HRH Prince Edward, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, royal wedding, Sophie Rhys-Jones, St. George's Chapel, The Countess of Wessex, The Earl of Wessex
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex KG, GCVO, CD, ADC(P) (Edward Antony Richard Louis; born March 10, 1964) is the youngest of four children and the third son of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom 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 May 2020, he is 11th.
The Earl is a full-time working member of the British royal family and supports the Queen in her official duties – often alongside his wife, the Countess of Wessex – as well as undertaking public engagements for many of his own charities. In particular he has assumed many duties from his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, who retired from public life in 2017.
Edward met Sophie Rhys-Jones, then a public relations executive with her own firm, in 1994. Their engagement was announced on January 6, 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 June 19, 1999 in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. This was a departure from the weddings of his elder brothers, which were large, formal events at Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral, and had ended in divorce.
On his wedding day, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex, with the subsidiary title of Viscount Severn (derived from the Welsh roots of the Countess’s family), breaking from a tradition whereby sons of the sovereign were created royal dukes.
It was however revealed that the Queen wished 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 (after the death of the current Duke and the Queen), and for his children to be styled as the children of an Earl, rather than as prince/ss and royal highness.
He and his wife have two children: Lady Louise Windsor, born November 8, 2003, and James, Viscount Severn, born December 17, 2007, They were born at Frimley Park Hospital in Frimley, They reside at Bagshot Park in Surrey. While their private residence is Bagshot Park, their office and official London residence is based at Buckingham Palace.