Advertisement

Meet the queen’s youngest grandchildren, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn

Click to play video 'Who are the queen’s youngest grandchildren?' Who are the queen’s youngest grandchildren?
Who are the queen’s youngest grandchildren? – Mar 6, 2020

Queen Elizabeth II has eight grandchildren, and the youngest are Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

Born to Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the children are rarely in the spotlight.

The two have been spotted at Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle or the annual Trooping the Colour (which marks the Queen’s birthday), but otherwise, the two live relatively private lives.

READ MORE: Princess Beatrice won’t become a duchess after her wedding. Here’s why

Louise is 16 years old and James is 12, but James is ahead of his older sister in the line of succession — he’s currently twelfth in line to the throne while Louise is thirteenth.

This is because they were born before the new succession laws took effect in 2011. Old succession laws favoured male heirs, while the new rules allow daughters to take precedence over their younger brothers in the line of succession to the throne.

Story continues below advertisement

Unfortunately, these laws aren’t retroactive, meaning the places of James and Louise in the line of succession remain.

Here are some other things you may not know about Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest grandchildren.

Titles

Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn are the “least well-known” of the queen’s grandchildren, says royal historian Carolyn Harris — and that’s intentional.

“They would have the right to be styled as Her Royal Highness and His Royal Highness … but Edward and Sophie decided they will be styled as the children of an Earl,” said Harris.

These alternative titles provide the children with more “anonymity compared to, for example, the amount of scrutiny that Beatrice and Eugenie receive as princesses.”

Click to play video 'Meghan and Harry return to London for royal engagement' Meghan and Harry return to London for royal engagement
Meghan and Harry return to London for royal engagement – Mar 5, 2020

This decision regarding titles isn’t surprising to Harris and other royal watchers.

Story continues below advertisement

“This has begun a longer process where we’re seeing fewer junior members of the Royal Family using royal titles and being expected to take on a life of public duties,” she said.

“It’s clear that we will see the Wessex children at royal events, like weddings and Trooping the Colour going forward, but they’re not expected to undertake full-time royal duties when they grow up.”

Will they work for the Royal Family?

Prince Edward is a working member of the Royal Family.

As such, he and his wife Sophie undertake a “great deal of public engagements,” said Harris, who predicts these will only increase in the coming years.

“They do a lot of overseas travel and they frequently visit Canada in the context of their charities,” she said.

READ MORE: Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie: Who are Prince Andrew’s daughters?

The high amount of public engagements is, in part, due to the fact that Prince Edward inherited many of his father’s charities when Prince Philip retired from public life.

Despite stepping out in public often, Prince Edward and Sophie are “very careful to keep their children out of the limelight,” Harris said. “It’s very rare that we see their children accompany them on a public engagement.”

Story continues below advertisement

Given their titles, it’s not likely that Louise and James will be working members of the Royal Family in adulthood.

Their relationship with their grandmother, the Queen

Although they’re private people, it’s thought that both Louise and James are very close with their grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

“They have a lot of common interests with their grandparents — Louise in particular,” Harris said. “She enjoys horseback riding, she enjoys carriage driving as well.”

The kids also live with their parents in Bagshot Park, a royal residence near Windsor Castle, allowing them to visit their grandparents often.

“It’s clear that Louise and James have spent a lot of time with their grandparents and have a very close bond,” Harris said.

Story continues below advertisement

Meghan.Collie@globalnews.ca