April 01, 2022 – 12:48 BST
The Countess of Wessex’s birth stories with Lady Louise Windsor and James Viscount Severn – how the royal mum came close to death
the Countess of Wessex lives at her home of Bagshot Park with her husband, Prince Edwardand their two children, Lady Louise Windsor18, and James, Viscount Severn14
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Unlike her royal counterparts, former PR manager Sophie chose not to give birth to her babies at a London hospital, instead opting for a hospital close to home: Frimley Park in Surrey. The royal experienced quite a traumatic birth with Louise, who was born a month early. However, labor went smoother with her son’s arrival.
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Here, we take a look back at the Countess’ birth stories with Louise and James…
The birth of Lady Louise Windsor
Lady Louise arrived into the world by emergency caesarean section at 11.32pm on Saturday 8th November, weighing 4lbs 9oz.
The official announcement read: “Her Royal Highness and her daughter are both stable. As a purely precautionary measure, the baby was taken to the regional neonatal unit at St George’s Hospital, Tooting.”
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Countess Sophie had a tough time with her first birth
We know the premature birth of Louise was a shock to Sophie, as she spoke of the experience at a reception in India in 2019 while referring to a film highlighting the fight to tackle blindness in premature babies.
She said: “This is the third time I have seen this film A Life with Sight and each time I see it, it makes me cry. My daughter, Louise, was born prematurely and so every time I see anything to do with premature babies , it takes me back to those early days, the shock of her early arrival, and then the realization that she had a sight issue, which we would have to manage.”
The family of four live in Surrey
Lady Louise arrived four weeks before her due date and Sophie herself came close to death during the emergency caesarean after she lost nine pints of blood through internal bleeding.
While baby Louise received specialist care at St George’s Hospital, Sophie had to remain 35 miles away in Frimley Hospital, Surrey, for another 16 days. The separation from her firstborn and recovery from the birth was undoubtedly a difficult and upsetting period for the royal.
In 2014, the mail reported on a return trip that Sophie made to Frimley Hospital to open the hospital’s new neonatal unit. She said: “The service you can provide can literally make the difference between life and death. I can attest to that.”
The birth of James, Viscount Severn
Thankfully, the arrival of Edward and Sophie’s second child on 17 December 2007 was much plainer sailing. James entered the world at 4.20pm on a Monday, with dad Edward describing his son as “very cute and very cuddly”.
The birth of Sophie and Edward’s second child was more straightforward
The official statement by the queen‘s press secretary read: “Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex today was safely delivered of a baby boy by caesarean section at 4.20pm, at Frimley Park NHS Hospital in Surrey. The weight of the baby was 6lbs 2oz. The Earl of Wessex was present.”
It continued: “The Countess of Wessex is expected to remain in hospital for the next few days.”
Prince Edward, wife Sophie and their two children
Proud dad Edward revealed that the birth had been “a lot calmer than last time” and that his wife was “doing very well”, adding how he was relieved.
On their baby’s name, the Queen’s son said: “We didn’t know, we had no idea what we were going to get, we hadn’t asked. You have to at least get to know the small person who’s just come into the world before you actually try and pick a name.”