced in August 2022 that she would be attending his alma mater St. Andrews Universitythe same place he first met Kate Middleton.
James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn
James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn was born on Dec. 17, 2007, at Frimley Park Hospital in Frimley, Surrey. He is the youngest grandchild of the late Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II and is 14th in line to the throne, right before his sister who is 15th. This is due to the fact that they were both born before the Succession to the Crown Act in 2013which made it that birth order determines who will become the next king or queen of the UK, regardless of gender.
He was later baptized in April 2008, in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle. James was the first to wear a replica of the traditional royal christening gown, as the original gown had since been preserved.
While he hasn’t served in any royal wedding parties, he was present for a handful of them, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May 2018 and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding a few months later.