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Meet Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie’s children: all about Lady Louise and James, Earl of Wessex

Meet Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie’s children: all about Lady Louise and James, Earl of Wessex
Meet Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie’s children: all about Lady Louise and James, Earl of Wessex

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Out of all the late Queen and Prince Philip’s children, it is only Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie who found love on the first try, with the pair’s relationship still going strong since they walked down the aisle in 1999.

The pair’s romance has seen them welcome two children together. At 23:32 on 8 November 2003, Edward and Sophie’s first child, Lady Louise Windsor, was born, however it was far from an easy birth for the then Countess of Wessex. Lady Louise was born prematurely and delivered through a caesarean section after Sophie went through a placental abruption. The birth was so sudden that Edward wasn’t even present for the moment his firstborn was welcomed into the world.

Edward and Sophie would become parents again in 2017 with the arrival of their son, James. The young royal was born on 17 December 2007 and like his sister was born through a cesarean section.

Unlike other royal children, Edward and Sophie have kept their young family out of the spotlight as they grew up. Sightings were often restricted to official engagements, which were few and far between and the utmost secrecy has mostly surrounded the pair.

© Max Mumby/Indigo
The siblings have a close bond

Louise and James haven’t followed other royals in terms of titles, with theirs coming from being the children of an Earl as opposed to being a child of a royal. Read on to find out all you need to know about the teenage children of Edward and Sophie.

Lady Louise Windsor, 20

Lady Louise was born prematurely on 8 November 2003 at the Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey. The royal was delivered through cesarean section after Sophie suffered from a placental abruption, when the placenta separates before childbirth, which lead to major bleeding for both Sophie and Louise. As a precaution, Louise was transferred to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, while Sophie remained at Frimley while she recovered. Edward was not present for the birth of his daughter, as he was on an official trip to Mauritius at the time.

A sleeping baby© Getty Images
Louise was born prematurely

This was not the end of Louise’s health woes as the royal was born with esotropia, a condition where one or both of a person’s eyes turn inwards. Louise has had to operations to fix the condition, the first in 2006 was unsuccessful, but a further attempt in 2013 did correct the issue.

Prince Edward holding a baby girl while stood with Duchess Sophie© Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library
Lady Louise is Edward and Sophie’s eldest child

Louise hasn’t made many official appearances, but in 2011, the then seven-year-old was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate. Louise has also joined her family abroad in South Africa and as a birthday treat for her 15th birthday, Louise and Sophie sat in the audience of Strictly Come Dancing. 

Louise has been making more public appearances over the past few years, taking on roles at a memorial service for her grandfather, Prince Philip, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, as well as Her Late Majesty’s state funeral and the coronation of her uncle, King Charles III.

The Queen's grandchildren standing vigil around her coffin© WPA Pool
Lady Louise and her brother stood vigil at the Queen’s coffin in 2022

Louise had a special bond with her grandfather and she inherited his passion for carriage driving. Following his death in 2021, the late Duke of Edinburgh gifted her his personal carriage and driving ponies.

Lady Louise Windsor carriage driving© Max Mumby/Indigo
Lady Louise has a passion for carriage driving

Following her 18th birthday in 2021, Louise was able to use the royal title of ‘Princess Louise’, however, so far she has decided against this.

James, Earl of Wessex

Born on 17 December 2007, James was also born through a caesarean section, although his birth was less eventful than that of his older sister. Edward was present for his son’s birth and later told media the young royal was “like most babies, rather small, very cute and very cuddly”. James is the youngest grandchild of the late Queen and Prince Philip.

Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie holding a baby boy© Tim Graham Royal Photos
James was born in 2007

Like his sister, James has mostly kept out of the spotlight, with the young royal making one of his first official appearances when he was four, appearing at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. He has since joined his family on a trip to South Africa and like his older sister has made more frequent appearances over the past few years with the Jubilee celebrations, state funeral and coronation.

A young Lady Louise Windsor and James Earl of Wessex at Trooping the Colour© Mark Cuthbert
James was the original Prince Louis with his hands

Upon his birth, James was referred to as Viscount Severn, a nod to the Welsh heritage of his mum. When his father and mother were made the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh in 2023, the royal’s title changed to be James, Earl of Wessex, Edward’s previous title. James does not yet have full claim to the title, which only officially become his upon the death of his father. It is unlikely that James will be made Duke of Edinburgh, as this is not an inherited title.

James, Earl of Wessex standing with Lady Louise Windsor; behind them are the Duchess of Edinburgh and Princess Anne© Mark Cuthbert
James has made more public appearances recently

When James turns 18, he could decide to stylise himself as Prince James, although his sister has not yet decided to start using her royal title.

DISCOVER: How the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh’s son James, Earl of Wessex sparked a new royal tradition

LOOK: James, Earl of Wessex looks so grown up in new photos from Queen’s Jubilee concert

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