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Is the Royal Family about to announce a new HRH?


NEIL HOWARD/FLICKR

Since the arrival of the children of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, questions about their titles have arisen. And those debates could continue after their mother confirmed that how they are styled is still open to changes.

When Edward and Sophie married, it was announced that any children they had would be styled as children of dukes rather than as HRHs. However, Letters Patent issued by King George V state that the children of a Monarch’s son are HRHs. That’s led to repeated discussions about whether the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s children are, in fact, a princess and prince.

In recent months, the Countess ha confirmed that her children are HRHs – they just choose not to use that style.

Speaking to the Sunday Times magazine last year, in a feature by Christina Lamb, Sophie confirms that her daughter, Louise, and her son, James, are styled according to their parents’ preferences. Their daughter is Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and their son is known as James, Viscount Severn.

The Countess of Wessex says there is a very good reason for that as she and her husband are bringing up their children to realise that ‘’they are very likely to have to work for a living….hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles.’’

But just as that clarification is made, the possibility of a new debate about the titles of seventeen year old Louise and thirteen year old James arises. Sophie also told the magazine that, when it comes to the style of HRH, her children ‘’have them and can decide to use them from 18, but I think it’s highly unlikely.’’

That opens up the possibility that, in December 2021, the Queen’s youngest granddaughter could choose to be known as HRH Princess Louise with her brother following suit as HRH Prince James when he turns 18 in 2025.

However, it could bring added pressures and, with their parents clearly keen for them not to use them, it would seem likely that the Queen’s youngest grandchildren will remain Lady Louise and Viscount Severn.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.