Who is James, Viscount Severn? Real reason why Prince Edward's only son did not get the ‘HRH Prince’ title

Who is James, Viscount Severn? Real reason why Prince Edward's only son did not get the ‘HRH Prince’ title
James, Viscount Seven is 12th in line to the throne (Getty Images)

As the royal family gathers to lay Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh to rest, the funeral will be televised, on account of the pandemic, which has also scaled down the size of the funeral gathering. There will only be 30 members in attendance, in order to keep in maintain the required Covid-19 protocol. 

Among those slated to attend is James, Viscount Severn, the Queen and the late Prince Phillip's youngest grandchild. James, Viscount Severn, who turns 14 this year is currently in 12th in line for the throne.

Prince Philip Funeral Full List of Attendees: Queen, Harry to Zara Tindall, here are 30 mourners who are invited

Who are Prince Philip's German 'blood' relatives? Prince Bernhard, Donatus and Philipp invited to attend funeral

Who is James, Viscount Severn?

James is the youngest son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie Rhys-Jones, Countess of Wessex. He has an older sister, Lady Louise. While Prince Edward is the son of the Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh, Sophie was born into a middle-class family.

Britain's Prince Edward and Sophie pose with their children Lady Louise and James (Getty Images)

Before getting married, she worked with Capital Radio, which is around the time she met Prince Edward, who was dating her friend, at the time, back in 1987. The pair met again in 1993 at a charity event and started dating shortly after.

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones leave Hospital with their baby boy (Getty Images)

They announced their engagement in January 1999 and married later that year. The couple had their first child, Lady Louise on November 8, 2003 and later had their son, James, Viscount Severn on December 17, 2007. 

Why is he known as James, Viscount Severn and not 'Prince James'?

While his cousins Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice and others have the title of 'Prince' and 'Princess', James and Louise have different titles.

James, Viscount Severn (Getty Images)

This is because, during the time of their parents' wedding in 1999, it was decided, with the approval of the Queen, that their future children would receive the courtesy titles of the children of an earl, rather than Prince or Princess. As reported by BBC — "It is thought this decision was made to avoid some of the burdens of royal titles." 

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and James, Viscount Severn (Getty Images)

Although he was born James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor, the young royal goes by James, Viscount Severn. In 2020, his mother Sophie stated that should he decided to change his title or the styling of the same, he can do so after he turns 18. 

What does Viscount Severn mean?

A viscount is the fourth rank in the British peerage system — above it is the title of 'earl' and below it is 'baron'. The title of Viscount is either the name of a place or surname or a combination of both.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex with Lady Louise Windsor and James Viscount Severn (Getty Images)

James' title, Viscount Severn, was given to him in honor of the River Severn, the longest river in the UK. The river flows through mid-Wales across Shropshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. 

Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn (Getty Images)

There are around 270 viscountcies in the UK. His title would be subject to change if his father were to pass away, seeing that he would then gain the title of 'Earl'. 

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, has described his children as 'chalk' and 'cheese'

Although the two teenagers are only four years apart — Lady Louise Windsor is 17 and James is 13, their father, Prince Edward thinks they are quite different, with regard to their approach to homeschooling during the pandemic.

Prince Edward Earl of Wessex, James Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor (Getty Images)

In an article by People Magazine, Prince Edward spoke about how the two have conflicting opinions about it, seeing that Lady Louise's General Certificate of Secondary Education exams was "interrupted".

"So we went through that whole pain of just having all of that suddenly taken away, and so she sort of struggles a bit with the online learning because she'd much prefer to be with everyone," he said. "My younger one frankly thinks being at home and online is fantastic," pointing out that his son was handling the change much better.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, James, Viscount Severn and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (Getty Images)

Does he have a claim to the throne?

James, Viscount Severn is currently 12th in line for the throne. As reported by Express, he is ahead of his sister in terms of succession although she is older than him. Although the laws of primogeniture changed back in 2013, meaning that technically Lady Louise would not come after her younger brother concerning the line of succession, he still would have the right to ascend to the throne before her. 

Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn take part in the Great British Beach Clean on September 20, 2020 in Southsea, United Kingdom.

What's current line of succession?

As reported by the Royal UK, the current line of succession is 
1. Charles, The Prince of Wales
2. Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge
3. Prince George of Cambridge
4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
5. Prince Louis of Cambridge
6. Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex
7. Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
8. Prince Andrew, The Duke of York
9. Princess Beatrice, Mrs. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
10. Princess Eugenie, Mrs. Jack Brooksbank
11. Master August Brooksbank
12. Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex
13. James, Viscount Severn
14. The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor
15. Anne, The Princess Royal
16. Mr. Peter Phillips
17. Miss Savannah Phillips
18. Miss Isla Phillips
19. Mrs. Michael Tindall
20. Miss Mia Tindall
21. Miss Lena Tindall
22. Master Lucas Tindall

Share this article:  James Viscount Severn Real reason Prince Edward only son did not get HRH Prince title