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James is the son of Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest child, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex. He is said to be the Queen’s favourite grandson and delighted his grandmother with his skill for fly-fishing at Balmoral last summer. The young royal also impressed everyone with his ability to flip burgers at the family barbecue, a role usually carried out by the Duke of Edinburgh, now 99.
A royal source said: “[James] is rather good at flipping burgers and liked to get fully involved whenever there was a family barbecue at Balmoral.
“That used to be Prince Philip’s domain, but is less so these days.”
Philip has suffered from ill health in recent years and this time last year worried royal fans when he experienced a “wobble”.
The Duke then went into hospital for several days before Christmas, but was out in time to enjoy the festivities with his family.
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The source added that James also impressed the gamekeepers at Balmoral with his ability to cast for salmon.
His mother Sophie ‒ often identified as the Queen’s favourite daughter-in-law – would join him in the river Dee, although Edward was not as keen.
They said: “[James’] enthusiasm for fly-fishing delighted Her Majesty because it is a sport beloved of James’ great-granny, the later Queen Mother.
“James was in the Dee as often as possible, waders up to his armpits.
“His mother Sophie, who is a keen fisherwoman herself, liked to stand with him.
“The Balmoral ghillies were impressed with both of them.
“Edward is not as keen because he’s not as patient, which you need to be when fishing for salmon, even in the plentiful Dee.”
These quotes were printed in The Sun in September 2019.
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James is 12th in line to the throne, after his father Edward and before his sister Lady Louise Windsor, 17.
However, they are about to be bumped down the line of succession by one when Princess Eugenie has her baby in the new year.
Lady Louise has also taken on something previously favoured by Prince Philip: carriage driving.
Philip has been a fan of the sport for decades and even popularised it in the UK himself.
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Louise is also a fan of horse-riding, having been taught at a young age and has gone on rides around the hills in Balmoral with the Queen and her mother Sophie.
What’s more, Louise impressed those around her by helping look after Prince William and Kate’s children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis while they were in Scotland too.
It was even reported that Louise is the Queen’s favourite grandchild, followed by James.
The royal source said: “The Queen loves the fact that Louise and James relish their time at Balmoral and she has become particularly close to Louise, who seems to have become her favourite grandchild, closely followed by James.”
Louise and James are the only grandchildren of the Queen to still be of school age ‒ Louise is in Sixth form, while James is in Year 9.
While the family usually gather for Christmas at Sandringham House, the Queen has cancelled the tradition this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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