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Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex celebrate special occasion ahead of Christmas

The Wessexes are parents to Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn

wessexes celebrate james viscount severn birthday© Photo: Getty Images
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
December 17, 2021
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The Earl and Countess of Wessex have a reason to celebrate as it's their youngest child's birthday.

James, Viscount Severn, who is the Queen's youngest grandchild, turned 14 on Friday 17 December.

He was born on 17 December 2007 at Frimley Park Hospital, with his full name James Alexander Philip Theo announced a few days later.

James was christened in 2008 and was the first baby to wear a replica of the original royal christening gown, which dates back to 1841.

READ: The Queen cancels pre-Christmas family lunch 'with regret'

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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.

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.

james viscount severn birth© Photo: Getty Images

Edward and Sophie leaving hospital with baby James in 2007

While Lady Louise Windsor and 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: Prince William reveals George, Charlotte and Louis' special Christmas tradition with their cousins

wessexes 2020© Photo: Getty Images

The Wessexes pictured in 2020

In an interview with The Sunday Times in June 2020, the Countess opened up about her children's future, saying: "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."

Edward and Sophie's daughter, Lady Louise, celebrated her 18th birthday on 8 November. She is currently studying for her A-Levels.

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