Who Is James Viscount Severn?

The teenage son of Prince Edward is stepping into the spotlight.

James Viscount Severn

by Lydia Spencer-Elliott |
Updated on

While Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are often in the public eye, the children of Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 18-year-old Lady Louise Windsor and her younger brother James, Viscount Severn have until now been less prominent in the spotlight.

Following the death of The Queen, James Viscount Severn, along with the Queen's seven other grandchildren will hold a special vigil by Her Majesty's coffin during the Lying in State, his most significant public appearance to date.

Earlier this year, James made a rare appearance at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this year and also stepped out with the rest of the royal family at the Queen’s jubilee celebrations and Easter service at St George’s Chapel in April. So, as his time in the spotlight gradually increases, here’s everything you need to know about James, Viscount Severn…

How old is James Viscount Severn?

James (full name James Alexander Philip Theo) was born by caesarean section at Frimley Park Hospital on 17 December 2007, which makes him 14 years old. He’s the youngest child and only son of Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex and is 15th in line for the throne. According to his father, he was ‘very cute and very cuddly’ as a new born.

Why isn’t James Viscount Severn His Royal Highness?

James is not yet 18 so it’s unknown whether he’ll claim his HRH title when he reaches adulthood (although, his sister, Lady Louise, notably chose not to). When he was born, James’ parents chose to give him the Viscount title (and Severn, one of James’ father’s subsidiary titles) instead, in the hope that he could live a more private life.

Speaking about James and his sister’s titles to The Times, James’ mother Sophie said: ‘We try to bring them up with the understanding they are very likely to have to work for a living… Hence, we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but I think it's highly unlikely.’

What is James Viscount Severn’s role in the royal family?

James lives with his parents and Lady Louise at their family home in Bagshot Park, Surrey—11 miles from Windsor Castle. While James hasn’t make any official public appearances yet, he and Louise have become increasingly more visible and participated in their parent’s overseas engagement to visit the Ubunye Foundation in South Africa in April 2015, where their mother is a patron.

The Viscount Severn was also seen helping out at the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean with his family in 2020 and this year was photographed at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations as well as the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

Was James Viscount Severn the Queen’s favourite grandchild?

According to reports, James likes to get involved in all the family fun at Balmoral during the summer holidays and has a knack for flipping burgers at their seasonal barbeques. A fan of outdoor pursuits, he’s also into salmon fishing and regularly impresses the gamekeepers at the Queen’s Scottish holiday home.

‘His enthusiasm for fly fishing delighted Her Majesty because it’s a sport beloved of James’ great-granny, the late Queen Mother,’ a source told The Sun. ‘James was in the Dee as often as possible, waders up to his armpits. His mother Sophie, who is a keen fisherwoman herself, liked to stand with him.

‘The Balmoral ghillies [gamekeepers] were impressed with both of them. Edward is not as keen because he’s not as patient, which you need to be when fishing for salmon, even in the plentiful Dee.’

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