There will be big celebrations within the royal family next week. The Earl and the Countess of Wessex's youngest child, James, Viscount Severn, will turn 13 on 17 December, and his parents will no doubt pull out all the stops to mark his transition to a teenager.
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James and his older sister, 17-year-old Lady Louise, aren't often seen in public, with their parents preferring to largely keep them out of the spotlight.
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Earlier this year, their proud mother Sophie made very rare comments about her family life in Good Housekeeping, however, giving readers a fascinating insight into her parenting approach.
Asked how her children would describe her as a mother, Sophie replied: "I would like to think that I am a loving mother without being too overbearing! You would need to ask them; I would hope they would be nice, at least about my attempts at cooking!"
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James, Viscount Severn, is set to celebrate his 13th birthday
Sophie welcomed James in 2007 at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey. He was born via caesarean section at 16.20 on 17 December, and at the time his father, Prince Edward, described the newborn as "very cute and very cuddly".
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James's names – James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor – were announced four days later, on 21 December, and he was baptised on 19 April the following year.
James was born at Frimley Park Hospital in 2007
Neither James, nor his sister, are styled Prince or Princess. Following Sophie and Edward's wedding in 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.
James's big birthday celebrations next week will be held at the family’s home, Bagshot Park, a 17th-century estate near Windsor. Sophie and Edward have lived in the stunning property for over 20 years, and it is ideally located just 11 miles from Windsor, where the Queen and Prince Philip will spend Christmas this year.
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