The Queen's youngest grandchild makes history, who is he?

William, Prince of Wales, was accompanied by his brother Prince Harry and six cousins to mount a vigil around the Queen’s coffin in a historic event.

The Queen's youngest grandchild makes history, who is he?
© Max Mumby/Indigo / Getty Images
The Queen's youngest grandchild makes history, who is he?

Prince William and Prince Harry stood vigil around Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin with their six cousins in a historic event. It is the first time in history that the late monarch’s grandchildren should participate in this ceremony.

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A historic vigil for the longest-reigning Monarch

According to BBC News,the late Queen’s eight grandchildren stood vigil on Saturday 17th September at Westminster Hall for approximately 15 minutes.

Prince William stood at the head of the Queen’s coffin, while Prince Harry, also in military regalia, stood at the foot.

Prince William was flanked by Zara Tindall and Peter Philips. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie stood either side of Prince Harry.

Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex’s children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn stood in the middle.

A rare public appearance for the Queen’s youngest grandchild

James, Viscount Severn, born on 17th December 2007, is the Queen’s youngest grandchild. His full name is James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor.

James is currently 13th in line to the throne, in front of his sister, Lady Louise. According to BBC News, Prince Edward described his son as ‘very cute and very cuddly’.

Per The Vancouver Sun, Viscount Severn and his sister Lady Louise both have a North Canadian Lake named in their honour.

His parents, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, decided with the Queen’s approval, to forego giving their children HRH titles, instead opting for ‘courtesy titles’ of the children of an Earl, Town and Country Magazine reports.

BBC Newsspeculates that this decision was made to avoid the burdens that come with a royal title. However, The Independentreports thatwhen the Viscount turns 18, he is entitled to use his HRH titles, should he wish to do so. Although, the Countess of Wessex believes this is unlikely.

When speaking about the decision, the Countess of Wessex said:

We try to bring them up with the understanding that they are very likely to have to work for a living.

James, Viscount Severn, lives with his family at Bagshot Park, a 17th century estate near Windsor.

Viscount Severn at the England v India Women's hockey match during the 2022 Commonwealth Games Max Mumby/Indigo / Getty Images

Despite his young age, Viscount Severn has attended a few preeminent royal events. According to The Independent, he attended The Commonwealth Games and the Platinum Jubilee Trooping the Colour Parade this summer.

He also attended both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding in 2018.

Sources used:

- The Independent: 'Who is Viscount Severn? Queen’s 14 year old grandson who stood vigil by coffin'

- BBC News: 'William and Harry lead historic coffin vigil'

- BBC News: 'Baby boy for Countess of Wessex'

- BBC News: 'Royal Family tree: Queen's closest family and order of succession'

- Town and Country Magazine: 'Who Is the Queen's Youngest Grandson, James, Viscount Severn?'

- The Vancouver Sun: 'Prince Edward begins Winnipeg visit'

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