Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020

Prince Edward young: What was Prince Edward really like when he was younger?

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Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, is the Queen and Prince Philip’s youngest son. At the time of his birth in 1964, Prince Edward was third in line to the throne behind his brothers Prince Charles and Prince Andrew. The Earl of Wessex is now 11th in the line of succession following the birth of Prince Harry’s son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

Prince Edward makes his debut in episode four of this year’s new season of The Crown.

The Prince is shown at 18-years-old as he returns home from his school, Gordonstoun, where he is in his last year and is Guardian (Head Boy).

The episode sees Edward attending a one-to-one lunch with the Queen after she asked to see all her children one by one.

Some observers noted Prince Edward’s depiction in The Crown to be that of a whiny and entitled royal – but does that really reflect the Earl of Wessex’s personality as a young man?

What was Prince Edward really like when he was younger?

Prince Edward’s introduction into the TV show sees him greet the Queen by bowing his head to his mother.

Despite his HRH status, Prince Andrew and all the Queen’s children are required to bow to the sovereign due to rank.

However, this formality was apparently dispensed with when the children of the monarch were youngsters.

The Crown sees Prince Edward worried after being called to lunch with the Queen, after which he immediately expresses concern about his Civil List money (a system replaced by the Sovereign Grant in 2012).

Some viewers thought the scene depicted the Queen’s youngest son as being spoilt and entitled.

One social media user took to Twitter to write: “What a horrible boy Prince Edward is #TheCrown.”

While another wrote: “If Prince Edward was really like that as a teen, the Queen failed. Entitled as all hell. #TheCrown.”

However, despite Prince Edward’s depiction in the TV series, the Queen’s love and adoration for her youngest child is clear.

Dr Owens, a historian of the British Royal Family, said if Prince Edward was really like that as a youngster it was down to his ability to command more of the Queen’s attention than his older siblings. 

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Whereas when Charles and Anne were young the Queen had to leave “the day-to-day work of bringing up her children to a succession of royal nannies”, by the time Edward was born, “the Queen’s public routine in Britain was more settled and overseas affairs, most notably colonial independence ceremonies, were overseen by other members of the family”, said Mr Owens.

The historian added: “This gave Elizabeth II more time to spend with her younger sons and she adopted a more hands-on approach to raising the boys.”

In the Netflix drama, Prince Edward declares that he expects to walk into “any area of life I might fancy”.

And he brazenly says “why shouldn’t” he, given “what the royals do for this country”.

The Queen seems taken aback and unimpressed with the Earl’s attitude – a dramatic choice perhaps foreshadowing Edward’s future use of his position for financial gain.

Prince Edward was criticised as a young man for his involvement in It’s A Royal Knockout, a TV gameshow which many felt brought shame to the Royal Family.

Alongside the Earl of Wessex, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and his then-wife, Sarah Ferguson, all took part in the TV special.

Although a success in terms of ratings, It’s A Royal Knockout proved disastrous for the Royal Family’s reputation and has been something which has stuck with Prince Edward throughout his adult life.

Prince Philip was understood to be appalled by his children’s participation, which he felt to be “unwise and unwelcome”.

Speaking to a BBC executive, the Duke of Edinburgh said: “Why doesn’t Edward let the TV people just get on with it and just turn up to accept the cheques? He’s making us look foolish.”

Prince Edward’s on-screen ventures went a step further after the “public relations disaster” of the 1987 gameshow when he set up his own TV production company, Ardent Productions, which went bankrupt just nine years after it started.

Although Prince Edward earned himself a bit of a reputation as a young man, things seem to have changed in recent years, especially after he married Sophie, Countess of Wessex in 1999.

One source said: “Edward has moulded into a quiet and efficient figure who does not seek attention or acquire headlines.

“He and Sophie are liked for being dutiful and uncomplaining.”

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