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James, Viscount Severn. | Source: Getty Images
James, Viscount Severn. | Source: Getty Images

James, Viscount Severn Is Queen Elizabeth II’s Youngest Grandchild Who Rarely Appears in Public - Get To Know Him

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud
Sep 20, 2022
09:05 A.M.
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James, Viscount Severn, Prince Edward's son, is the youngest grandchild of former Queen Elizabeth III. The young royal, rarely seen in public, is the late monarch's favorite grandson who shared fond memories with her.

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After attending late Queen Elizabeth II's family vigil at Westminster Hall, James Viscount Severn recently gained public attention. He went to the hall with his sister Louise and cousins Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Peter Philips, and Zara Tindall.

Standing beside the late monarch's coffin, James, 14, and his cousins appeared overwhelmed with grief. The youngest member of the British Royal Family proudly displayed the Diamond Jubilee medals that his late grandmother had given him.

James, Viscount Severn, and the Britsh Royal Family members arrive at Westminster Abbey for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

James, Viscount Severn, and the Britsh Royal Family members arrive at Westminster Abbey for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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Who Is James, Viscount Severn?

James is the youngest son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Forfar. He was born James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor on December 17, 2007, at Frimley Park Hospital.

In April 2008, James was christened in the Windsor Castle private chapel, becoming the first royal child to wear a newly-made replica of the royal christening gown. Most royal babies were christened in the same outfit he wore.

It is unknown where James currently attends school. However, he went to the prestigious Eagle House School in Sandhurst and St. George's School Windsor Castle, known as independent and co-educational preparatory schools.

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Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, smile with their son, James Viscount Severn, at Frimley Park Hospital on December 20, 2007, in Frimley, England. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, smile with their son, James Viscount Severn, at Frimley Park Hospital on December 20, 2007, in Frimley, England. | Source: Getty Images

Louise Mountbatten-Windsor is James' older sister, generally known as Lady Louise Windsor. Though the late Queen Elizabeth II was known for her warm relationships with all her eight grandchildren, James was believed to be her favorite.

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It's no surprise that James was the late monarch's favorite; he and his family live in Bagshot Park, Surrey, just eleven miles from Windsor and close to their grandmother's Windsor Castle residence.

It appears that Prince Edward's children were able to spend more time with their late grandmother because of the proximity of their family home and the late Queen's residence.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and her son, James, Viscount Severn watch The London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on July 26, 2012, at Buckingham Palace, London. | Source: Getty Images

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and her son, James, Viscount Severn watch The London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on July 26, 2012, at Buckingham Palace, London. | Source: Getty Images

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James, her sister, and the late monarch would frequently travel together and spend their vacations at Balmoral Castle. According to a source in September 2019, the late Queen admired James' skill at salmon fishing on the River Dee, adding:

"His enthusiasm for fly fishing delighted Her Majesty because it's a sport beloved of James's great-granny, the late Queen Mother."

The young royal also took another royal family tradition at Balmoral—barbecuing—in addition to salmon fishing. He loved participating in relaxing activities at the castle, surrounded by family.

James, Viscount Severn at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 12, 2018, in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

James, Viscount Severn at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 12, 2018, in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

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Family gatherings at the castle seem important and meaningful to James's late grandmother. According to the source, the former Queen's late husband, Prince Philip, was an expert at cooking barbecues for the clan.

Even though James did not inherit a royal title like his father and several of his cousins, one of the longest rivers in the United Kingdom is named after his stylized name.

Despite his distant position in the line of succession, James had a close relationship with Britain's longest-reigning monarch.

James, Viscount Severn at the Ascot Racecourse on December 19, 2015, in Ascot, England. | Source: Getty Images

James, Viscount Severn at the Ascot Racecourse on December 19, 2015, in Ascot, England. | Source: Getty Images

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Why Does James, Viscount Severn, Not Have an Official Prince Title?

James does not hold an official prince title because of his father's agreement with the late Queen. When Prince Edward married Sophia in 1999, he and his late mother decided not to address their children as His or Her Royal Highness.

The children of Prince Edward should be known as the son or daughter of an Earl. In addition to keeping the Mountbatten-Windsor surname, James is also acknowledged as Viscount Severn.

James' courtesy title, Viscount Severn, is derived from the River Severn in Great Britain, which also pays homage to his mother Sophia's Welsh heritage. The stylized name was also Prince Edward' 's subsidiary title.

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James, Viscount Severn at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II on June 3, 2022, in The Guildhall, London. | Source: Getty Images

James, Viscount Severn at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II on June 3, 2022, in The Guildhall, London. | Source: Getty Images

James' parents decided against royal titles to avoid the "burden" of carrying the roles that come with them. In 2020, Sophie said once her children reach the age of 18, they will no longer be involved in any official duties within the Royal Family.

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While she mentioned that her children could no longer work for the family officially once they reach a certain age, Sophie added that they could still opt to be part of it, but she believes it would be "highly unlikely" for them.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, son, James, Viscount Severn, daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, pose for photographs by the beach on September 20, 2020, in Portsmouth, England. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, son, James, Viscount Severn, daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, pose for photographs by the beach on September 20, 2020, in Portsmouth, England. | Source: Getty Images

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The Countess of Wessex noted that they are raising their children with the expectation that they will find jobs at some point in their lives. King Charles III reportedly decided that the family should only have fewer members to carry out royal responsibilities.

The case of not bestowing royal titles on children was similar to that of Prince Edward's sister, Anne, Princess Royal. Zara Tindall and Peter Philips, Princess Anne's children, do not have any of the titles mentioned.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex with James Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor at Sandringham Estate's Church of St. Mary Magdalene on December 25, 2019, in King's Lynn, United Kingdom. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex with James Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor at Sandringham Estate's Church of St. Mary Magdalene on December 25, 2019, in King's Lynn, United Kingdom. | Source: Getty Images

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Is James, Viscount Severn, in Line to the Throne?

James ranked 15th in the list of succession to the British throne, and his sister Lady Louise Windsor is 14th in the line of succession. The 13th heir to the throne is their father, the youngest son of the late Queen.

In recent years, there has been a significant shakeup in the rules that govern the royal succession. Following the accession of King Charles III to the throne would mean that James's uncle, William, Prince of Wales, is first in the line of succession.

Despite his distant position in the line of succession, James had a close relationship with Britain's longest-reigning monarch. He recently wore Diamond and Platinum Jubilee medals at the family vigil in West Minister Hall.

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James, Viscount Severn, and Lady Louise Windsor attend the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

James, Viscount Severn, and Lady Louise Windsor attend the Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

It was the first time James, a member of the royal family who makes rare public appearances, was seen wearing the medals. He had never worn them during the Queen's Jubilee.

Both stunning pieces were James's gifts from the former Queen, and the fact that he wore them proudly demonstrated his respect and affection for his grandmother.

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