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Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

HRH The Earl of Wessex (Edward Anthony Richard Louis Mountbatten-Windsor) (born March 10, 1964), is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. On his marriage to Sophie Rhys-Jones on June 19, 1999, he was created the Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn. Formerly styled HRH The Prince Edward his proper style is now His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex KCVO.

Edward attempted to follow family tradition by going into the Royal Marines, but the life proved not to suit him, and he withdrew from the service after a short time. He then announced that he was going into the media, and started his own production company, Ardent, in 1991. (Its success has been limited.) Rumours that he might be gay were scotched when he announced his engagement to Sophie Rhys-Jones.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex are expecting a child in the December of 2003. The Earl and Countess have been in the news for alleged gaffes in the course of their attempt to combine royal duties with their business careers.

It was announced at the time of his wedding that the Earl of Wessex would eventually receive the title Duke of Edinburgh. However, he will not inherit the title from his father. Like any normal dukedom, the present Dukedom of Edinburgh passes to the heirs-male of the first Duke. That means that when the present Duke dies, the dukedom will be inherited by his eldest son, The Prince of Wales. If The Prince of Wales is not yet king when this occurs, he will be Duke of Edinburgh until he ascends the throne, at which point the title will merge with the crown. Only at that point would the title be available for regrant to the Earl of Wessex.

See also: British Royal Family

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