The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh stepped out for the Easter Sunday church service in Windsor with their son, James, who was granted a new royal title. James, who is 15 years old, has taken over his father's former title, the Earl of Wessex. This was the first time James has been seen publicly since being granted the title.
Edward and Sophie became the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh on the Prince's 59th birthday last month. Buckingham Palace had previously announced that Edward would eventually succeed his father as the Duke of Edinburgh, but not until after the death of both Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II. The Duke of Edinburgh is not a hereditary title, unlike the Earl of Wessex. Therefore, after Edward's passing, his role will not be passed on to his children, but will revert back to the Crown. James is expected to become the Earl of Wessex and Forfar when his father succeeds him as the Duke of Edinburgh.
James was born on 17 December 2007 at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey. He is above his older sister, Lady Louise Windsor, in the line of succession because of The Succession to the Crown Act (2013). This Act only applies to those born after 28 October 2011, including Princess Charlotte, who retained her place in the line of succession after the birth of her younger brother, Prince Louis, in 2018.
Lady Louise, who is 19 years old, was noticeably absent from the Easter Sunday celebrations because she is currently studying at the University of St Andrew's in Scotland.
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh were dressed in their best as they arrived for the Easter Sunday church service, but all eyes were on James as he made his public debut with his new title. It is clear that the young teenager is being prepared for his future role within the royal family. As James continues to grow and develop, he will no doubt be provided with opportunities to represent the royal family and carry out public duties.
It is interesting to see how the British royal family continues to evolve and adapt to changing times. With Prince Philip's passing and Queen Elizabeth II's eventual retirement, there will be a new era of leadership within the royal family. As James prepares to take on his role as the Earl of Wessex, he will undoubtedly be an integral part of this new era.