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James, Viscount Severn (Prince James of Wessex) (James Alexander Philip Theo; born 17 December 2007), is a member of the British Royal Family. He is the second child and only son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. He is also the youngest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh, Viscount Severn is eighth in line to the throne.

Early life

Lord Severn was born by caesarean section at 16:20 UTC on 17 December 2007 at Frimley Park Hospitalmarker. At birth he weighed 6 pounds and 2 ounces (2.8 kg). 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 his elder sister), that his wife was "doing very well," and that his son was "like most babies, rather small, very cute and very cuddly." 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. His sister, Lady Louise Windsor, is four years older than he is, and the two children live with their parents at Bagshot Park in Surreymarker.

James was admitted to Great Ormond Street Hospitalmarker in Londonmarker on 24 January 2008 with what Buckingham Palace called a "minor allergic reaction." He was released from hospital within days.

Viscount Severn was christened on 19 April 2008 in the private chapel of Windsor Castlemarker by the Dean of Windsor, Bishop David Conner. His christening gown was a newly made replica of the gown originally used by Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, in the 1840s and worn for most royal christenings since then. The old gown has now been preserved. James's godparents are Denise Poulton, Jeanye Irwin, Alastair Bruce, Duncan Bullivant and Tom Hill.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 17 December 2007—: James, Viscount Severn
  • Legally: His Royal Highness Prince James of Wessex

Letters patent issued in 1917 (and still in force today) assign a princely status and the style of 'Royal Highness' to all male-line grandchildren of a monarch. The baby is thus entitled to all of these, and as such would be referred to as His Royal Highness Prince James of Wessex. However, when his parents married, it was announced that, in accordance with their wishes, their children would not be styled as Princes or Princesses with the style Royal Highness, but rather as the children of an Earl. The eldest son of an earl is customarily accorded one of his father's subsidiary titles by courtesy, and so James is referred to as Viscount Severn, despite his legal status as a prince.


In June 2008, to recognise a visit by his father to the province of Manitobamarker, the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba-in-Council named a lake in the north of the province after Viscount Severn.

Notes and sources


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