The Royal Family has recently anointed its new Duke of Edinburgh in Prince Edward, but one of his children has missed out on their own special title. Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor will not become the Countess of Wessex due to an ancient tradition.
Louise has been taking on a more public role as the Wessexes moved up in standing due to the Prince Andrew controversy and departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Despite the 19-year-old’s efforts, her younger brother James Viscount Severn has been ‘promoted’ ahead of her.
A Royal Family tradition which favours the son over the daughter means Prince Edward’s old title - the Earl of Wessex - will be awarded to his 15-year-old son. There are exceptional cases where a daughter benefits from an inheritance, but this is only when there is no male heir.
This old ruling is motivated by the idea to keep a deceased’s estate whole or intact as it was traditionally deemed only men were capable of taking it over and running it effectively. However, The Royal Family did bring an end to this system of primogeniture, which was first introduced to dictate the line of succession in 1701.
The Succession of the Crown Act was enforced from 2013 and it means princes no longer take precedence over their sisters. But as Lady Louise and the new Earl of Wessex James were born before it was approved, it does not stand for them.