British Royal Family – Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex in British Royal Family

Prince Edward is the last of the four children of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. At his birth, he replaced his sister, Princess Anne as third in the line of succession to the British throne, behind his brothers Prince Charles and Prince Andrew.

Prince Andrew slipped to seventh in the line of succession following the births of Prince Charles’ two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry and the birth’s of Prince Andrew’s two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Edward was known simply as Prince Edward until his marriage to Sophie Rhys-Jones, when he was created The Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn. Sophie Rhys-Jones became the Countess of Wessex. It was also announced that he would be named Duke of Edinburgh when that title reverts to the crown on the death of his father, Prince Philip.

Birth and Parents

Prince Edward was born at Buckingham Palace on March 10th 1964, the fourth child and third son of Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. He was baptised Edward Antony Richard Louis in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 2nd 1964 by Robert Woods, the Dean of Windsor.

Marriage to Sophie Rhys-Jones

Prince Andrew announced his engagement to Sophie Rhys-Jones on January 6th 1999. The couple were married on June 19th 1999 in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.


Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, have two children:

The Lady Louise Windsor, born on November 8th 2003
James, Viscount Severn, born December 17th 2007


After spending two terms of his gap year working as a house tutor and junior master at Wanganui Collegiate School in New Zealand, he was admitted to Jesus College, Cambridge in 1993 to read History. He graduated in 1986 with a lower second class honours degree, the fourth member of the Royal Family to obtain a university degree.


Prince Edward joined the Royal Navy after graduating from university to train as an officer, but resigned his commission in January 1987.

After the Royal Navy, he became more involved in the theatre, including working for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Company.

Prince Edward formed Ardent Productions in 1993, and was involved in the production of documentaries and dramas. The company only made a profit in one year, despite Prince Edward not taking a salary.

Prince Edward stepped down as director of production and joint managing director of Ardent Productions in March 2002, so he could concentrate on his royal duties during the Queen’s Golden Jubilee year. Ardent Productions went into voluntary liquidation in June 2009.