Edward and Sophie's brave Lady Louise is the fairground attraction (Prince Edward And Sophie's Children)

Prince Edward (the Earl of Wessex) and his wife, the Countess of Wessex, attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show yesterday, allowing photographers to snap rare pictures of one of the youngest members of the Royal Family.

Lady Louise Windsor (born 8th November 2003), who may one day be Queen, is just five, and she had fun on a carousel as she attended the event with her parents and her younger brother, James, Viscount Severn (born 17th December 2007), who is just seventeen months old.

James, Viscount Severn is eighth in line to the Throne. Lady Louise, who was born with a rare condition which causes her eyes to squint, is ninth in line to the Throne.

Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, are the grandchildren of the Queen and are cousins of Princes William and Harry. Their parents are reluctant about having their children photographed.

Edward and Sophie's brave Lady Louise is the fairground attraction

By Laura Collins (external - login to view)
17th May 2009
Daily Mail

Lady Louise, who is ninth in line to the Throne, on the carousel at the Royal Windsor Horse Show

Royal Family portraits tend to be pretty staid affairs - rows of formal seating, a grand background and fixed smiles all round.

But yesterday afternoon the most camera-shy of young Royals showed the rest of the family how it’s done as she took part in a rare public outing.

Five-year-old Lady Louise Windsor joined her parents, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and her 17-month-old brother James, Viscount Severn, at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

The annual fixture, held in Windsor Great Park, spans five days and features dressage, showjumping, carriage and 4x4 driving as well as a host of stalls and entertainment.

But it was this little family group that proved the main attraction when they popped into Granny’s backyard for the day.

Wearing her favourite green ‘froggy boots’, Louise - who is very fond of frogs and loves frog prince stories - happily stomped around the Great Park site.

She squealed with delight as she rode on the fairground carousel with her father while her brother spent much of the time in his fleece-lined buggy or scooped up in Edward’s arms.

One Royal insider said: ‘It was lovely to see them together.

‘It’s very rare for them to go out in public as a family. Usually, they go to see the Queen for tea on a weekend or she comes to them at their Bagshot Park home near Windsor, and of course they socialise with friends in private houses.

‘The children aren’t kept in seclusion or anything like that. They have lovely little parties with their friends. But both Edward and Sophie are reluctant about their children being photographed.’

James, Viscount Severn (pictured above after his christening in April 2008 ) was also at the event. He is the Queen's youngest grandchild and is eighth in line to the Throne

Indeed, the last time Viscount Severn was seen in public was at his christening last April.

Back then, he was a babe in arms, trussed up in an antique ruffle and lace gown and a far cry from the shorts and baseball cap-wearing little boy of today. But Lady Louise was not in those official christening images.

Mummy's girl: Lady Louise enjoys the carousel with her mother the Countess of Wessex

Though one present at the ceremony recalled how she ‘absolutely doted on her little brother’ that day, the source admitted that ‘both Edward and Sophie have always been particularly sensitive about Louise being photographed.

‘It’s nice to think they might have relaxed a bit on that front. They’ve certainly had more than their fair share of stresses.’

Their concern stemmed from the eye problem which has affected Lady Louise since her premature birth in 2003 - an event which nearly cost Sophie her life when she lost nine pints of blood during an emergency caesarean.

Louise was born with extropia, a rare condition which causes a divergent squint. It is possible to operate in an attempt to correct the muscles but, when faced with this prospect some four years ago, it is understood that Edward and Sophie decided against the course of treatment which would require a general anaesthetic with all the risks that entails.

A friend said yesterday: ‘For a while there was a worry that Louise’s sight would be very badly affected, and she does have some difficulties, but nothing that has hampered her from being a very happy little girl.

‘She loves ballet and has her own little pony, so the horse show would be bliss for her.’

It also seemed to please her parents. Indeed, for a family that doesn’t really ‘do’ casual, the Wessexes certainly made a fair stab at it yesterday. Edward even wore his Duke of Edinburgh commemorative issue anorak.

Family Outing: Edward and Sophie with Louise and younger brother James

And though the shirt and tie beneath made him look more corporate guest than off-duty dad, the truth, one friend said, is that he is a ‘very hands-on father’.

‘The children have a couple of nannies and there are six protection officers looking after them all around the clock, but Edward is really a charmingly informal parent at home,’ the friend said.

‘He’ll often be down on hands and knees playing “horsey” with the children. He adores being a father and they’re just the spit of him.

‘If anything, the stricter of the two is Sophie. She’s the one who says, “Right, games over, bath-time” at six o’clock. Though she isn’t above indulging the children’s love of Quavers and cheesy Wotsits.

‘They have a nursery at Bagshot. Louise is at school of course and very popular.

She’s a prolific reader, though she does have pretty poor eyesight. But she loves being at home with James. There’s no jealousy between her and her little brother.’

It was clear to all who saw the family yesterday just how well the siblings get on – a gift to any parent, but a particularly precious one to Edward and Sophie who endured the heartbreak of several failed IVF cycles in an attempt to have a longed-for second child.

Another friend said: ‘James is a chunky, cheery little fellow. He’s bright as a button and Louise is always kissing and hugging him. They looked like they were all just having a thoroughly lovely time.’

Last edited by Blackleaf; May 17th, 2009 at 01:17 PM..
L Gilbert
That lady looks like a kid to me.

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