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Why Lady Louise Windsor is unlikely to change her royal title

The Earl and Countess of Wessex's daughter turned 18 on 8 November

The Earl and Countess of Wessex's daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, marked her 18th birthday on Monday. The milestone occasion has sparked speculation as to whether the young royal can now use the title of princess.

When Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, the couple were given the title of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and Buckingham Palace said that their children "would have courtesy titles as sons or daughters of an earl," according to the BBC at the time.

READ: 5 of Lady Louise Windsor's biggest milestones as she turns 18

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WATCH: The Earl and Countess of Wessex take their children out litter picking

A Letters Patent issued by King George V in 1917 limited royal titles, but the monarch's grandchildren in the male line are entitled to enjoy the style of Royal Highness with the title of Prince or Princess. This is why the Duke of York's daughters Beatrice and Eugenie have been princesses from birth.

While Lady Louise and her younger brother, James, Viscount Severn, could use the titles, it seems unlikely given the statement made by Buckingham Palace at the time of their parents' marriage.

MORE: 18 best photos of Lady Louise Windsor to celebrate her milestone birthday

MORE: How life could change for Lady Louise Windsor after 18th birthday

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The Wessexes' children enjoy far more privacy

In an interview with The Sunday Times in June 2020, the Countess opened up about her daughter's education and future, saying: "She's working hard and will do A-levels. I hope she goes to university. I wouldn't force her, but if she wants to. She's quite clever."

Sophie added of her children: "We try to bring them up with the understanding they are very likely to have to work for a living. 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."

Lady Louise and James have grown up out of the public eye and enjoy a much more private life. While the siblings could decide to take on patronages in future, it's likely that they will carve out their own careers, rather than become full-time working royals.  

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