Why Lady Louise Windsor will never be able to claim her birthright despite turning 18

Lady Louise Windsor has been raised without an HRH title and without a major seal of approval this reportedly won't change.

Lady Louise Windsor takes part in 'The Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of The British Driving Society' on day 4 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Lady Louise Windsor might have recently celebrated her 18th birthday, but it seems that the Queen’s granddaughter still won’t be able to claim her royal birthright. 


Lady Louise Windsor and her brother James, Viscount Severn are the youngest of the Queen’s grandchildren and unlike many of their royal cousins have never been styled with HRH Prince or Princess titles. Instead, when Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex married, Buckingham Palace issued a statement declaring their children would be styled as the children of an Earl. However, it was thought that this could all change after Lady Louise celebrated her 18th birthday on November 8th. 

As the granddaughter of the Queen via her son, Lady Louise could become a Princess one day. This is because Letters Patent issued in 1917 which still remain in force today, state that a princely status and the style of Royal Highness, is assigned to all male-line grandchildren of a monarch.

Despite this, royal expert and author Marlene Koenig has claimed that although Lady Louise is now an adult, she's still not in a position to claim her HRH title.

Lady Louise Windsor, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, James, Viscount Severn and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Opening up to Express.co.uk (opens in new tab), Marlene shared how neither Lady Louise nor her brother James have been raised with HRH titles. It was this agreement, she revealed, which indicates it’s very unlikely Prince Edward’s children will ever be known by different styles.

She explained, “On the morning of his wedding, Edward was created Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn. The announcement stated that the Queen decided, and Edward and Sophie agreed, that their children would be styled as children of an Earl."

Marlene continued, “Edward's children were never going to be styled as HRH even though the Letters Patent allows for it. Their children would never be working royals, so there was no need to have the royal style."

And it seems that any decision to claim the use of the HRH styles is something that is entirely beyond Lady Louise or Viscount Severn’s reach, even after turning 18, according to the author and expert.

"James nor Louise have the right to choose at age 18 what title they can use,” Marlene claimed. "It would be the decision of the Queen, and only the Queen."

This comes after Lady Louise and James’ mother Sophie previously told The Sunday Times earlier this year that she and Prince Edward were leaving the decision to their children. 

The Countess of Wessex said at the time, “We try to educate them with the understanding that they will most likely have to work for a living.”

Sophie, Countess of Wessex with Lady Louise Windsor during a visit to The Wild Place Project at Bristol Zoo on July 23, 2019

(Image credit: Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

She added, “That is why we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them after 18, but I think it is very unlikely.”

It could be that though the decision of whether or not Lady Louise and her brother would like to use their HRH titles after turning 18 was left up to them, the decision to approve this or give this her blessing remains with Her Majesty. 

And whilst Lady Louise might be styled without an HRH title for the rest of her life, she nevertheless remains a prominent member of the Royal Family and is often suggested to be one of the Queen's favorite grandchildren. 

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.