Lady Louise Windsor Can Still Take The Title Princess. Here's When

UPDATED: August 10, 2021

Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor celebrated her 17th birthday on November 8, 2020. She is the only granddaughter of a reigning monarch in Europe in a male line that is not titled Princess.

Here's why.

Lady Louise and her parents, the Earl and Countess of Wessex

Lady Louise is the first granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II in a male line that carries the surname, Mountbatten-Windsor at birth. It is a surname declared by the Queen in 1960 to be used by her and Prince Philip's descendants who are not carrying the title, Prince and Princess.

The Earl of Wessex family

Lady Louise is the eldest child of the Queen's youngest child, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex. She was born on November 8, 2003 and has a younger brother who is not also titled Prince. James, Viscount Severn, born in 2007.

Not Princess in Style

On the eve of Prince Edward's marriage to Sophie Rhys-Jones in June 1999, the Queen bestowed him with the ancient noble title of Earl of Wessex. Primarily because he will inherit the title Duke of Edinburgh of his father, Prince Philip, when it reverts back to the crown.

Following the wedding, the palace issued a statement that the future children of the royal couple would not take the privilege and courtesy style of Prince and Princess of the United Kingdom.

The reason is largely a personal choice of the Earl and Countess of Wessex who want to shield their children from the pressure and trappings of royalty.

Young Lady Louise with her mother and grandparents
The Earl and Countess of  Wessex with toddler Lady Louise
spending summer in Balmoral with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh

No Letter Patent issued

The decision  was approved by the Queen and Prince Philip. 

However, it has no legal binding act. The Queen did not issue a letter patent to make it permanent, thus, Lady Louise and her brother, James, can still opt to use the title Prince and Princess if they wish to, in the future.

In reality, they are still Prince and Princess of the United Kingdom. The letter patent of 1917 issued by King George V, the grandfather of the Queen, is still in force. 

The King declared that all children born to sons of the ruling British sovereign shall be titled Prince and Princess and will enjoy the privileges that come with the titles.

Lady Louise is currently 15th in the line of succession to the British throne behind her brother. The succession act was repealed in 2013 where an eldest child, irrespective of gender, places ahead in the line of succession.

However, it was not done retroactively, which means that the new succession act will only affect royal children in the succession line born from 2013 onwards. Thus, Viscount Severn still precedes his sister in the line of succession.

Personal Interests and Education

Only little information are known about Lady Louise Windsor. She has a sheltered upbringing, and other than accompanying her parents in social events, she has not seen anywhere going out of her own.

Lady Louise and her cousin, Princess Beatrice of York

She is currently a member of girlguiding, a charitable girl guiding organization in the United Kingdom where the Queen is the patron and the Countess of Wessex is the president.

Lady Louise expresses interest in carriage riding, a sports popularized and introduced by her grandfather, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, to Britain. She was seen on numerous occasions doing carriage riding with her mother, the Countess of Wessex.

Prince Philip doing horse carriage riding

Following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh in April this year, there were talks spreading that Lady Louise will inherit her late grandpa's carriage and horses.

Lady Louise participating in Horse Carriage Riding

In 2019, she took part in the Private Driving Singles carriage drive at the Royal Windsor Horse Show where she placed third.

In October this year, she participated with her parents and brother, cleaning coastal area in Britain to support the International Coastal Area Cleanup movement of the environmental groups.

Lady Louise is currently attending a boarding school at St. Mary's School Ascot as a night grader. 

HRH Princess Louise of Wessex

Recently, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex said that her children retained the royal status they acquired upon birth and they can opt to use it when they reach 18 years old if they wish to.

There's no legal impediment that could hinder Lady Louise and Viscount Severn from using their royal titles. The Queen did not issue a Letter Patent preventing them from using the style of Prince and Princess. 

Lady Louise is Princess of the blood royal

Lady Louise will turn 18 years old this November, she will finally reach the legal age where she can freely decide if she will use the title of a Princess or retain to be known as Lady.

If she decides to use her birthright privilege as a granddaughter of the reigning British monarch in the male line, she will be known as Her Royal Highness, Princess Louise of Wessex.

Lady Louise, Countess of Wessex, and Viscount Severn attending the funeral service of Prince Philip in April this year

The choice is hers! 

However, other observers expressed doubts if Lady Louise will do so because it means defying her parents' wishes.

But amidst all the backlash the royal family experienced the past years due to family "rift" of the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, the criticism on the Sussexes' behavior in public, the Duke of York's controversy on the Epstein scandal, and the death of Prince Philip, it looks like the royal family needs a fresh face working royal to represent them in public, someone who is scandal-free.

And Lady Louise perfectly fits the bill of a dignified modern royal princess.

Are you in favor of Lady Louise using her royal status as HRH Princess Louise of Wessex? 

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Orma Paterson said…
I think Lady Louise should do what makes her the happiest.