The Queen’s youngest granddaughter is now 18 and while her coming of age makes headlines, her upbringing has taken place further away from the public eye than that of many of her cousins.
Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor, born on November 8th 2003, has had high profile roles at several royal weddings. Hitting the scene at age seven, Lady Louise served as a bridesmaid at the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and later looked after the young bridal attendants, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte, when Princess Eugenie wed Jack Brooksbank.
Lady Louise is the eldest child of The Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Before having children, Edward and Sophie, knew they did not want their children to have titles and to have a normal upbringing. They may have done too good of a job with Louise! Reportedly, Louise had no idea her grandmother was “The Queen” until she went to school and her classmates told her about her the Monarch.
Lady Louise attended St. George’s School and St. Mary’s School Ascot. She is studying for her A-levels and while her parents hope she goes to university, they have made it clear that it is her choice. Currently sixteenth in line to the throne, she falls behind her younger brother James, Viscount Severn in the order of succession. Though, once she turns 18, she could decide to use the HRH and become Her Royal Highness Princess Louise.
HRH or not, Lady Louise could be a considered a princess in the eyes of her grandparents. Before he died, her grandfather, Prince Philip, passed on his love of carriage racing to his granddaughter. It was an activity they bonded over and she has publicly stated how he loved her passion for the sport and competition: “His eyes would light up because he would get so excited. He’s honestly one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met,” she told a BBC programme about the Duke of Edinburgh.
Like the Queen, Louise loves spending time at Balmoral. Encouraging Louise’s love of drawing, Queen Elizabeth even allowed Louise to look through Queen Victoria’s Highlands sketches which are kept at Balmoral but are rarely seen. The bond with her grandparents has been an enduring part of her upbringing.
As her parents have taken on a larger royal role, Lady Louise, is thought of by some as potential a secret weapon within the younger generation. Although the Prince of Wales has always stated his desire for a ”slimmed down” Monarchy during his reign, Louise’s confident public appearances have led to questions as to whether she could, ultimately, end up taking on royal engagements. For now, she is enjoying her big birthday with celebrations as discreet as her upbringing has been.