As a mother of four and grandmother of eight, the Queen is very much the matriarch of the British royal family.
However, her youngest son Prince Edward and wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex usually keep themselves and their two children out of the spotlight.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex are proud parents to Lady Louise Windsor, born in 2003 and James, Viscount Severn, born in 2007 making them the Queen and Prince Philip’s youngest grandchildren.
Though the family of four reside at Bagshot Park, a 17th-century estate near Windsor and have been taking on more royal duties since Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex stepped back, they’re not exactly high-profile.
Neither Louise nor James have royal titles bestowed on them, a decision the Queen approved, and both live generally normal lives. In fact, Lady Louise wasn’t even aware that her grandmother was the most famous woman in Britain for years.
“Well, for Louise, actually, it was much more of a shock to the system,” Sophie told the BBC in 2016.
“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.'”
WATCH BELOW: Lady Louise had no idea her granny is the Queen. Post continues after video…
When Lady Louise turned 18 she had a big decision to make; would she adopt a formal HRH title and take on more royal duties, or continue her low-key life out of the spotlight?
It seems that her parents knew best when they chose not to give her that HRH title years ago, as she opted to carry on without it when her 18th birthday arrived.
It’s expected that younger brother James will do the same when he comes of age, and their parents will no doubt stand by his decision too.
In honour of the royal family’s more private members, we thought we’d take a look at their best family snaps over the years.
Keep scrolling to see the Wessex family photo album!
The Earl and Countess of Wessex welcomed their first child, Lady Louise in November 2003.
Then in December 2007, their son James Viscount Severn joined the family.
The Wessex family have always been an outdoorsy bunch.
Lady Louise had a starring role at her cousin Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton back in 2011.
The Queen’s youngest granddaughter had a giggle with her mum at her first Trooping the Colour.
Lady Louise was born with esotropia, a condition that turns the eyes outwards and throughout her childhood she had difficulties with her vision.
Lady Louise matched in pink with her mother Sophie at Trooping the Colour in 2011.
They have the royal wave sorted.
The Wessexes have a close relationship to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The royal relatives spent a lot of time together at the London 2012 Olympics.
The Wessexes cheer on the British rowing team with Duchess Catherine.
There aren’t many dads who can get away with a smart jacket and tie with shades.
James grew up before our very eyes and soon joined his family on royal outings.
Walking with grandpa Philip to the annual Christmas church service at Sandringham.
James dons his special spyglasses for his first Trooping the Colour.
The Wessex children have grown up mostly out of the spotlight, unlike their cousins William and Harry.
The family are regulars at events including Royal Ascot.
As Patron of the Bristol Zoological Society, Prince Edward and his family love visiting the wildlife at Bristol Zoo.
Dressed in their best for the National Service of Thanksgiving.
Another year, another Trooping.
The family support Sophie after one of her numerous charity bike rides.
The family wave to newlyweds Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan as they depart St George’s Chapel via carriage.
The Wessexes bring their festive cheer to the annual Christmas service in 2018.
Sophie and Louise matched in floral prints for Easter 2019.
All smiles on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
Back at Bristol Zoo for some family fun.
That’s one for the royal mantelpiece!
As Edward and Sophie up their royal duties, we hope to see more of the family soon.
The family clapped for those on the frontline fighting the coronavirus from their home in a candid video.
In a rare interview with the Sunday Times in 2020, Sophie opened up about her family life, saying that both Louise and James attend a “regular” school, and are allowed to go around to friends’ houses for sleepovers and parties.
Sophie explained: “I guess not everyone’s grandparents live in a castle, but where you are going is not the important part, or who they are. When they are with the Queen, she is their grandmother.”
The family headed to Southsea beach in Portsmouth, England to take part in the Great British Beach Clean on in September 2020. Isn’t Louise the spitting image of her mum?
Edward, Sophie and Louise put on a united front following the death of Prince Philip in April 2021.
The trio were solemn as they viewed hundreds of flower tributes left for the Duke of Edinburgh.
Sophie stood with her children by her side as they farewelled Prince Philip at his April 2021 funeral.
Louise has been in the spotlight more of late and is often seen with her parents at her side, guiding the young royal.
It was a socially distanced Christmas for the Wessexes, but Edward and Sophie made time to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St George’s Chapel with their children.
The whole family attended a service honouring Prince Philip’s life one year after his death in April 2022.
Easter was another family affair, with Lady Louise proving she’s already inherited her mother’s chic fashion sense in this florwing pink number.
Louise and James rode in a carriage with their parents for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022, later joining them on Buckingham Palace’s balcony.
That same month James and his father attended the National Service of Thanksgiving, photographed here with Princess Anne.
Sophie and Louise attended too, the mother and daughter duo looking sophisticated in matching blush outfits.
The Wessex children were also spotted at the Platinum Party at the Palace, where royal fans couldn’t help but notice how grown up James looked.
In July, James and Louise joined their parents for a fun outing to the Commonwealth Games, which were being held in Birmingham. Louise even coordinated her outfit with her mum.