Who is Lady Louise Windsor? Meet the Queen's granddaughter who shares her passion for horse riding

·Royal Correspondent
·6 min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Lady Louise Windsor during Trooping The Colour on the Mall on June 9, 2018 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, even though the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Lady Louise Windsor during Trooping The Colour in 2018. (Getty Images)

Lady Louise Windsor is among the thousands of pupils getting their GCSE results this year, as the teenager considers her future.

Although she is one of the Queen’s granddaughters, Buckingham Palace said Lady Louise’s results were a private matter.

The royal overcame early difficulties in life and has followed in her grandmother’s footsteps with a passion for horse riding. She’s a regular fixture in Royal Family events, like Trooping the Colour and Christmas at Sandringham, where she is often seen alongside her parents, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and her brother, James, the Viscount Severn.

When was Lady Louise born?

Louise Windsor was born prematurely at Frimley Park hospital in Surrey on 8 November, 2003.

Her father Prince Edward was in Mauritius when she was born, as he had not expected pregnant Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, to give birth so soon.

Sophie had to have an emergency Caesarean because of placental abruption, and both mother and daughter lost blood.

Louise was transferred to St George’s Hospital, in Tooting, south London, but Sophie was kept in Frimley Park to recover.

The royal baby had a fortnight of hospital care before finally going home, to Bagshot Park, on 23 November.

Her name was announced another four days after that. Her full name is Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor.

FRIMLEY, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 23:  The Earl And Countess Of Wessex (prince Edward And Sophie Wessex) As Proud Parents Leaving Frimley Park Hospital With Their 2 Week-old Baby Daughter, Lady Louise Windsor.  (Photo by Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)
Edward and Sophie leave Frimley Park Hospital with two-week-old Louise in November 2003. (Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 16: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Lady Louise Windsor, daughter of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, attends day 5 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 16, 2009 in Windsor, England.  (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)
Lady Louise Windsor, at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2009. (Getty Images)

What is her title and is she in line to the throne?

As the granddaughter of the Queen, Louise is entitled to be known as Princess Louise.

Her cousins, Beatrice and Eugenie, are known as princesses.

However, Edward and Sophie opted not to have Louise and her younger brother James styled as Her or His Royal Highness.

Instead, she has the styling of a daughter of an earl, which is why she is known as Lady Louise Windsor.

All of the Queen’s descendants are in line to inherit the throne. Louise is currently 13th in line.

Read more: Who are Prince Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex?

KING'S LYNN, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 25: Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn attend the Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate on December 25, 2019 in King's Lynn, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
Lady Louise with brother James and their parents, Edward and Sophie, at the Christmas Day service in Sandringham in 2019. (Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 20: Lady Louise Windsor spotted enjoying an early morning horse ride with her father, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, for the first time since lockdown began in March,  on June 20, 2020 in Windsor, England.  The 16-year-old joined her father, 56, on a canter around the grounds of Windsor Castle today enjoying the fresh air and exercise. (Photo by Antony Jones/Getty Images)
Edward riding with Louise in Windsor in June 2020, after the lockdown. (Getty Images)

Why did she have surgery as a child?

Louise was born with an eye condition called esotropia, a condition which causes one or both eyes to turn inward. It’s sometimes referred to as lazy eye.

According to Debrett’s she had surgery in January 2006, when she was two, to correct the condition, but it was not successful.

While a second operation has never been commented on by Buckingham Palace, there was evidence in 2014 that she’d had more successful surgery.

The Daily Telegraph said there was evidence of an operation after Lady Louise attended a racing event in December 2010.

Where does she live and what do her parents do?

The Wessexes live in Bagshot Park, which is Surrey, set in Windsor Great Park. They’re close to the Queen when she is in Windsor Castle.

The house and accompanying 51 acres has a varied history, and was once the home of Prince Arthur, one of Queen Victoria’s sons. It has also been a war-time hospital and a Chaplains’ depot.

Edward and Sophie have lived there since 1999, when they got married. They did not immediately go into full time royal work, but were brought in to support the Queen during her Golden Jubilee year in 2002.

Sophie said of living so close to the Queen: “We’re a lot more fortunate because we live so much closer to the Queen.

