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Sophie, Countess of Wessex is known for having an incredibly close relationship with her mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II. But Sophie and her husband Prince Edward also share a bond with Prince Philip, and the couple chose to honour the Duke of Edinburgh when their son James, Viscount Severn was born.
James was born on December 17, 2007 and is the youngest child and only son of Edward and Sophie.
He is also the youngest grandchild of the Queen and Prince Philip.
A few days after his birth, on December 21, 2007, the Earl and Countess of Wessex revealed their son’s name.
The full name was announced as James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor, and is seen as a huge nod to his paternal grandfather, Prince Philip.
James is fully styled as The Right Honourable Viscount Severn, and is more commonly referred to as a Lord, like his sister who is known as Lady Louise.
He does not have a HRH (His Royal Highness) title and was instead, alongside his older sister, given the last name of Mountbatten-Windsor.
Mountbatten-Windsor is the personal surname used by some of the male-line descendants of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The name Windsor has been in the British Royal Family for a long time, but Mountbatten comes from Philip’s family.
Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of the Queen and Prince Philip not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.
James has been styled as Viscount Severn, in reference to his father’s secondary title.
Viscount Severn is a subsidiary title of his father the Earl of Wessex.
The title is derived from the Welsh roots of his mother, Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
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Severn is a river, which runs through Wales, while a Viscount is the fourth rank in the British peerage system, standing below an Earl and above a Baron.
In the future, it’s expected James will take over his father’s earldom.
This will happen when Edward inherit the title Duke of Edinburgh, which is currently held by his father Prince Philip.
This is unlikely to happen by direct inheritance, as Prince Edward is the youngest of Prince Philip’s three sons.
Rather, the title is expected to be newly created for Prince Edward after it eventually reverts to the crown with the death of the current Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles’ succession as King.
After Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II have both died, it is the intention King Charles III will recreate the Edinburgh dukedom for his youngest brother.
The decision to not give Lady Louise and and James royal titles is thought to have been made to avoid the burden the styles can bring with them.
The couple decided, with the approval of the Queen, that their children would not use HRH titles.
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