James, Viscount Severn

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Viscount Severn
James, Viscount Severn 2016.jpg
Viscount Severn in 2016
Born James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor
(2007-12-17) 17 December 2007 (age 10)
Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, England
House Windsor
Father Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Mother Sophie Rhys-Jones

James, Viscount Severn[1][2] (James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor; born 17 December 2007), is the younger child and only son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and the youngest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is eleventh in line of succession to the British throne.


James was born by caesarean section at 16:20 UTC on 17 December 2007, at Frimley Park Hospital.[3] Prince Edward, who was present for the birth of his second child, remarked that the birth was "a lot calmer than last time" (a reference to the emergency delivery of their first child, Lady Louise), that his wife was "doing very well," and that his son was "like most babies, rather small, very cute and very cuddly."[3] The baby and his mother were released from hospital on 20 December, and the following day his names were announced as James Alexander Philip Theo.[4] He was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on 24 January 2008, with what Buckingham Palace called a "minor allergic reaction."[5] He was released from the hospital within days.

He was baptised on 19 April 2008, in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle by David Conner, the Dean of Windsor and his godparents were Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, Duncan Bullivant, Thomas Hill, Denise Poulton and Jeanye Irwin.[6][7] His christening gown was a newly made replica of the gown originally used by his great-great-great-aunt Victoria, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria, in 1840. It has been worn for most royal christenings since then, and the original gown has now been preserved.[6]

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Letters patent issued in 1917 assign a princely status and the style of Royal Highness to all male-line grandchildren of a monarch.[8] Therefore, all else being equal, James would have been styled as His Royal Highness Prince James of Wessex. However, when his parents married, the Queen, via a Buckingham Palace press release, announced that their children would be styled as the children of an earl, rather than as princes or princesses.[9] Thus, as is customary for the eldest son of an earl, court communications refer to him as Lord Severn, which is one of his father's subsidiary titles.

The title Viscount Severn is derived from the Welsh roots of the Countess's family.[10]


In June 2008, to recognise a visit by his father to the Canadian province of Manitoba, the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba-in-Council named a lake in the north of the province after James.[11]



  1. ^ "The Countess of Wessex – Marriage and family". The official website of the British Monarchy. 2008–2009. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Special Report , 1999 , 06/99 , royal wedding , Wessex titles for Edward and Sophie". BBC News. 19 June 1999. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Countess gives birth to baby boy". BBC News. 17 December 2007. 
  4. ^ "Edward and Sophie name baby James". BBC News. 21 December 2007. 
  5. ^ "Royal baby has allergic reaction". BBC News. 25 January 2008. 
  6. ^ a b "Announcement of the Arrangement for the Christening of Lord Severn". royal.gov.uk. 15 April 2008. Archived from the original on 20 April 2008. 
  7. ^ "Queen sees grandson's christening". BBC News. 19 April 2008. 
  8. ^ "No. 30428". The London Gazette. 14 December 1917. p. 13086. 
  9. ^ "Title of HRH The Prince Edward". UK Government News. 19 June 1999. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2018. 
  10. ^ "Wessex titles for Edward and Sophie". BBC News. 19 June 1999. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Prince Edward begins Winnipeg visit". The Vancouver Sun. Canada. 2 June 2008. Archived from the original on 15 April 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
James, Viscount Severn
Born: 17 December 2007
Lines of succession
Preceded by
The Earl of Wessex
Line of succession to the British throne
11th position
Followed by
Lady Louise Windsor
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Duke of Sussex
Viscount Severn
Followed by
Peter Phillips