Why Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward will have cause for celebration next week

Ian Lloyd: Wessexes to be 'inevitably sidelined' in future

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Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex married in 1999, and both are now considered to be two of the Queen’s closest confidantes. The Wessexes are based at their sprawling home of Bagshot Park in Surrey which they share with their two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. Next week, the Wessex household will have cause for celebration, as the family’s youngest member James will be celebrating his birthday.

Who is James, Viscount Severn?

James, Viscount Severn will celebrate his birthday next Friday, December 17.

Having been born at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey in 2007, James will be turning 14 this year.

James is the youngest of the Queen’s grandchildren, while his older sister Louise is the Queen’s youngest granddaughter.

How will the Wessexes celebrate James’ birthday?

The Royal Family usually spend their birthdays privately, so it isn’t known just what the Wessexes have planned for their youngest child’s birthday this year.

But James’ birthday does fall on the Friday many schools across the country break up for Christmas.

So Sophie and Edward might have a fun evening of celebrations planned for their son.

James and Louise are known to be particularly close to their grandmother, who lives just a short drive away at Windsor Castle.

So James is sure to get a birthday card and gift from the Queen as well.

The following week, James and Louise could get to visit the Queen at Sandringham for the annual royal Christmas celebrations.

If the usual Norfolk festive plans go ahead for the Royal Family, the Wessexes could be spotted walking to church on Christmas Day morning as is traditional.

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Why does James not have a Prince title?

Despite being the Queen’s grandson, James and his sister do not have Prince or Princess titles.

James is instead titled as the son of an Earl and is known as James, Viscount Severn.

Behind Prince Edward, James is 15th in line to the throne.

Although he was born after his sister, Louise is 16th in the line of succession due to the previous system of male primogeniture in the British monarchy.

The Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 stipulated that the line of succession depends on the order of birth rather than gender.

But the Act only applies to those born after October 28, 2011.

So James still takes precedence over his older sister in the line of succession.

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