Thursday, March 10, 2016

Royal Profile: The Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex

The Prince Edward Antony Richard Louis was born on 10 March 1964 as the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II & The Duke of Edinburgh{Source}. He has the following siblings, nieces, nephews, nieces in law. nephew in law, and great nieces and nephews:
  1. The Prince Charles of Wales (1948)
    1. Diana, Princess of Wales (1961, m 1981. div 1996, died 1997)
      1. Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge (1982)
        1. Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge (1982, m. 2011)
          1. Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge (2013)
          2. Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge (2015)
      2. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales (1984)
    2. Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall (1947, m 2005)
  2. The Princess Anne, The Princess Royal (1950)
    1. Mr. Mark Philips (m. 1977, div. 1992)
        1. Peter Mark Andrew Phillips (1977)
          1. Autumn Patricia Kelly Philips (1978, m. 2008)
            1. Savannah Anne Kathleen Phillips (2010)
            2. Isla Elizabeth Phillips (2012) 
        2. Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips Tindall (1981)
          1. Michael James Tindall (1978, m. 2011)
            1. Mia Grace Tindall (2014)
    2. Sir Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence (1955, m 1992) 
  3. The Prince Andrew, The Duke of York (1960)
    1. Sarah, Duchess of York (m. 1986, div 1996)
      1. Princess Beatrice of York (1988)
      2. Princess Eugenie of York (1990)
His godparents were {Source}:
  1. The Duke of Gloucester (maternal 1st cousin 1x removed)
  2. Prince Louis of Hesse and by Rhine (paternal 3rd cousin 1x removed)
  3. The Earl of Snowdon (maternal uncle)
  4. The Duchess of Kent (maternal 1st cousin 1x removed by marriage)
  5. Princess George William of Hanover (paternal aunt, Princess Sophie of Greece & Denmark)

He is the 2nd of four British Royal Babies born in 1964. The others are{Source}:
  1. Mr. James Robert Bruce Ogilvy (29 February, his maternal 2nd cousin via George V and paternal 2nd cousins 1x removed via George I of Greece. Ogilvy and Lady Helen are 1st cousins)
  2. The Lady Helen Mariana Lucy Windsor (28 April, his maternal 2nd cousin though George V, and paternal 2nd cousin 1x removed via George I of Greece and his godmother's daughter)
  3. The Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones (1 May, his maternal first cousin and his godfather's daughter)

Prince Edward's first public appearance was after the Trooping the Colour ceremony in 1964 when The Queen, carrying him in her arms, stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and showed her youngest son to the crowd outside{Source}.

He began his education with a private governess at Buckingham Palace, where he remained until the age of 7{Source}. He attended The Gibbs School, Kensington{Source}. In September 1972, he began attending Heatherdown Preparory School, Ascot{Source}. At the age of 13, he began attending Gordonstoun School{Source} He is the only one of his siblings to take part in The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme{Source. During his schooling, he participated in rugby, squash, took gliding lessons, skiing, and was an avid sailor{Source}. In his final year at Gordonstoun, he was elected Guardian (Head Boy) for his final term{Source}. In 1982, he obtained A-Levels in History, English Literature, and Economics & Political Studies{Source}. During his GAP year, he spent time as a house tour at the Collegiate School in Wanganui, New Zealand, where he taught English and history, as well as supervised student activities such as Drama and The Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions{Source}.

He obtained his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award in 1986 by{Source}. His Expedition component involved planning and executing, with a group, a 60-mile, four-day trek from Blair Atholl to Tomintoul through the Cairngorms. Like all DofE expeditions, it was supervised but unaccompanied. He completed his Volunteering and Skills sections at school. For his Volunteering, he helped run the Air Training Corps Squadron of which he was a member. For the Skills component, he was part of team trying to build a sailing hydrofoil to challenge a speed record.The Earl of Wessex was able to fulfil the requirements of the Residential element by undertaking a flying course with the Air Training Corps at RAF Cranwell, during which he achieved his private pilot's licence. He completed the Physical section when he took up real tennis at university.In the summer of 1986 His Royal Highness received his Gold DofE from The Duke of Edinburgh at a St James's Palace presentation along with some 350 fellow achievers.

Upon returning to England, he attended Jesus College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a BA in 1986{Source}. During his university years, he enjoyed taking part in theatrial productions and learned to play Real/Royal Tennis{Source}. Prince Edward spent three years in the Royal Marines as a University Cadet but, after graduating from Cambridge, left to pursue a career in theatrical production{Source}. He worked for two theatrical production companies, notably Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Theatre Company{Source}.Here he looked after Phantom of the Opera, Starlight Express and Cats, as well as being involved with the production ofAspects of Love{Source}. Prince Edward wrote and narrated two films about The Duke of Edinburgh’s’ Award shown on BBC television in 1987{Source}.In 1993, Prince Edward formed Ardent Productions, an independent television production company. Programmes produced in the United Kingdom included ‘Edward on Edward’, thirty half-hour programmes of ‘Crown and Country’; the ‘Cater Street Hangman’; and a programme on the restoration of Windsor Castle after the fire in 1993{Source}. In March 2002 The Earl of Wessex announced that both he and The Countess of Wessex would withdraw from their respective companies, Ardent Productions and R-JH Public Relations, in order to focus on supporting The Queen during the Golden Jubilee and beyond, and to support and promote many organisations, charities, individuals and companies who deserve to be recognised for their efforts, initiative and entrepreneurship{Source}.

