Prince Edward Is The Queen’s Only Child Whose Marriage Didn’t End In Divorce
Sep 19, 2022 by apost team
The royal family is often in the press, but there's no denying that some members are more prominent than others. Naturally, the late Queen Elizabeth II was written about frequently, as well as other senior members including her son King Charles III, his sons William, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, and their wives Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. Unfortunately, Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Sept. 8. 2022 while at her home at Balmoral Castle.
The late queen's other children, such as Princess Anne and Prince Andrew are also written about from time to time, but probably the least written about is Prince Edward, the youngest of Elizabeth's children with the late Prince Philip. Upon birth, Edward was third in the line of succession, however, since his siblings have had children of their own and even grandchildren, he is now 13th in line.
For a long time, the Earl of Wessex has kept his life from the limelight, seeking to remain as anonymous as possible. Because of this, less is known about Edward's life, but we do know that he used to work as a TV and theater producer before he stepped up to become a senior working member of the royal family.
Edward's personal life is also incredibly low-key. Married to Sophie Rhys-Jones, now known as Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Edward has been married for over 20 years and is actually the only child of the queen and Prince Philip that hasn't gotten divorced. Together, the couple has two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. The family often attends royal family events but has a knack for staying under the radar.
Before we dive into the lives of Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and their two children, let's first take a look at his mother and father's incredible marriage that happens to be the longest royal marriage on record.
The enduring love between Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip will always be one for the ages. Their love budded when they were very young, and unlike other royal marriages that are often arranged, Elizabeth and Philip married for love. The pair first met at the wedding of Philip’s cousin in 1934, when Elizabeth was 8 and Philip was 13. They met again when she was 13 and Philip was 18, and the young Elizabeth found him to be very attractive indeed.
CNN reported that upon seeing Philip jump over the tennis court nets at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939, Elizabeth said to her governess, Marion Crawford, "How high he can jump!" Elizabeth had led a rather sheltered existence until that point in her life, surrounded mostly by her sister Princess Margaret and her governess. Upon touring the college, she was believed to be instantly dazzled by Philip and her fascination was obvious to those around her. Dickie Mountbatten, Philip's uncle was pleased with this, as he was hoping to encourage marriage between the two.
At this point, it wasn't only their age that would be a barrier until they could be together, but the world was on the brink of World War II. Philip, who was studying at the naval college, would soon be off on active service. During World War II, Philip was deployed overseas, but he and Elizabeth regularly exchanged letters. After he returned to England in 1946, he proposed to Elizabeth, and she accepted. However, due to royal family rules, they had to hide their engagement for several months until Elizabeth turned 21.
Once the engagement announcement was made, pictures of them together showed the happy couple constantly smiling until their wedding day on Nov. 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey.
Philip, who was born in Greece and descended from Greek and Danish royalty, had to give up all of his previous titles and become a British citizen. His sisters were not allowed to attend the wedding. As a wedding gift, Philip stopped smoking cold turkey because he knew how much Elizabeth despised the habit; her father was a notorious chain smoker and eventually died of lung cancer.
After their momentous wedding, the pair jetted off to their honeymoon at Broadlands in Hampshire. A year later, they welcomed their first child, King Charles III, on Nov. 14, 1948. They went on to have three more children — Princess Royal Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
On Feb. 6, 1952, Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, died while she was in Kenya. Prince Philip reportedly heard the news first and was the one to tell Elizabeth about the tragic development. At only 25 years old, Elizabeth was coronated in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953, and started her long reign as the queen with Philip by her side.
While Elizabeth had the responsibility of becoming a queen thrust upon her early on, Philip had to make compromises and sacrifices to support his wife, the new queen. Through his actions and devotion to his wife, Philip became the perfect example of a royal consort and will remain an inspiration for decades to come.Queen Elizabeth II (2012), (Chris Jackson-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Considering their record-making 73-year marriage, there's a lot we can learn about partnerships from Elizabeth and Philip. The couple fully committed to their marriage and always provided unwavering support to each other. Gyles Brandreth wrote in his book "Philip & Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage:"
“The Queen wears the crown, but her husband wears the trousers. He is the power behind the throne: steadfast, never-failingly supportive.”
Queen Elizabeth admitted as much in a speech in 1977, where she said that Philip had been her strength over the years. The couple's grandson Prince William pointed out, as reported by CNN, "he totally put his personal career aside to support her, and he never takes the limelight.”
The couple even shared their big secret about how to make things work in a relationship. A key part of any marriage is tolerating your partner’s eccentricities and occasional bad moods. In a toast to the queen at their 50th wedding anniversary, Philip said:
“The main lesson that we have learned is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage. It may not be quite so important when things are going well, but it is absolutely vital when the going gets difficult.”
