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James, Earl of Wessex

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Earl of Wessex
James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn

(2007-12-17) 17 December 2007 (age 16)
Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, England
FamilyHouse of Windsor

James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor, Earl of Wessex (born 17 December 2007), styled Viscount Severn from 2007 until 2023, is the younger child and son of Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh. He is the youngest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the youngest nephew of King Charles III. At the time of his birth, he was 8th in line to the British throne. He is now 15th in line.



James was born on 17 December 2007 at 16:20 GMT at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey by caesarean section.[1][2] His full name, James Alexander Philip Theo, was announced on 21 December.[3]

James was baptised on 19 April 2008, in the private chapel of Windsor Castle by David Conner, Dean of Windsor,[4] witnessed by his godparents, Alastair Bruce, Duncan Bullivant, Thomas Hill, Denise Poulton and Jeanye Irwin,[5] and his grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.[6]



James attended Eagle House School, a coeducational preparatory school near Sandhurst, Berkshire from 2011 to 2021, before joining the private Radley College in Oxfordshire.[7]

Official appearances


James made his first appearance in the carriage procession at Trooping the Colour in 2016[8] and has appeared in several more since.

In September 2020, he joined his parents to help the Great British Beach Clean at Southsea Beach in Hampshire, in support of the Marine Conservation Society.[9][10]

Following the memorial service for his grandfather Prince Philip on 29 March 2022, Viscount Severn attended the Platinum Jubilee National Service of Thanksgiving[11][12] and the Platinum Party at the Palace in June 2022.[13]

On 17 September 2022, during the period of official mourning for his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, James joined his sister Louise and six cousins to mount a 15-minute vigil around the coffin of the late Queen, as it lay in state at Westminster Hall.[14] On 19 September, Lord Severn joined other family members at the state funeral.[15]

On 6 May 2023, James (now Earl of Wessex) attended his uncle Charles III's coronation at Westminster Abbey, together with the rest of the royal family. The next day they attended the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle.[16]

On 31 March 2024, James attended the Easter Mattins Service at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, with his mother and father. He was the only member of the younger generation of royals to attend.[17]

Titles, styles, and honours


Titles and styles


The title Viscount Severn alludes to the Welsh roots of Sophie's family.[18] James was accorded this courtesy title at birth, as heir apparent to his father's earldom.[19]

At birth, James automatically became a prince of the United Kingdom (Prince James of Wessex, now Prince James of Edinburgh) due to letters patent issued in 1917 which assigned princely status and the style of Royal Highness to all male-line grandchildren of a sovereign.[20][21] However, when his parents married, Buckingham Palace announced that their children would be styled as the children of an earl, rather than as prince or princess.[22] In 2020, James's mother reaffirmed that James and his sister retained the right to their royal titles and styles and could make a choice on whether to use them from the age of 18.[23]

On his father being elevated as Duke of Edinburgh in March 2023, James became styled by courtesy as Earl of Wessex, now the family's senior subsidiary title.[24][25] The Dukedom of Edinburgh, being created as a life peerage, will become extinct upon his father's death, but as heir apparent to his father's hereditary peerages of Earl of Wessex, Earl of Forfar and Viscount Severn, James is expected to succeed to them in due course.[26]

Honours and decorations


In June 2008, to recognise Prince Edward's visit to the Canadian province of Manitoba, the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba named a lake in the north of the province after Viscount Severn called Lake James. James's sister was similarly honoured by lending her name to Lake Louise in the same province.[28]

See also



  1. ^ Coke, Hope (6 May 2023). "Who is the new Earl of Wessex? James joins Prince Edward and the Duchess of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey". tatler.com. Retrieved 18 May 2023.
  2. ^ "Countess gives birth to baby boy". BBC News. 17 December 2007.
  3. ^ "Edward and Sophie name baby James". BBC News. 21 December 2007.
  4. ^ "Who is the new Earl of Wessex? James joins Prince Edward and the Duchess of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey". Tatler. 12 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Announcement of the Arrangement for the Christening of Lord Severn". royal.uk. 15 April 2008. Archived from the original on 20 April 2008.
  6. ^ "Queen sees grandson's christening". BBC News. 19 April 2008.
  7. ^ Russell, Rebecca (2 March 2024). "Reason James Wessex 'won't work for the Firm' – and who will inspire him". OK! Magazine.
  8. ^ "Trooping the colour on the Queen's 90th birthday – in pictures". The Guardian. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  9. ^ Rice, Francesca (21 September 2020). "The Countess of Wessex looks cool and casual in jeans to litter-pick at the beach with her family". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Prince Edward and family spend sunny weekend on beach clean". Tatler. 21 September 2020. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  11. ^ Hughes, Seren (2 June 2022). "Royal fans can't believe how grown up the Queen's youngest grandson looks". MyLondon.
  12. ^ "Who was at the Queen's Jubilee service of thanksgiving? Royal family joined by Harry, Meghan and politicians past and present". Sky News.
  13. ^ Coke, Hope (4 June 2022). "'You laugh with us and cry with us': Prince Charles pays heartfelt tribute to 'mummy' at historic Platinum Party". Tatler. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  14. ^ McCrum, Kirstie (17 September 2022). "Queen's grandchildren stand solemn vigil in Westminster Hall". WalesOnline. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  15. ^ "Queen's youngest grandchild James Viscount Severn, 14, attends funeral with sister". The Independent. 19 September 2022.
  16. ^ "The Coronation of TM The King and Queen Camilla". BBC. Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  17. ^ "The Best Photos of the British Royal Family on Easter 2024". Town & Country. 31 March 2024.
  18. ^ "Wessex titles for Edward and Sophie". BBC News. 19 June 1999. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  19. ^ "Burke's Peerage". burkespeerage.com.
  20. ^ "Royal Styles and Titles of Great Britain: Documents". www.heraldica.org. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
  21. ^ "No. 30428". The London Gazette. 14 December 1917. p. 13086.
  22. ^ UK Government News – 19th June, 1999: TITLE OF HRH THE PRINCE EDWARD (Accessed 18 January 2014)
  23. ^ "Queen Elizabeth's Grandchildren Will 'Work for a Living' and Won't Use HRH, Says Mom Sophie Wessex". People. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  24. ^ "Prince Edward given Duke of Edinburgh title previously held by his father Prince Philip". Sky News. Retrieved 10 March 2023.
  25. ^ Davies, Caroline (10 March 2023). "King Charles gives Prince Edward 'Duke of Edinburgh' title". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 March 2023.
  26. ^ Tominey, Camilla (10 March 2023). "Prince Edward may have the Duke of Edinburgh title – but getting it wasn't easy". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 March 2023.
  27. ^ "Coronation Medal to be awarded to Armed Forces and frontline workers | The Gazette". www.thegazette.co.uk.
  28. ^ "Prince Edward begins Winnipeg visit". The Vancouver Sun. Canada. 2 June 2008. Archived from the original on 15 April 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
James, Earl of Wessex
Born: 17 December 2007
Lines of succession
Preceded by Line of succession to the British throne
15th in line
Followed by
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by Gentlemen
Earl of Wessex
Followed by