Prince Edward and Miss Sophie Rhys-Jones announced their engagement on 6 January 1999{Source}. They were married at St George's Chapel, Windsor, on 19 June 1999{Source}. In keeping with the tradition of using Welsh gold for Royal wedding rings, the gold for the wedding rings of they came from The Prince Edward mine in Trawnsfynydd, Gwynedd, North Wales{Source}.
The bridesmaids and pageboys at his wedding consisted of{Source}:

  1. Miss Camilla Hadden , age 8 (his goddaughter){Photo}
  2. Miss Olivia Taylor, age 8  (daughter of longtime friends of his bride) 
  3. Master Felix Sowerbutts, age 7 (son of one of the Prince's aides)
  4. Master Harry Warburton, age 6 (son of a friend of his brides)

The Earl and Countess have two children{Source}:

  • Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor (8 November 2003) 
  • James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn(17 December 2007)
The couple decided, with The Queen's agreement, that their children would use the courtesy titles as sons or daughters of an Earl rather than the style Prince or Princess{Source}. On the occasion of their marriage, he and his bride founded The Wessex Youth Trust, a grant making organization to help, support and advance registered charities which provide opportunities specifically for children and young people{Source}. The Earl of Wessex carries out a busy schedule of official and working engagements in the UK and overseas both in support of The Queen and the large number of charities and organisations with which he is involved{Source}. He is passionate about organisations that provide opportunities for young people{Source}. He has been deeply committed to the work of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award programme ever since he achieved his Gold Award in 1986{Source}.
His duties as a United Kingdom and International Trustee mean that he travels widely in Britain and overseas promoting and supporting the Award. He also presents Gold Awards to achievers across the globe{Source}.

The Earl also has a strong personal interest in the Arts and is Patron of a number of organisations within this area, some of which include {Source}:

  1. City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
  2. London Mozart Players
  3. Windsor Festival
  4. Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society
  5. Northern Ballet
  6. National Youth Theatre of Great Britain
  7. National Youth Orchestras of Scotland 
  8. The Orpheus Centre Trust

As well as these patronages, The Earl is associated with a number of sporting bodies, which include{Source}:

  1. Vice Patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation 
  2. Patron of Paralympics GB
  3. Patron of BadmintonScotland
  4. Patron of The Tennis and Rackets Association 
  5. Patron of The International Real Tennis Professionals Association
  6. President of the Sport and Recreation Alliance.
  7. He is also involved with a number of City Livery Companies including{Source}:
  8. The Worshipful Company of Fuellers
  9. The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers
  10. Coopers of Glasgow
  11. Coopers of London 
  12. The Worshipful Company of Gardeners.

The Earl of Wessex supports the work of the Armed Forces both in the United Kingdom and abroad{Source}.His Royal Highness holds a total of eight Military appointments{Source}. In 2007, The Earl of Wessex became Royal Colonel of 2nd Battalion The Rifles following the reorganization of the Infantry{Source}. He regularly visits the Battalion at their base in Northern Ireland and has visited them on several occasions while on operational duties, including in Afghanistan{Source}.
The Prince Edward is Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry and The London Regiment and meets servicemen and their families whenever possible{Source}.In 2006, The Earl was appointed Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and in 2008, Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Waddington{Source}.The Earl has an active role in his position as Colonel-in-Chief of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, Prince Edward Island Regiment and the Saskatchewan Dragoons, all of which are based in Canada{Source}.

In 1987, he convinced his older brother and sister, as well as his sister-in-law to take part in a charity television event, titled It's a Royal Knockout. View it on Youtube here.
He is godfather to several children including:

  1. The Lady Rose Victoria Brigitte Louise (Windsor) Gilman (1980) (his godfather's daughter, who is also is his 2nd cousin 1x removed)
  2. Miss Camilla Hadden (1991) 
  3. Mr. Harry Warburton (1993)
  4. Miss Jessica Kate Mary Margaret Roche (1995)
  5. Miss Ella Louise Georgina Mountbatten (1996)
  6. Prince Nikolai of Denmark (1999)

In November 2013, it was announced that he has been appointed as Lord High Comissioner to to General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2014{Source}
He and his family take annual holidays to Switzerland for skiing{Source} It has been said amongst royal watching circles that he will gain the title Duke of Edinbugh upon the death of both his parents (if whomeever is monarch at that time sees fit to give it to him, whether it be Charles, William or George...who knows). He shares a birthday with American actress Katharine Houghton (best known as Johanna Drayton in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? and as Katharine Hepburn's niece and closest relative)

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