Considering the queen was the longest-married monarch and Prince Philip was the world's longest-serving consort, it's clear that the Duke of Edinburgh practiced what he preached regarding tolerance. Philip truly rose to the challenge and was not only a great husband to Elizabeth but a stellar royal companion who saw his main role as assisting her. The late queen commented on his support in her Diamond Jubilee speech in 2012, where she recognized that while he was "well-known for declining compliments of any kind," he had been a "constant strength and guide" to her.
The Queen's Youngest Son
Of Elizabeth and Philip's four children, it appears that Edward is the only child of theirs who's taken after their incredible commitment to marriage and relationships. Born on March 10, 1964, Edward followed his two older brothers in the line of succession at birth, however, his position is currently at number 13. Edward's birth was the first of the queen's children at which Philip was present.
After he finished his schooling, Edward spent a gap year in Whanganui, New Zealand, where he worked as a tutor and junior master at the Whanganui Collegiate School. Upon his return to the United Kingdom, Edward received a bachelor's degree in history from Jesus College in Cambridge in 1986.
Following his studies, Edward joined the royal marines but later quit to try a career in the arts, as reported by The Guardian. He started his career working for theatrical production companies before starting his own company, named Ardent Productions, which focused on TV documentaries. Although he was successful in production, in the last while he's shifted to take up more royal duties.
Edward received the title Earl of Wessex on his wedding day and the Earl of Forfar as a birthday gift from Queen Elizabeth on March 10, 2018.
In 2017 Edward began to take over some of his father's duties after Philip's inability to carry out some responsibilities due to his age. Notably, Edward now presides over the Commonwealth Games Federation. He also took over his father’s role and now presides over the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which was started by Prince Philip in 1956, according to Royal Central. Since he took over duties from his father, Prince Edward has traveled to many parts of the world in different capacities to oversee projects. He has been to South Africa, Israel, Baltimore and many other places.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones was born in Oxford, England on Jan. 20, 1965. After she trained as a secretary, she began working in public relations before she eventually started her own agency named RJH Public Relations in 1996.
It was during a period when she worked at Capital Radio that Sophie met Edward in 1987, however, the two didn't begin dating until 1993. Then in 1999, after dating for a number of years, the couple got married on June 19 at St. George’s Chapel, the site of many royal weddings and funerals, including Prince Philip's. As a present from the queen for their wedding, Edward was given the title Earl of Wessex, which made his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
After marrying Prince Edward, Sophie was under the critical eye of the British press but always received help from the crown. According to Harper's Bazaar, Sophie was known as one of the queen's most trusted in-laws. Both she and Edward have taken on roles as senior working members of the royal family. After the couple got married, Sophie's first royal tour overseas was to Prince Edward Island, a Canadian province, in 2000.
Besides the couple's royal duties, Edward and Sophie are a philanthropic couple. They established the Wessex Youth Trust after their wedding. Through the Trust, the couple helps and supports different charities working with disadvantaged children. In 2019, they renamed the trust The Earl and Countess of Wessex Charitable Trust after 21 years of successful charity work.
Another organization that Sophie is passionate about is Girlguiding UK, of which she became president after Princess Margaret's death in February 2002.
Lady Louise Windsor
The firstborn child of Prince Edward and Countess Sophie is Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born on Nov. 8, 2003. According to the BBC, Lady Louise was born prematurely and therefore had complications and an eye condition that was later corrected in her teenage years.
Since Edward and Sophie choose to live such a quiet life, it's no surprise that the lives of their children are even less public. However, as a young girl, Louise played a role in the biggest royal wedding of the century — she was a bridesmaid at the tender age of 7 for her cousin Prince William's wedding to Catherine, Princess of Wales.
Since 2015, Louise has accompanied her parents on a number of official engagements. This included a trip to South Africa, as well as attending the funeral of her grandfather Prince Philip, as well as his memorial service in 2022. Later on, in June 2022, she also attended various events celebrating the late queen's Platinum Jubilee, and she even appeared on the balcony alongside other members of the royal family for Trooping the Colour.
Louise's personal interests include Girlguiding, which is no surprise since her mother is the president of the organization, as well as carriage driving, which was popularized in the United Kingdom by her grandfather Prince Philip.
James, Viscount Severn
With the full name of James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor, James was born on Dec. 17, 2007. He follows his father in the line of succession and is 14th in line to the throne.
Since James is just 14, not a lot is known about the teenage royal. He currently attends Eagle House School and only in the last few years he has begun to accompany his parents and sister on official royal engagements.
According to The Vancouver Sun, both Louise and James were honored by having two lakes in Manitoba, Canada, named after them.James, Viscount Severn, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor, Sophie, Countess of Wessex (2019), (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
What do you think of Prince Edward and his family? What about the fact that he is the only son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip that hasn't gotten divorced? If you are interested in the royal family, pass this along so others can read about them too!