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Edward, Earl of Wessex
Photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Edward, Earl of Wessex

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Edward, Earl of Wessex is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. A former theater and television producer, Edward remains active in charity.

Who Is Edward, Earl of Wessex?

Edward, Earl of Wessex is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. In 1993, Edward formed the television production company Ardent Productions. He married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999. Following his 2002 departure from Arden Productions, he became even more dedicated to social causes, including the Duke of Edinburgh's Award program. 

Early Life

Edward, Earl of Wessex was born on March 10, 1964, at Windsor Castle in London, England. The youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Edward was christened as Edward Antony Richard Louis on May 2, 1964. Edward has three siblings: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal and Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

Edward was a bookish child, who preferred to spend time alone. He studied with a tutor at Buckingham Palace until he was 7 years old, at which time he enrolled in a pre-preparatory school in Kensington called Gibbs School. In 1972, he moved on to Heatherdown Preparatory School in Berkshire. In 1977, Edward started attending his father's alma mater, the Gordonstoun School in Moray, Scotland, where he excelled in sports. He was an active participant in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award program and even took home a Gold Award. 

In 1982, Edward left Gordonstoun with several A-levels and registered for two terms at the Collegiate School in Wanganui, New Zealand. While in attendance, he also served as a house tutor and supervised drama classes. In 1986, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Jesus College, Cambridge.

Theater and Television

After obtaining a bachelor's degree, Edward trained as a University Cadet in the Royal Marines. However, three months into his cadet training, he decided he was better suited to work in theatrical production. For close to a decade, Edward maintained a successful career in both theatre and television production. He worked for two different theatrical production companies, including Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Theatre Company.

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LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09: Actress Irene Bedard attends the premiere of Vox Box Entertainment's "Ron and Laura Take Back America" at Sundance Cinema on March 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

Irene Bedard

Joy Harjo, writer during 2005 Sundance Film Festival - "A Thousand Roads" Portraits at HP Portrait Studio in Park City, Utah, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)

Joy Harjo

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23:  HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Essex, KG GCVO attends the Duke Of Edinburgh's International Award and Young Americans' Challenge Benefit Gala at The Pierre Hotel on June 23, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

In 1993, under the name Edward Windsor, Edward formed his own independent television production company, Ardent Productions. Ardent Productions focused primarily on documentaries, many of which focused on life as a member of the British Royal Family. As a result, critics accused Edward of using his royal connections to garner his own personal success. In 2002, he stepped down from his role as managing director of Ardent Productions so he could concentrate his attention on his royal duties.

Recent Years

Ever since Edward won a Gold Award in college, he has remained heavily involved in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award program. He is particularly active when it comes to fundraising for the organizations, and as of May 2012, he had visited more than 25 participating countries.

Following Edward's 2002 departure from Arden Productions, he became even more dedicated to social causes, including the International Special Projects Group and the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers.

In 2003, despite life-threatening complications, the Earl and Countess of Wessex welcomed their first child, a daughter named Lady Louise Windsor. In 2006, Edward and Sophie appeared in the press when their daughter underwent an operation to repair a congenital eye disorder. The following year, the public rejoiced at the birth of the couple’s son, James, Viscount Severn. In recent years, the family has resided at Bagshot Park in Surrey, England.

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