Why do Prince Edward’s children not have official prince and princess titles?

Prince Edward is often SEEN at Royal events and much in the public eye in this country, as is his wife Sophie Countess of Wessex.

When looking more closely at his family it has often perplexed people as to why the couple’s children do not hold prince and princess titles.

Who are Prince Edward’s children?

Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor – born on November 8, 2003 – and James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor – born on December 17, 2007 – are the children of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones.

The siblings – who were both born at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey – are the Queen’s youngest grandchildren.

Louise was the last child to wear the original royal christening gown when she was baptised in 2004.

Her godparents are Lady Sarah Chatto, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, Lady Alexandra Etherington, Francesca Schwarzenbach and Rupert Elliott.

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Prince Edward and his wife Sophie decided that their children will not inherit royal titles


Prince Edward and his wife Sophie decided that their children will not inherit royal titlesCredit: Getty

She attended St George’s School, Windsor Castle before moving to St Mary’s School Ascot in 2017.

James was baptised in 2008 in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle and his godparents are Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, Duncan Bullivant, Thomas Hill, Denise Poulton and Jeanye Irwin.

The youngster currently attends Eagle House School – a prep school near Sandhurst in Berkshire.

Louise and James took part in their first overseas engagement in April 2015 when they accompanied their parents on a trip to South Africa.

And in 2011, at age 7, Louise was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Prince William and Kate.

The kids live with their parents in Bagshot Park in Surrey, but the family’s official London residence is based at Buckingham Palace.

Why do Prince Edward’s children not have official prince and princess titles?

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had eight grandchildren – including Louise and James, Peter and Zara Phillips, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and Princes William and Harry.

Yet not all were given hereditary titles.

Upon his wedding to Sophie Rhys-Jones, Prince Edward agreed with the Queen that their kids would be deemed as children of an Earl, instead of being called His or Her Royal Highness.

Princess Anne’s children, Zara and Peter also don’t have royal titles but Louise and James are the Queen’s first male-line descendants not to have one.

The children are also the first to be allowed the proper use of the Mountbatten-Windsor family name.

Therefore, Prince Edward’s daughter is Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, instead of HRH Princess Louise of Wessex.

Their son is James, Viscount Severn, who uses his father’s subsidiary title as a courtesy and is not HRH Prince James of Wessex.

The change in the Royal Family is thought to have come after King Charles decided the family should have a smaller amount of members to perform royal duties.

In 2020, Sophie, who married Prince Edward in 1999, said her children will not work in an official capacity for the Royal Family when they turn 18.

She told The Sunday Times: “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. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but it’s highly unlikely.”

Your Prince Edward questions answered

Are Prince Edward’s children in line to the throne?

Louise is 15th in the line of succession to the British throne, while James is 14th in line to the throne.

Their dad, the Earl of Wessex, who is the Queen’s youngest child, is currently 13th in line.

The throne will pass on to Prince William if the King abdicates, retires or dies.

The rules of royal succession have changed significantly in recent years.

Leaders of 16 British Commonwealth countries (including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Jamaica) voted in 2011 to alter the centuries-old tradition to include daughters as well as sons.

Previously daughters could only inherit the throne if there were no living sons.

This change in royal succession means Princess Charlotte, as William and Kate’s daughter, is ahead of her younger brother Louis.

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Previously if the third child was male he would leap the princess in the line of succession.

This new rule only takes into account children born after 2011, meaning James, born in 2007, is ahead of his older sister, Louise, born in 2003.

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