Viscount Severn
Full name
James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor
House House of Windsor
Father Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Mother Sophie, Countess of Wessex

17 December 2007 (2007-12-17) (age 3)

Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, England

Early Life

Lord Severn was born by caesarean section at 16:20 UTC on 17 December 2007 at Frimley Park Hospital. At birth he weighed 6 pounds, 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 their first child, Lady Louise), 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 his senior. The siblings live with their parents at Bagshot Park in Surrey.

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

Lord Severn was christened on 19 April 2008 in the private chapel of Windsor Castle by the Dean of Windsor, Bishop David Conner. His christening gown was a newly made replica of the gown originally used by his great-great-great-grandaunt, Princess Victoria, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria, in 1840. It has been worn for most royal christenings since then, and the old gown has now been preserved. Severn'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 – present: Viscount Severn

Letters patent issued in 1917 (and still remaining in force today) 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 (in hopes of avoiding some of the burdens associated with royal titles) their children would be styled as the children of an earl, rather than as princes or princesses. The eldest son of an earl is customarily accorded one of his father's subsidiary titles by courtesy, thus James is named as Viscount Severn, and court communications never refer to him as a prince of the United Kingdom, but simply as Viscount Severn. There are two opposing opinions as to whether or not James is "legally" a prince and His Royal Highness: Some experts consider the Queen's press release to not have enough legal force to override the 1917 letters patent, whereas other experts contend that the Queen's will, however expressed, is law in matters of royal titles and styles. If the latter is the case, then the 1960 letters patent is also applicable and James bears (but is not styled with) the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.


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 Lord Severn.

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