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Why Lady Louise Windsor and James Wessex didn't join cousins at royal outing

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh's children did not make an appearance at the garden party

Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
May 22, 2024
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It was a right royal turnout at Tuesday's Buckingham Palace garden party as the Prince of Wales was supported by four of his cousins.

Princess Beatrice, 35, Princess Eugenie, 34, Peter Phillips, 46, and Zara Tindall, 43, and her husband, Mike Tindall, 45, were all invited by Prince William as he hosted guests at the bash.

But royal watchers may have been wondering why William's youngest royal cousins, Lady Louise Windsor, 20, and James, Earl of Wessex, 16, were missing from the proceedings.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh's children have attended many large-scale royal events over the years, including Trooping the Colour, the King's coronation and the Christmas Day church service.

However, Lady Louise and James's academic commitments prevented them from joining their cousins at the garden party.

Lady Louise is about to finish the second year of her English degree at the University of St Andrews – the alma mater where Prince William met his future wife, Kate Middleton.

The youngster enrolled on the course in September 2022 after passing her A-Levels. Her grades were not released by Buckingham Palace but standard entry requirements for St Andrews are AAA.

lady louise taking part in carriage driving event © Getty
Lady Louise competing in carriage driving at the Royal Windsor Horse Show

Lady Louise has made very few public appearances this year but took part in a carriage driving competition at the Royal Windsor Horse Show earlier in May. She was also pictured as she competed in Windsor last weekend.

Meanwhile, teenager James is in the middle of his GCSE exams in the final year of his secondary school education. He was last seen publicly when he joined his parents, Prince Edward and Sophie, at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

James, Earl of Wessex at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on 4 May© Getty
James, Earl of Wessex at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on 4 May

James was previously known as Viscount Severn but following the change in his parents' royal titles from the Earl and Countess of Wessex to the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh in March 2023, he took on his father's former title.

The dukedom – which in the past has been hereditary – will not pass down to James when Edward dies.

Edward and Sophie's busy summer schedule

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh have been travelling around the country and overseas this week.

Sophie, 59, was in Italy last weekend to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino, while Edward, 60, has been in Scotland for the past week.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh walk through the village with Lord Lieutenant Patrick Marriott (left) and Chair of Golspie Community Council Henrietta Marriott (right) during a visit to Golspie, Sutherland. © Jane Barlow - PA Images
Edward and Sophie visited Golspie

The Duchess has since joined her husband, visiting Golspie together on Monday, and the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Coll on Tuesday.

The couple also held a dinner at the King's official Scottish residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh.

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