Meet Queen Elizabeth’s youngest grandchild James

He's decades younger than his eldest cousin.
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As the youngest grandchild of the late Queen Elizabeth II, James, Earl of Wessex has lived his entire life in the spotlight.

At just 16 years of age, the teenager is already one of the most famous faces in the world. 

But, thanks to the efforts of his father Prince Edward, and mother Sophie, Duchess of Sussex, the young royal is spending much of his life outside of the public eye save for a handful of public appearances per year.

James’ proud parents introduced him to the world shortly after his birth. IMAGE: Getty

What is the full name of James, Earl of Wessex?

On December 17th, 2007, James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor was welcomed into the world via cesarean section. 

He was baptised four months later on April 19th, 2008 in the private chapel of Windsor Castle with his grandparents Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in attendance. 

His godparents are Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, Duncan Bullivant, Thomas Hill, Denise Poulton, and Jeanye Irwin.

Notably, when he was baptised James became the first royal baby in almost 130 years that didn’t wear the historic royal christening gown after the original was preserved and he was dressed in a replica.

James made his royal debut on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in 2015 at Trooping the Colour. IMAGE: Getty

Where is James, Earl of Wessex in the line of succession?

At the time of his birth, male preference primogeniture was still in force. This meant that despite his older sister Lady Louise being born four years prior, upon his birth James overtook her in the line of succession

Currently, James is 15th in the line of succession to the British throne.

Male-preference primogeniture was overturned six years later in 2013 with the Succession of the Crown Act that was introduced ahead of the birth of Prince George

A happy family photo taken in 2020. IMAGE: Getty

Is James, Earl of Wessex a prince?

As the children of a monarch’s son, James and his sister, Sophie were automatically granted titles of His or Her Royal Highness from birth. 

While the parents of Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Eugenie chose to keep these titles on behalf of their children, Prince Edward (much like his sister Princess Anne) opted out of using them in order to give James and Sophie as normal a life as possible.

Upon their marriage in 1999, Buckingham Palace confirmed that any future children of Edward and Sophie would be styled as the children of an Earl, rather than children of a prince. 

Explaining this decision some 20 years later in a rare interview with The Times of London, Sophie (née Rhys-Jones) shed new light on why she and Edward had opted to not give their children royal titles at birth. 

“We try to bring them up with the understanding that they are very likely to have to work for a living, hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles.”

It is important to note that both James and his sister can decide to use these titles when they are 18 – something which Sophie has opted out of doing despite reaching adulthood.

In September 2022, the world stood still when Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the age of 96. James joined his sister and older cousins in a 15-minute vigil outside her coffin. IMAGE: Getty

What titles has James, Earl of Wessex held?

After Prince Edward inherited his late father’s title of the Prince of Edinburgh, James inherited the title of Earl of Wessex. 

Previously, James was titled as James, Viscount Severn.

It is important to note that James will not inherit the title of Duke of Edinburgh upon his father’s death. Instead, the title will revert back to the Crown. It is expected that it will then go to Prince Louis when he is of age.

James was joined by his father and sister on the balcony of Buckingham Palace shortly after the coronation of his uncle King Charles III. IMAGE: Getty

Where does James, Earl of Wessex live?

For the entirety of his life, James, Earl of Wessex has resided at Bagshot Park in Surrey with his family.

Where does James, Earl of Wessex go to school?

It has been reported that the royal has been educated at two separate independent, co-education prep schools in Windsor. 

From 2011 until 2019, James attended St George’s School, Windsor Castle. He was then enrolled at Eagle House School near Sandhurst, Berkshire from 2019 until 2021.

It is currently unclear where the teenager is currently completing his final years of high school however it is expected that he will follow in the footsteps of his older cousins and sister and attend St Andrew’s University in Scotland.

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