Who Is the Queen's Youngest Granddaughter, Lady Louise Windsor?
Prince George and Princess Charlotte often steal the public's attention with their adorable antics, but there's another young royal who deserves some recognition. At 14 years old, Lady Louise Windsor is the eldest child of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and the youngest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth. While she's managed to stay relatively under the radar thus far, Lady Louise is slowly stepping into the spotlight shared by the rest of her family.
You may already recognize her as from Prince William and Princess Kate's wedding in 2011, but here are a few more facts about Lady Louise.
1. SHE WAS BORN PREMATURELY.
Prince Edward and Countess Sophie with their newborn baby, Lady Louise Windsor.
Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor was born Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, England on November 8, 2003. Her mother, the Countess of Wessex, was rushed to the hospital to give birth to Lady Louise one month early, according to the BBC. Her father, Prince Edward, was not by Countess Sophie's side when Lady Louise was born because he was on an official visit to Mauritius.
Weighing 4 lbs. 9 oz., Lady Louise was premature, and her birth came with a few complications. Due to a placental abruption, which caused severe blood loss to both Countess Sophie and Lady Louise, she was delivered by the Royal Surgeon and Gynecologist via emergency .
Her name was later announced on November 27, 2003 and she was baptized in 's private chapel in 2004. As the daughter of Prince Edward, she is currently 11th in the line of succession for the British throne.
2. SHE GREW UP WITH AN EYE CONDITION THAT INSPIRED HER MOTHER TO CAMPAIGN FOR CHARITY.
Born with esotropia, a condition that turns the eyes outwards, Lady Louise had difficulties with her vision growing up. She underwent her first eye procedure at just 18 months in order to correct her vision. The procedure, however, was unsuccessful and Lady Louise underwent a second procedure in 2014. Now 14, Lady Louise can see perfectly, according to Hello magazine.
"Premature babies can often have squints because the eyes are the last thing in the baby package to really be finalized," Countess Sophie told The Sunday Express of her daughter's eye condition. "Her squint was quite profound when she was tiny and it takes time to correct it. You've got to make sure one eye doesn't become more dominant than the other but she's fine now—her eyesight is perfect," she added.
Lady Louise's mother was so inspired by her daughter's journey to correct her "cosmetically awkward" condition that she is now a patron of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and a global ambassador for Vision 2020 — a worldwide initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020.
3. SHE HAS A LAKE NAMED AFTER HER.
Lady Louise Windsor at Girlguiding office in 2016.
During a visit to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to pay tribute to Canadian military personnel serving in Afghanistan in 2008, Prince Edward received an unexpected gift from Manitoba Premier Gary Doer, according to The Vancouver Sun. After giving a speech in honor of the Canadian servicemen and women, Prince Edward received framed notices naming two Northwestern Manitoba lakes after Lady Louise, then age 4, and her brother James, Viscount Severn, then five-months-old.
4. SHE IS A SKILLED CARRIAGE DRIVER.
Lady Louise driving a carriage at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park.
Lady Louise showed off her carriage driving skills when she competed in the British Driving Society Championship for Young Drivers in June 2017. The young royal had full control of the red and black carriage as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 96, looked on at his granddaughter, likely proud to see a young member of his family participate in a sport he took up at the age of 50. Clearly she's following in royal footsteps; Queen Elizabeth II also took the reigns back in the 1940s, alongside her little sister Princess Margaret.
5. SHE DIDN'T REALIZE HER GRANDMOTHER WAS THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND.
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Lady Louise Windsor, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in 2012.
Lady Louise and her younger brother James, Viscount Severn, 10, largely stay out of public eye. And it seems that living a normal life also means not understanding your grandmother is the monarch.
In an interview with the BBC's Louise Minchlin in May 2016, the Countess of Wessex revealed that her daughter didn't realize her grandmother was the Queen of England. To young Lady Louise, Queen Elizabeth II was always just a regular grandmother.
"Well, for Louise, actually, it was much more of a shock to the system," Countess Sophie told Minchlin. "It was only when she was coming home from school and saying, 'Mummy, people keep on telling me that grandma is the queen.' And I asked her, 'Yes, how does that make you feel?' And she said, 'I don't understand.' ... I don't think she had grasped that perhaps there was only one Queen."
*This story originally appeared on Townancountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors