James, Viscount Severn

James, Viscount Severn, 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 12th in line of succession to the British throne.

Birth and baptism

James was born by caesarean section at 16:20 UTC on 17 December 2007, at Frimley Park Hospital in Frimley, Surrey. The names James Alexander Philip Theo were announced on 21 December.
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. He wore a newly made replica of the royal christening gown originally used by 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.
James currently attends Eagle House School a coeducational preparatory school near Sandhurst in Berkshire.

Official appearances

In April 2015, James and his sister participated in their first overseas engagement by accompanying their parents on a trip to South Africa.

Titles, styles, and honours

Titles and styles

issued in 1917 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 their children would be styled as the children of an earl, rather than as prince or princess. In 2020, the Countess of Wessex stated that when her son is 18 he can make a choice to use his royal title and style. Until then, as is customary for the eldest son of an earl, court communications refer to him as Viscount Severn, which is one of his father's subsidiary titles.
The title Viscount Severn acknowledges the Welsh roots of the Countess's family: the River Severn rises in Wales.


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.