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Who is James, Viscount Severn?

On his birthday, we look at Her Majesty’s youngest grandchild, James, Viscount Severn.

James, Viscount Severn was born on 17 December 2007, at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, to Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. He has one older sister, Lady Louise (b. 2003).

James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor was born by a caesarian section weighing 6lbs 2oz (2.8kg). His father told the media after his birth about his son, “like most babies, rather small, very cute and very cuddly”. He left the hospital with his parents on 20 December, and the next day his name was announced by Buckingham Palace.

He does not hold a royal title and is styled as the son of an earl. Under the 1917 letters patent, all male-line grandchildren of the monarch would be styled with a princely title and HRH. However, when his parents married in 1999, Her Majesty announced, in accordance with her son and daughter-in-law’s wishes, that any children of Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex would not bear the title of HRH or be styled as a prince or princess. Edward and Sophie have made it clear that they want their children to grow up as normal as possible.

He was christened in the Church of England on 19 April 2008 at the private chapel at Windsor Castle. His was a private christening and only one photo, taken by John Swannell was released to the media. James was the first royal baby to wear the hand-made replica christening gown commissioned by The Queen.

In a press release before the christening, Buckingham Palace explained, “The christening gown worn by Viscount Severn is a hand-made replica of Queen Victoria’s daughter’s christening gown, which was worn at subsequent Royal Christenings and has now been preserved. It is the first time this gown has been worn by a member of the Royal Family and was commissioned by The Queen.”

His godparents are Alastair Bruce, 5th Baron Aberdare; Duncan Bullivant; Denise Poulton; Jeanye Erwin; and Tom Hill.

Viscount Severn, who was eighth-in-line to the throne at birth, currently ranks tenth, and it was during Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant that he made his first official appearance as a member of the British Royal Family at four-years-old. He made his first appearance in the carriage procession at Trooping the Colour in 2016. However, he had been appearing on the balcony with the Royal Family for a few years before his parade debut.

He was also featured in the image released in April 2016 for The Queen’s 90th birthday with her two youngest grandchildren (Louise and James) and five great-grandchildren (Savannah and Isla Phillips, Mia Tindall, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte).

James lives with his family at Bagshot Park in Surrey and regularly visits his grandmother, The Queen, where he and his sister are known to enjoy quality time horse riding together.

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