Royal Family Tree: who's who in the British Royal Family

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex


Prince Edward (15 July 2007) © Rex Features
Prince Edward (15 July 2007) © Rex Features
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

Name: Edward Antony Richard Louis
Title: His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Born: 10 March 1964
Parents: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Married: Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Children: Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn

Prince Edward is the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

He was born on the 10th March 1964 in London. He was styled as His Royal Highness, The Prince William from birth as his mother was Queen.

He was educated initially by a governess, as with all his siblings before him. He then moved to schools in England and finally to Gordonstoun, in Scotland, where he was appointed Head Boy in his last term.

After a gap year training horses, Prince Edward caused some controversy when he was admitted into Cambridge without achieveing the required straight A's for entry.

He graduated in 1986 with a second class honors in History and was only the fourth of only five Royal Family members to have obtained a university degree in history.

He eschewed a military career to go into the arts. Instead he went into theater production, working on shows such as Cats and Starlight Express as part of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Very Useful Theatre Company in the late 80's.

In 1993 he started Ardent, a two-man production company but voluntarily liquidated the enterprise in 2009, following an invasion of Prince William's privacy during his time at St. Andrew's university.

On the 6th January 2006 the engagement of Prince Edward to Sophie Rhys-Jones was announced and a wedding followed on 19th July 2006.

Breaking with tradition the pair married at Windsor Castle and rather than being created a Dukedom as his brothers had on their respective wedding days, the titles of of Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn were conferred to Edward by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. He is the first Royal since King Harold II (who died in the famous Battle of Hastings in 1066) to hold the title Earl of Wessex.

The palace announced that when the Dukedom of Edinburgh reverts to the crown, the Earl of Wessex will be created the new Duke of Edinburgh. They also announced that the children of The Earl and Countess of Wessex would not use the style Royal Highness or the titles of Prince or Princess to which they would have been entitled in accordance with the letter patent from King George VI.

This was apparently Edward and Sophie's wish and was agreed upon to cut down on the number of titled royals on the benefitting from Civil List allowence money. Any children would have courtesy titles of as the sons and daughters of an Earl.

Sophie suffered from an eptopic pregnancy before giving birth to daughter Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Windsor on the 8th November 2003. Lady Louise was delivered by emergency Caesarean section, a month before her December due date. Both mother and child suffered severe blood loss.

Lady Louise was born with the eye disorder exotropia.

For years later, Sophie gave birth to a son, James Alexander Philip Theo on 17th December 2007. Edward was by her side for the birth. As is customary, James was given one of his father's subsidiary titles and is known as Viscount Severn.


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