Why rarely-seen royal James, Viscount Severn might not appear on Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex’s Christmas card this year

Rarely-seen royal James, Viscount Severn has just celebrated his 15th birthday and he's only made a few appearances in public in recent times

Rarely-seen royal James, Viscount Severn watches the swimming during the 2022 Commonwealth Games
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

There could be a very good reason why rarely-seen royal James, Viscount Severn might not appear on Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex’s Christmas card this year. 


He might be the part of the immediate Royal Family, but the youngest of the late Queen’s grandchildren, James, Viscount Severn, isn’t often seen compared to plenty of his cousins like Prince William and Princess Eugenie. Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex’s son turned 15 on December 17 and likely marked the day in private with his family as no photos of him were shared by the royals of his big day. And the same could be the case when the Wessex Christmas card photo is released. 

In previous years Prince Edward and Sophie’s Christmas card photo has been seen in late December, in the days after James’ birthday. But there’s one thing both the 2020 and 2021 cards have in common - neither Viscount Severn or his older sister Lady Louise Windsor were in them! 

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex visit Vauxhall City Farm

(Image credit: Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Family Christmas photos are released by other members of the Royal Family each year too. Already fans have been treated to King Charles and Queen Camilla’s first one as monarch and Queen Consort and Kate Middleton and Prince William’s Christmas card photo was incredibly relaxed and heart-warming. 

Theirs also featured all three of their children, but the Wessexes didn’t choose to do this for the past two years at least. Instead, Prince Edward and Sophie’s Christmas card picture for 2020 showed the couple during a visit to Vauxhall City Farm and their 2021 snap was taken at an engagement at Forfar Golf Club. 

If they decide to uphold the tradition of sharing Christmas card photos that don’t have James, Viscount Severn or Lady Louise in them for 2022, there could be a very good reason behind this. 

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex visit Forfar Golf Club

(Image credit: Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

As per Express.co.uk (opens in new tab), the Countess told the BBC in 2016 how she and Prince Edward were focused on ensuring both children grew up “as normally as possible”. 

“Certainly when they were very young we tried to keep them out of it. Only because for their sakes, to grow up as normally as possible we felt was quite important," she explained. “And they’re going to have to go out and get a job and earn a living later on in life - if they’ve had as normal a start in life they possibly can get, then hopefully that will stand them in good stead."

Sophie echoed this parenting ethos when she spoke to The Sunday Times (opens in new tab) in 2020 and declared, “We try to bring them up with the understanding they are very likely to have to work for a living.”

James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor walk as procession with the coffin of Queen Elizabeth arrives at Westminster Hall

(Image credit: Photo by Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

As their youngest child, James, Viscount Severn especially hasn’t been seen publicly very often over the years. He made rare appearances in September at a silent vigil for the late Queen alongside her other grandchildren, as well as at the Lying-In-State, her funeral and committal services. Fans also saw Viscount Severn over the Jubilee weekend and at the Commonwealth Games alongside his family. 

So it seems Prince Edward and Sophie’s son’s public appearances are generally at major events, whilst he retains a high level of privacy at most other times. Because of this, it could be seen as likely that the rarely-seen royal, James, Viscount won’t be included in any Wessex Christmas card photo this year. 

Emma Shacklock

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.