His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (Edward Antony Richard Louis Mountbatten-Windsor), styled HRH The Earl of Wessex (born March 10, 1964), is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. On his marriage to Sophie Rhys-Jones on June 19, 1999, he was created Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn. Formerly styled HRH The Prince Edward his proper style is now His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex KCVO.
Edward attended Gordonstoun and Jesus College, Cambridge where he first became interested in the theatre. On leaving Cambridge he was commissioned into the Royal Marines, but resigned his commission on January 12, 1987. He then went into theatrical production work with the Really Useful Group of Andrew Lloyd-Webber before starting his own television production company, Ardent, in 1991. Ardent's financial performance has not been strong although some of its programmes have been well-received.
Edward's failure in the Royal Marines and interest in the theatre led to persistent rumour that he was gay. However these rumours were quieted when he announced his engagement to Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1998. They married on June 19, 1999.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex had their first child, a girl named Louise, on November 8, 2003. The Earl and Countess have been in the news for alleged gaffes in the course of their attempt to combine royal duties with their business careers.
It was announced at the time of his wedding that the Earl of Wessex would eventually receive the title Duke of Edinburgh. However, he will not inherit the title from his father. Like any normal dukedom, the present Dukedom of Edinburgh passes to the heirs-male of the first Duke. That means that when the present Duke dies, the dukedom will be inherited by his eldest son, The Prince of Wales. If the Prince of Wales is not yet king when this occurs, he will be Duke of Edinburgh until he ascends the throne, at which point the title will merge with the crown. Only at that point would the title be available for regrant to the Earl of Wessex.