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James, Earl of Wessex and his parents Sophie and Edward© Getty

Why James, Earl of Wessex didn't attend Trooping with his family

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh's son is 16

Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
June 15, 2024
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The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh were joined by their daughter Lady Louise Windsor, 20, for the King's birthday parade on Saturday, also known as Trooping the Colour

But one noticeable member of the Edinburgh family missing from the celebrations was Edward and Sophie's son James, Earl of Wessex. 

James, 16, is currently studying at school in Surrey and it's most likely that his busy schedule, revision, and end-of-year GCSE exams prevented him from travelling down to London for the day. 

WATCH: The hilarious moment Prince Louis yawns at Trooping the Colour

The young Earl has not attended Trooping since 2022 when the late Queen Elizabeth II celebrated what ended up being her final birthday parade just three months before her death in September. 

Last year, neither James nor Louise attended Trooping. 

Louise, who studies at the University of St Andrews in Scotland – the same higher education institution that Prince William and Kate went to – was thought to be studying for and taking university exams.

Duchess Sophie standing with James, Earl of Wessex© Getty
James last appeared at Trooping the Colour in 2022

Louise joins her family this year

This year, however, Louise joined her parents at the King's parade. 

Lady Louise with her parents the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh© Getty
Louise arrives at Buckingham Palace with her parents the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh

She watched the military procession from the No.1 Barouche carriage, riding opposite her mother Duchess Sophie, and the King's 88-year-old cousin, the Duke of Kent.

Lady Louise Windsor© Getty
Lady Louise Windsor rode in a carriage opposite her mother

Louise looked gorgeous, recycling a Suzannah London dress that she previously wore for her uncle the King's coronation last year.

Her dress featured a high neckline and long sleeves, exuding elegance. Louise paired it with a striking periwinkle hat, embellished with floral accents and feather. Her accessories included pearl drop earrings and a simple necklace.

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh in yellow dress waving© Getty
Sophie looked radiant in a yellow Beulah London dress

Her mother Sophie, meanwhile, shone in a yellow dress by one of her go-to designers, Beulah London. The sunny frock featured a round neckline, puffed sleeves, and a floaty skirt. She paired it with a yellow fascinator with netted detailing across her face. 

Sophie's husband Prince Edward took part in the military procession on horseback with Prince William and Princess Anne. 

After watching the parade at the Major General's Office, Sophie and Louise made their way back to the palace, both taking cover from the rain.

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh during Trooping the Colour with her daughter Louise Windsor© Getty
Sophie and Louise took cover from the rain

What is Trooping the Colour?

Trooping the Colour is the official celebration of the monarch's birthday. 

The King and Queen wave during parade© Getty
The event marks the King's official birthday celebrations

Despite King Charles being born in November, his special day is once again celebrated in June, when it is typically warmer, with a military parade where he inspects troops and takes part in a procession in central London. 

Over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses, and 400 musicians come together in a great display of military precision, horsemanship, and fanfare.

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