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James, Viscount Severn

Viscount Severn
Full name
James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor
House House of Windsor
Father Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Mother Sophie Rhys-Jones
Born (2007-12-17) 17 December 2007
Frimley Park Hospital, Frimley, Surrey, England
Religion Church of England

James, Viscount Severn[1][2] (James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor; born 17 December 2007), is the younger child and only son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and the youngest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and the the Duke of Edinburgh. James is ninth in the line of succession to the thrones of the 16 Commonwealth realms.


  • Biography 1
    • Birth 1.1
    • Baptism 1.2
    • Royal engagements 1.3
  • Titles, styles, honours and arms 2
    • Titles and styles 2.1
    • Honours 2.2
  • Ancestry 3
  • References 4



Lord Severn 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] His sister, Lady Louise Windsor, is four years his senior. The siblings live with their parents at Bagshot Park in Surrey.

James 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.


Lord Severn was baptised on 19 April 2008, in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle by the Dean of Windsor, Bishop David Conner.[6][7] His christening gown was a newly made replica of the gown originally used by his great-great-great-grand-aunt Victoria, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria, in 1840. It has been worn for most royal christenings since then, and the old gown has now been preserved.[6] Severn's godparents are Denise Poulton, Jeanye Irwin, Alastair Bruce, 5th Baron Aberdare, Duncan Bullivant, and Tom Hill.[7]

Royal engagements

In June 2012, Lord Severn attended the Jubilee Thames River Pageant with his parents and sister.

On 11 June 2013, James along with his sister attended the Coronation festival at Buckingham Palace.[8] Lord Severn was also present at Trooping the Colour in June 2013.[9]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

Letters patent issued in 1917 (and still remaining in force today) assign a princely status and the style of Royal Highness to all male-line grandchildren of a monarch. 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 (in hopes of avoiding some of the burdens associated with royal titles) their children would be styled as the children of an earl, rather than as princes or princesses.[10] Thus, court communications refer to him as Lord Severn.


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 Lord Severn.[11]


His mother descends from Nicholas St. John of Lydiard Tregoze (descendant of King Edward III of England) and his wife, Elizabeth (née Blount, a relative of royal mistress Elizabeth Blount) making his parents 11th cousins, once removed. Lord Severn's mother is a descendant of King Edward III of England,[12] King Henry IV of England,[13] and King Henry II of France. James is also related to the family of the Viscounts Molesworth by his mother's descent from Robert Molesworth, 1st Viscount Molesworth.[14] His mother also descended from the Welsh prince and warrior Elystan Glodrydd.


  1. ^ "The Countess of Wessex – Marriage and family". The official website of the British Monarchy. 2008/2009. 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. 17 December 2007. 
  4. ^ "Edward and Sophie name baby James". BBC. 21 December 2007. 
  5. ^ "Royal baby has allergic reaction". BBC. 25 January 2008. 
  6. ^ a b "Announcement of the Arrangement for the Christening of Lord Severn".  
  7. ^ a b "Queen sees grandson's christening". BBC News. 19 April 2008. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Trooping the Colour". Getty Images. 2013-06-15. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  10. ^ UK Government News – 19th June, 1999: TITLE OF HRH THE PRINCE EDWARD (Accessed 18 January 2014)
  11. ^ "Prince Edward begins Winnipeg visit".  
  12. ^ Sophie of Wessex descends from Edward III of England through several lines. Sir Nicholas St. John's paternal grandmother, Jane Iwardby, descended from Edward The Royal Lineage; Sir Lachlan Maclean, 1st Baronet who descends from Edward and Scottish royalty and nobility.
  13. ^ Charles Mosley, editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 2, page 2720.
  14. ^ Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 2731.
James, Viscount Severn
Born: 17 December 2007
Lines of succession
Preceded by
The Earl of Wessex
Line of succession to the British throne
9th position
Succeeded by
Lady Louise Windsor
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Prince Harry
Lord Severn
Succeeded by
Peter Phillips
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