Role Earl of Wessex
Name Prince Earl
|Religion Church of England|
Mother Elizabeth II
|Born 10 March 1964 (age 59) Buckingham Palace, London, UK (1964-03-10) |
Issue Lady Louise WindsorJames, Viscount Severn
Father Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Spouse Sophie, Countess of Wessex (m. 1999)
Siblings Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Anne, Princess Royal
Children Lady Louise Windsor, James, Viscount Severn
Parents Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Nephews Prince William - Duke of C, Prince Harry, Peter Phillips
Similar Lady Louise Windsor, Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
Prince edward earl of wessex
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, (Edward Antony Richard Louis; born 10 March 1964) is the youngest of four children and the third son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of his birth, he was third in line of Succession to the British throne; as of 2017, he is ninth in line.
- Prince edward earl of wessex
- The installation of hrh the prince edward earl of wessex as chancellor
- Early life and education
- Royal Marines
- Theatre and television
- Ardent Productions
- Titles and styles
- Military appointments
- Civic appointments
- Academic appointments
- Personal flag for Canada
The installation of hrh the prince edward earl of wessex as chancellor
Early life and education
Prince Edward was born on 10 March 1964, at Buckingham Palace, as the third son and fourth and youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He was baptised on 2 May 1964 in the private chapel at Windsor Castle by the then-Dean of Windsor, Robin Woods.
As with his older siblings, a governess was appointed to look after Edward and was responsible for his early education at Buckingham Palace. At the age of seven, Edward was then sent to Gibbs School before attending, in September 1972, Heatherdown School, near Ascot in Berkshire. He then, as his father and elder brothers had done before him, moved to Gordonstoun, in northern Scotland, and was appointed Head Boy in his last term. Edward obtained a C-grade and two D-grades at A-level, and after leaving school spent a gap year abroad, working as a House tutor and junior Master for two terms in September 1982 at the Wanganui Collegiate School in New Zealand.
Upon his return to Britain, Edward matriculated at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he read history. His admission to Cambridge caused some controversy at the time, since his A-level grades were far below the standard normally required, "straight As", for Oxbridge entrance. Edward graduated in 1986 as BA (lower second class honours) and proceeded Master of Arts (Cantab) in 1991, making him the fourth member of the royal family to obtain a university degree.
Prince Edward made two very public attempts to pursue a career. On leaving university, Edward joined the Royal Marines as an officer cadet, having been sponsored by the Marines with £12,000 towards his tuition at Cambridge University on condition of future service. However, in January 1987, he dropped out of the gruelling commando course after completing just one third of the 12-month training. Media reported, at the time, that the move prompted a berating from Prince Philip who "reduced his son to prolonged tears."
Theatre and television
After leaving the Marines, Edward opted for a career in entertainment. He commissioned the 1986 musical Cricket from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, for his mother's 60th birthday celebration, which led to a job offer at Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Theatre Company, where he worked as a production assistant on musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera, Starlight Express, and Cats. His duties reportedly involved making tea for the artistic staff. While there he met actress Ruthie Henshall, whom he dated for three years.
Edward's first foray into television production was the programme The Grand Knockout Tournament, informally known as It's a Royal Knockout, on 15 June 1987, in which teams sponsored by him, Princess Anne and the Duke and Duchess of York competed for charity. The media attacked the programme; it was later reported that the Queen was not in favour of the event and that her courtiers had all advised against it.
In 1993, Edward formed the television production company Ardent Productions. Ardent was involved in the production of a number of documentaries and dramas, but Edward was accused in the media of using his royal connections for financial gain, and the company was referred to by some industry insiders as "a sad joke" due to a perceived lack of professionalism in its operations. The Guardian opined that "to watch Ardent's few dozen hours of broadcast output is to enter a strange kingdom where every man in Britain still wears a tie, where pieces to camera are done in cricket jumpers, where people clasp their hands behind their backs like guardsmen. Commercial breaks are filled with army recruiting advertisements".
Ardent's productions were somewhat better received in the United States and a documentary Edward made about his great-uncle, Edward VIII (the late Duke of Windsor) in 1996, sold well worldwide. Nonetheless, the company reported losses every year it operated save one when Edward did not draw a salary. An Ardent two-man film crew was alleged to have invaded the privacy of his nephew Prince William in September 2001, when he was studying at the University of St Andrews, against industry guidelines regarding the privacy of members of the royal family. The Prince of Wales was reportedly angered by the incident. In March 2002, Edward announced that he would step down as production director and joint managing director of Ardent to concentrate on his public duties and to support the Queen during her Golden Jubilee year. Ardent Productions was voluntarily dissolved in June 2009, with assets reduced to just £40. Edward's original backers in the venture are said to "have lost every penny".
Edward met Sophie Rhys-Jones, then a public relations executive with her own firm, in 1994. Their engagement was announced on 6 January 1999. Edward proposed to Sophie with an Asprey and Garrard engagement ring worth an estimated £105,000: a two-carat oval diamond flanked by two heart-shaped gemstones set in 18-carat white gold.
Their wedding took place on 19 June 1999 in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. This was a departure from the weddings of Edward's older siblings, which were large, formal events at Westminster Abbey or St Paul's Cathedral. On his wedding day, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex with the subsidiary title of Viscount Severn, breaking from a tradition whereby sons of the sovereign were created royal dukes. It was however revealed that the Queen wishes that he be elevated from the rank of Earl to Duke of Edinburgh after that dukedom, held by Prince Philip since 1947, reverts to the Crown (namely, after "both the death of the current Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales' succession as King"), and for his children to be styled as the children of an Earl, rather than as prince/ss and royal highness.
The Earl of Wessex has assumed many duties from his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, who has been reducing some commitments due to his age. Prince Edward succeeded Prince Philip as president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (vice-patron since 2006) and opened the 1990 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand and the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia. He has also taken over the duke's role in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, attending Gold Award ceremonies around the world.
In February and March 2012, The Earl and Countess visited the Caribbean for the Diamond Jubilee. The itinerary consisted of Saint Lucia; Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Grenada; Trinidad and Tobago; Montserrat; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda. Highlights included Independence Day celebrations in Saint Lucia, addressing Senate and Assembly of Barbados jointly, and a visit to sites affected by the volcanic eruptions in Montserrat.
The Queen appointed the Earl of Wessex as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2014.
Titles and styles
He has been a British prince since birth and his present style and full title is: His Royal Highness The Prince Edward Antony Richard Louis, Earl of Wessex, Viscount Severn, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Honorary Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty.
Before Edward's marriage in 1999, royal commentators conjectured that former royal dukedoms such as Cambridge or Sussex might be granted to him. Instead, the Palace announced its intention that Prince Edward would eventually succeed to the title Duke of Edinburgh, currently held by his father. In the meantime, in keeping with the tradition of sons of monarchs being ennobled upon marriage (while reserving the rank of duke for the future), Prince Edward became the first prince since the Tudors to be specifically created an earl, rather than a duke. The Sunday Telegraph reported that he was drawn to the historic title Earl of Wessex after watching the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love, in which a character with that title is played by Colin Firth.
As Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2014, he was also entitled to be styled as His Grace The Lord High Commissioner for the duration of General Assembly week (17–23 May).
Honorary military appointments
Personal flag for Canada
Since 2014, the Earl of Wessex has a personal heraldic flag for use in Canada. It is the Royal Arms of Canada in banner form defaced with a blue roundel surrounded by a wreath of gold maple leaves, within which is a depiction of an "E" surmounted by a coronet. Above the roundel is a white label of three points, the centre one charged with a Tudor rose.