Lady Louise Windsor

Lady Louise with her parents
Lady Louise with her parents
British Royal Family

The Lady Louise Windsor (Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor) (born 8 November 2003) is a member of the British Royal Family. She is the only child of The Earl of Wessex, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II, and The Countess of Wessex.

As a granddaughter of the Monarch in the male line, she is legally and officially Her Royal Highness Princess Louise of Wessex. However, when her parents married, they decided that their children would be styled as the children of an Earl rather than as Princes or Princesses with the style Royal Highness. This was so they could avoid the full burden of Royal titles and the responsibility that comes with them. However, in the absence of Letters Patent, Lady Louise legally remains a Princess, regardless of how she is styled in practice.

Lady Louise is eighth in succession to the British throne.

Birth

Lady Louise was born prematurely on 8 November 2003 at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, after her mother the Countess of Wessex was rushed there by ambulance from the couple's home at Bagshot, Surrey. Prince Edward was not present for the birth. Lady Louise was transferred to a neo-natal unit in St George's Hospital, Tooting, London as a precaution. The Countess meanwhile remained at Frimley Park Hospital for a time until she was well enough to be released. Her father is The Earl of Wessex, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh. Her mother is The Countess of Wessex (née Sophie Rhys-Jones). She was born by emergency Caesarian section, necessitated by a placental abruption causing severe blood loss to both child and mother, before her due date in December. The Countess of Wessex had earlier had an ectopic pregnancy.

She was released from hospital on November 23, and her name was announced on November 27; she was baptised in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle on April 24, 2004 with Lord Ivar Mountbatten and Lady Sarah Chatto as her godparents.

Style and Title

Under letters patent issued in 1917, all children of male children of the monarch receive the style 'Royal Highness' and the title 'Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom'. In the 1990s, to remove some public criticism about the size of the Royal Family (where minor royals such as Prince Michael of Kent, a male-line grandson of King George V, have received continuous media attention and criticism) one option considered by the Way Ahead committee on which among others the Duke of Edinburgh sat, was to restrict such titles and styles to only the most senior figures, namely the monarch's children and the children of the heir to the throne. It was suggested that other children should be treated not as descendants of a monarch but as the children of a peer, given that princes traditionally receive peerages when they marry.

Legally:

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Louise of Wessex (2003–present)

In practice:

  • The Lady Louise Windsor (2003–present)


Preceded by:
HRH The Earl of Wessex
Line of succession to the British throne Succeeded by:
HRH The Princess Royal

 

Preceded by:
Princess Eugenie of York
Order of precedence in England and Wales
Ladies
Succeeded by:
Birgitte, The Duchess of Gloucester

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