With the news that Prince Edward is now the Duke of Edinburgh, his son, James, has inherited his father's more senior subsidiary title. He is now styled as James, Earl of Wessex, instead of James, Viscount Severn.

Here's what you need to know about the 15-year-old royal:

James is the only son of Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh.

When he was born on December 17, 2007 in Surrey, his father described him as "very cute and very cuddly," according to the BBC. His name, James Alexander Philip Theo, was announced several days later; his full surname is Mountbatten-Windsor.

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The Earl and Countess of Wessex with their newborn son James.
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He is currently 15th in line to the throne.

At the time of his birth, James was eighth in the order of succession, just ahead of his older sister, Lady Louise. However, in recent years, as his older cousins like Prince William, Prince Harry, and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have had children, he moved down the line to 15th place.

Had James been born after 2011, he would have fallen in line behind his sister, thanks to the Succession to the Crown Act, which officially ended the rule that male offspring take precedence over female issue in the order of succession. (The Act was passed in 2013 and applied to those born after October 28, 2011, so it doesn't retroactively change anything.)

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Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn at the 2013 Trooping the Colour Ceremony.
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Upon birth, he received the title of Lord.

When Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in June of 1999, they decided, with the approval of the Queen, that their future children would receive the courtesy titles of the children of an earl, rather than Prince or Princess. Hence, James was known as Viscount Severn until his parents were made Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, and then he became James, Earl of Wessex. He will not inherit his father's Duke of Edinburgh title.

According to the BBC, "It is thought this decision was made to avoid some of the burdens of royal titles."

James Viscount Severn in 2016pinterest icon
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"We try to bring them up with the understanding that they are very likely to have to work for a living," Sophie said in 2020. "Hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but it’s highly unlikely."

James lives with his family in Surrey.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and their family currently live at Bagshot Park, a 17th-century estate near Windsor.

Like his sister, he has a lake named after him in Canada.

According to the Vancouver Sun, in 2008, then Manitoba Premier Gary Doer, "presented the prince with a pair of framed notices naming two Northwestern Manitoba lakes after his two children, Louise, 4, and James, five months.

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Caroline Hallemann
Digital Director

As the digital director for Town & Country, Caroline Hallemann covers culture, entertainment, and a range of other subjects