“So, when she spends a lot of time at Windsor at weekends, our children are more fortunate because they can go over and have tea with her on a regular basis.

“We’re over there most weekends riding, so she sees quite a lot of us - lucky her!”

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Lady Louise Windsor and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales marries Ms. Meghan Markle in a service at St George's Chapel inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. Among the guests were 2200 members of the public, the royal family and Ms. Markle's Mother Doria Ragland. (Photo by Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images)
Louise and Sophie at Harry and Meghan's wedding in Windsor in 2018. (Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29:  Their Royal Highnesses Prince William Duke of Cambridge (L) and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge (2nd to L) exit Westminster Abbey after their Royal Wedding followed by Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton with pageboys Master William Lowther-Pinkerton, Master Tom Pettifer and bridemaids The Lady Louise Windsor,The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Miss Grace van Cutsem and Miss Eliza Lopes  on April 29, 2011 in London, England.  The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state.  Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding.  (Photo by Ian Gavan/GP/Getty Images)
Louise as bridesmaid to Kate as she married Prince William in 2011. (Getty Images)

Where does she go to school?

Louise went to St George’s School, Windsor Castle, and then moved to St Mary’s School in Ascot, Berkshire, from Year 9.

She is understood to be staying at the Ascot school for her A levels.

Her mother said she had been working hard for her GCSEs before the exams were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sophie told The Sunday Times: “She’s working hard and will do A-levels. I hope she goes to university. I wouldn’t force her, but if she wants to. She’s quite clever.”

Will she be a working royal?

It’s unlikely that Louise will ever carry out working royal duties, even though her parents do.

Charles, her uncle, is said to be keen to slim down the monarchy, and so he will probably not be recruiting more people to full time royal life when he becomes king.

Her older cousins, Beatrice and Eugenie, have full time jobs, so that will probably be the same for Louise and her brother James.

Edward and Sophie have been preparing Louise for life in the working world rather than as a senior royal.

Sophie told The Sunday Times: “We try to bring them up with the understanding that they are very likely to have to work for a living. Hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but I think it’s highly unlikely.”

MARLOW, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 07: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Lady Louise Windsor plays hockey as she attends an England Hockey team training session at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre on January 7, 2020 in Marlow, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Lady Louise Windsor playing hockey as she attends an England Hockey team training session at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in January 2020. (Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 12: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Lady Louise Windsor takes part in 'The Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society' on day 5 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park on May 12, 2019 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Lady Louise Windsor takes part in 'The Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society' at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2019. (Getty Images)

What public appearances has she made?

Louise was a bridesmaid for Kate Middleton when she married Prince William in 2011.

The two seem to have a special bond too, as the Duchess of Cambridge was seen chatting away to Louise during the London Paralympics in 2012, when the family attended together.

Kate has also been spotted next to Louise on the balcony for Trooping the Colour.

Louise also attends racing events with her family.

Louise and James have been on a royal tour abroad too, accompanying their parents to South Africa in 2015.

In 2018, Louise joined her mother on an engagement in Portsmouth, as she met girls working toward a yachting qualification. That same year she went to the final of the Women’s Hockey World Cup, again with her mother.

She was a special attendant for Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank, and helped look after the pageboys and bridesmaids.

Louise and Sophie watched Strictly Come Dancing from the audience as a special treat for her 15th birthday in 2018.

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) and Lady Louise Windsor watch the rowing finals during the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Eton Dorney, west of London, on September 2, 2012.  AFP PHOTO / STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL        (Photo credit should read STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP/GettyImages)
The Duchess of Cambridge and Louise watch the rowing finals during the London 2012 Paralympic Games. (GettyImages)
Lady Louise Windsor , Prince William Duke Of Cambridge And Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge During Trooping The Colour In London. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Louise with Kate and William at Trooping The Colour In London. (Getty Images)

What are Louise’s hobbies?

Louise is a keen horse rider, a passion shared by many in the Royal Family and has taken up carriage driving, a sport her grandfather, Prince Philip, had a hand in popularising.

She came third in the Private Driving Singles carriage drive event at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2019.

She’s also a girl guide.