Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex Biography

(Youngest Child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip)

Birthday: March 10, 1964 (Pisces)

Born In: Buckingham Palace, London

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, is the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is a working member of the Royal Family and attends numerous public service engagements for charity. He has assumed a lot of his father’s duties and responsibilities as the Duke of Edinburgh has been reducing his work owing to his age. However, Prince Edward was not always interested in attending to royal duties and was once into theatre and documentary production. In order to pursue his passion for film-making, he quit the military and started his own production house named Ardent Productions. Under his banner, he made several documentaries related to the lives of the members of the Royal Family. But his production company did not do well as a result of which he decided to support the Queen in her official duties and relieve his father of some of his royal duties. Even though Prince Edward holds the title of Earl of Wessex, he will eventually take over the title of Duke of Edinburgh.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In March

Also Known As: Edward Antony Richard Louis

Age: 60 Years, 60 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Countess of Wessex (m. 1999), Sophie

father: Philip Mountbatten

mother: Elizabeth II

siblings: Anne, Charles, Duke of York, Prince Andrew, Prince of Wales, Princess Royal

children: James, Lady Louise Windsor, Viscount Severn

Born Country: England

Noblemen Royal Family Members

Height: 1.83 m

City: London, England

More Facts

education: Wanganui Collegiate School, Jesus College, Cambridge, University of Cambridge

Childhood & Early Life

Prince Edward was born on March 10, 1964, at Windsor Castle in London, England. He is the fourth and the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

He was home-schooled by a tutor till the age of seven before enrolling in Gibbs School. He then attended the Heatherdown Preparatory School in Berkshire in 1972.

In 1977, he joined Gordonstoun School in Moray, Scotland where bagged the Gold Award as a part of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award program. After passing out from school, he spent a gap year teaching English and History at Wanganui Collegiate School in New Zealand.

He then enrolled at Jesus College, Cambridge where he studied history. His admission into the prestigious college stirred up controversy as he did not have the required grades to get into the college. However, he passed out in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

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After completing college, Prince Edward joined the Royal Marines as a University Cadet with a sponsorship of £12,000 towards his tuition at Cambridge University. However, within three months of training, he decided to quit and pursue his love for theatre.

For his mother’s 60th birthday, Prince Edward authorized the 1986 musical ‘Cricket’ by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, as a result of which, he got a job as a production assistant at Lloyd Webber's ‘Really Useful Theatre Company’.

He worked on musicals such as ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Starlight Express’, and ‘Cats’. It was while working as a production assistant that Prince Edward met actress Ruthie Henshall, whom he dated for three years.

‘The Grand Knockout Tournament’ was his first television production and it went on air on 15 June 1987. The show consisted of four teams, each of which was sponsored by him, Princess Anne, and the Duke and Duchess of York. The event was played for charity. However, the program ended up becoming a spectacle after the media heavily criticized it. It later came to the surface that the Queen had fiercely disapproved of it which explains her absence from the event.

In 1993, Prince Edward started his own television production company, Ardent Productions, under the name Edward Windsor. His company created documentaries based on the lives of the British Royal Family. His documentaries, however, were slammed by critics accusing him of using the Royal Family to make money.

The documentaries were comparatively more popular in the United States. The documentary based on his grand-uncle, Edward VIII (the late Duke of Windsor) became very popular across the globe. However, the company did not perform well and suffered heavy losses. In 2002, he finally quit Ardent Productions to concentrate on his duties as royalty. The company officially dissolved in June 2009.

Since the Duke of Edinburgh was unable to attend to a lot of his duties owing to old age, Prince Edward took on a lot of his responsibilities. He has taken over as the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (vice-patron since 2006) following Prince Philip. He has also assumed the role of a Duke at the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme and now attends the Gold Award ceremonies around the world.

He and his wife, Countess of Wessex, started the charity foundation ‘The Wessex Youth Trust’, in 1999. Their charity aims to support registered charities that work towards helping children and young people.

Prince Edward visited Israel in September 2007 as chairman of the International Council of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The award was initiated by his father in an attempt to applaud the youth for completing a series of self-improvement exercises.

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In June 2011, he paid a visit to Living Classrooms Foundation, Baltimore to promote the Duke of Edinburgh's Award program and to encourage the staff and students to participate in it.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited Bahrain in December 2011 where the Bahraini royal family and the Prime Minister gifted the royal couple two precious jewels. However, considering the human rights abuse topic being hot in Bahrain, the gifts were highly criticized by people.

In 2013, Prince Edward was appointed as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2014 by the Queen.

As an acknowledgment of his contribution towards the promotion of Badminton, Prince Edward was awarded the President's Medal by the Badminton World Federation President Poul-Erik Hoyer.

When he visited Ghana in May 2016, he presented the Head of State Awards for the participants of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Scheme.

For the Duke of Edinburgh's Award's diamond anniversary, Prince Edward visited Chile in September 2016 and visited projects by the British and Commonwealth Fire and Rescue Company and Chilean-British Culture University.

In October 2017, he and his wife represented the Queen at the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's Accession to the Throne of Brunei.

The royal couple toured Sri Lanka in February 2018 as guests for their 70th Independence Day celebrations in Colombo. Prince Edward went to Australia in April 2018 to be part of the Commonwealth Games. He also attended several fundraising events for those participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award challenges.

In March 2019, Queen Elizabeth bestowed Prince Edward the title ‘Earl of Forfar.’ In July of that year, the royal couple made their first official visit to Forfar. The following year, he assumed the patronage of London Youth which was previously held by his father. He also succeeded his father as the president of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in February 2022. 

In April 2022, he and the Duchess of Edinburgh ventured into Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. That same year, the Earl of Wessex Award was created as a part of the Production Guild’s Talent Showcase event to recognize his role as a patron for the guild.

In March 2023, on his 59th birthday, he was declared the Duke of Edinburgh and was soon after made patron of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

Personal Life & Legacy

Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones on 19 June 1999 in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The couple met in 1994 when Sophie was working as a public relations executive with her own firm.

Their first child, Lady Louise Windsor, was born on 8 November 2003. They welcomed their son James, Viscount Severn, on 17 December 2007. Together, they live at Bagshot Park in Surrey while their office and London residence are based at Buckingham Palace.


Prince Edward was supposed to have the title ‘Duke of Cambridge’ but he requested the Queen for the title of ‘Earl of Wessex’ inspired by the character named Lord Wessex in ‘Shakespeare in Love’.

He directed the show ‘The Tale of Toothache City’ which was written especially for kids with learning difficulties.

The Earl of Wessex has his own personal heraldic flag for use in Canada.

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