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British Royal Family

A right royal up-and-comer: Why Lady Louise Windsor is the next royal to watch

Meet the up-and-coming 16-year-old.

By Jess Pullar and Chloe Lal
Many avid royal fans will remember Lady Louise's sweet smile from Duchess Catherine and Prince William's iconic 2011 royal wedding.
To this day, photos of the angelic blonde seated in a horse-drawn carriage next to her cousin Prince Harry still warms our heart.
But if you were wondering where the now 16-year-old fits into the royal fold, look no further. Louise is the eldest child of Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Like mother, like daughter, Lady Louise is growing up to be just like her exemplary mum, Sophie of Wessex. (Getty)
And it's clear the Queen's granddaughter is growing up in front of our eyes.
Channelling her grandmother's panache for colours and coats, the teen has been known to test some fashion forward ensembles - her spring-time floral skirt worn in 2019 is case in point.
The visit to Bristol Zoo was a special day for the Wessex family, Sophie was accompanied by parents and little brother, James Viscount Severn, 12, as they were pictured in a rare photo opportunity together.
The Wessex family are down-to-earth, despite being part of Britain's most elite family. (Getty)

Then and Now

Sophie made headlines at Prince William and Duchess Catherine's wedding in 2011. (Getty)
Attending the 2019 Burghley Horse Trials, fans were mesmerised at how quickly the young royal was growing before our very eyes! (Getty)

Lady Louise's role at Kate Middleton and Prince William's wedding

Lady Louise was only eight-years-old when she made her global debut as one of the bridesmaids at the Duchess Catherine of Cambridge's wedding to Prince William in 2011.
The youngster was joined by Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Grace Van Cutsem, Eliza Lopes, and pageboys Tom Pettifer and William-Lowther Pinkerton.
Royal well-wishers couldn't get enough of this moment. (Getty)
Louise was just eight at the time. (Getty)

Lady Louise's dramatic entrance into this world

The only daughter of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex was born on 8 November 2003.
Sophie was rushed to hospital a month before her due date and at the time, Prince Edward was on a royal tour of Mauritius.
Lady Louise was born prematurely and there were some serious complications around her birth.
It was reported that a placental abruption caused severe blood loss to both Countess Sophie and Lady Louise.
Royal Surgeon and Gynaecologist Marcus Setchell performed an emergency Caesarean section.
Speaking of the testing ordeal to the Sunday Times, mum Sophie admitted it was a "very scary" moment.
"For the first 10 years after [Louise] was born, I found it very hard to go to prem wards. It brought the whole thing back, but I've learnt to cope," she explained.
Prince Edward rushed back to England for his daughter's arrival. (Getty)

Lady Louise's royal title and succession to the throne

The royal parents officially announced their daughter's name on the 27th of November 2003, giving her the moniker Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor.
When Sophie and Edward married in 1999, they decided they wanted their future children to lead a normal life - opting to drop "HRH" titles, which is why Louise has the title "Lady."
The granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip is currently 12th in line of succession for British throne.
In the same Times interview, Sophie elaborated on her hope for her children to leave relatively normal lives.
"We try to bring them up with the understanding that they are very likely to have to work for a living," she said.
As for schooling, Sophie said both Louise and James attend "regular school" and she hopes that her daughter will one day go to university.
"She's working hard and will do A-levels. I hope she goes to university," Sophie explained.
"I wouldn't force her, but if she wants to. She's quite clever, so I think probably, whereas James I don't know."
Louise is currently 11th in line of succession for British throne. (Getty)

Lady Louise's eye condition

The young royal was born with esotropia, a condition that turns the eyes outwards.
The illness saw her undergo her first surgery at just 18 months - unfortunately it was not successful.
Growing up, she faced issues with her vision, which lead to her parent's decision for her to have a second operation in 2014.
It has been reported that it was a success and now Lady Louise has better vision.
"It's still not perfect - but none of us are," Sophie told The Times.
Louise has undergone corrective surgery for her eye condition. (Getty)
Speaking of her daughter's condition, Countess Sophie shared, "Premature babies can often have squints because the eyes are the last thing in the baby package to really be finalised."
"Her squint was quite profound when she was tiny and it takes time to correct it. You've got to make sure one eye doesn't become more dominant than the other but she's fine now," she added.
Her daughter's ailment inspired the Countess of Wessex to become a patron of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and a global ambassador for Vision 2020.

Lady Louise had no idea her granny was the Queen

Discovering that only your family makes appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony. (Getty)
One of the most charming facts about the teen is the fact that she didn't realise she was royalty.
Her mother sat down for a chat with the BBC, recounting the hilarious moment her daughter figured out her grandmother and the Queen were the same person.
"Well, for Louise, actually, it was much more of a shock to the system," the proud parent recalled.
"It was only when she was coming home from school and saying, 'Mummy, people keep on telling me that grandma is the queen.' And I asked her, 'Yes, how does that make you feel?' And she said, 'I don't understand...' I don't think she had grasped that perhaps there was only one Queen."
Watch Countess Sophie recount the story below. Post continues after video...
The story resonated with Sophie and Edward's desire for their children to lead a normal life.
"They're going to have to go out and get a job and earn a living later on in life," Sophie reiterated previously.
"If they've had as normal a start in life they possibly can get, then hopefully that will stand them in good stead."
Countess Sophie was inspired by her daughter to focus on research in the eye/medical sector. (Getty)

Lady Louise Windsor is a keen carriage rider

Louise is regularly spotted riding. (Getty)
Lady Louise Windsor shares her grandparents' love of equestrian sport carriage driving.
Last year, she competed in the British Driving Society Championship for Young Driver.
Prince Philip is exceptionally proud of his granddaughter, given his passion for the sport, which he took up when he was 50.
Did you know the royal has a lake named after her? In 2008, Prince Edward received the gift from Manitoba Premier Gary Doer, during a trip to Canada. (Getty)

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