James, Viscount Severn

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Viscount Severn
James, Viscount Severn 2016.jpg
Viscount Severn in 2016
James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor

(2007-12-17) 17 December 2007 (age 12)
TitleViscount Severn
FamilyHouse of Windsor

James, Viscount Severn (James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor; born 17 December 2007), is the younger child and only son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and the youngest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is 12th in line of succession to the British throne.

Birth and baptism[edit]

James was born by caesarean section at 16:20 UTC on 17 December 2007, at Frimley Park Hospital in Frimley, Surrey.[1] The names James Alexander Philip Theo were announced on 21 December.[2]

He was baptised on 19 April 2008, in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle by David Conner, the Dean of Windsor and his godparents were Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, Duncan Bullivant, Thomas Hill, Denise Poulton and Jeanye Irwin.[3][4] He wore a newly made replica of the royal christening gown originally used by Victoria, the eldest child of Queen Victoria, in 1840. It has been worn for most royal christenings since then, and the original gown has now been preserved.[3]

James currently attends Eagle House School, a coeducational preparatory school near Sandhurst in Berkshire.[5]

Official appearances[edit]

In April 2015, James and his sister participated in their first overseas engagement by accompanying their parents on a trip to South Africa.[6]

Titles, styles, and honours[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

Letters patent issued in 1917 assign a princely status and the style of Royal Highness to all male-line grandchildren of a monarch.[7] Therefore, all else being equal, James would have been styled as "His Royal Highness Prince James of Wessex." However, when his parents married, the Queen, via a Buckingham Palace press release, announced that their children would be styled as the children of an earl, rather than as prince or princess.[8] In 2020, the Countess of Wessex stated that when her son becomes a legal adult at age 18 he can make a choice to use his royal title and style.[9] Until then, as is customary for the eldest son of an earl, court communications refer to him as Viscount Severn, which is one of his father's subsidiary titles.

The title Viscount Severn acknowledges the Welsh roots of the Countess's family:[10] the River Severn rises in Wales.


In June 2008, to recognise a visit by his father to the Canadian province of Manitoba, the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba-in-Council named a lake in the north of the province after James.[11]


  1. ^ "Countess gives birth to baby boy". BBC News. 17 December 2007.
  2. ^ "Edward and Sophie name baby James". BBC News. 21 December 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Announcement of the Arrangement for the Christening of Lord Severn". royal.gov.uk. 15 April 2008. Archived from the original on 20 April 2008.
  4. ^ "Queen sees grandson's christening". BBC News. 19 April 2008.
  5. ^ "Can Sophie, Countess of Wessex, steady the royal ship?". thetimes.co.uk. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Lady Louise and James accompany mother Sophie on royal mission in South Africa". 11 April 2015.
  7. ^ "No. 30428". The London Gazette. 14 December 1917. p. 13086.
  8. ^ "Title of HRH The Prince Edward". UK Government News. 19 June 1999. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Queen Elizabeth's Grandchildren Will 'Work for a Living' and Won't Use HRH, Says Mom Sophie Wessex". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Wessex titles for Edward and Sophie". BBC News. 19 June 1999. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  11. ^ "Prince Edward begins Winnipeg visit". The Vancouver Sun. Canada. 2 June 2008. Archived from the original on 15 April 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
James, Viscount Severn
Born: 17 December 2007
Lines of succession
Preceded by
The Earl of Wessex
Line of succession to the British throne
12th position
Followed by
Lady Louise Windsor
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Duke of Sussex
Viscount Severn
Followed by
Peter Phillips