The Stunning Transformation Of Lady Louise Windsor

The British royal family, without a doubt, has a number of celebrity-level members. From Prince William and Kate Middleton — who will be the king and queen of England — to Prince Harry and his wife, former actress Meghan Markle, the royal family has several stars. But there are also lesser-known members who all but evade the cameras, and falling into that category of the monarchy are Prince Edward, his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and their two children, Louise and James.


Lady Louise Windsor, the eldest of Edward's two children and Queen Elizabeth's youngest granddaughter, was born in 2003 and turned 18 in November 2021. While she is a bona fide young lady in her own right, Louise has stayed largely out of the public eye at her parents' request. Unlike William and Harry — whose parents' lives made it so the cameras followed them wherever they went — Edward and Sophie's stability has no doubt enabled them to provide Louise with a more low-key upbringing. However, due to royal events and the royal family's status, we have been able to get glimpses of Louise as she's grown into a force all her own. This is the stunning transformation of Lady Louise Windsor.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, did not have an easy delivery with Louise

While Lady Louise Windsor has mostly led her life out of the spotlight, she entered the world in a frenzy. As noted by British Heritage, she was born on November 8, 2003 after her mother, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, was rushed to the hospital about four weeks before her due date. Louise's birth was so unexpected that Prince Edward wasn't even in the country, and her birth did not come without complications. The BBC reported at the time that Sophie ended up having to have a Caesarean section, and Louise weighed in at just under five pounds. 


While Edward rushed home from an official trip to Mauritius to be with his wife and new daughter, Louise was taken to the neonatal wing of St. George's Hospital out of an abundance of caution. A spokesperson at the time told the press that while both the baby and mom were stable, Sophie would be staying in the hospital "for the foreseeable future." While Louise's birth had not gone according to plan, the news was a welcomed joy for the couple, who had suffered from a terrifying ectopic pregnancy during which Sophie had to be airlifted to the hospital for treatment in 2001.

Louise underwent surgery at just 18 months old to correct her vision

Premature babies can be completely healthy at birth, despite arriving early, but that's not always the case. For Lady Louise Windsor, her traumatic birth resulted in an eye condition called esotropia, which caused her eyes to squint and turn outwards. As noted by British Heritage, she had a surgical procedure at just 18 months old to help correct her vision, but it was not successful. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, later shared that Louise's squint was "profound" when she was little, and it took another procedure later in her life to resolve the problem. 


However, a heartwarming silver lining of the experience was that her daughter's condition encouraged Sophie to advocate for children who also suffer from vision difficulties. Of her daughter's condition, Sophie shared, "Premature babies can often have squints because the eyes are the last thing in the baby package to really be finalized. Her squint was quite profound when she was tiny and it takes time to correct it" (via Express). She continued, "You've got to make sure one eye doesn't become more dominant than the other but she's fine now — her eyesight is perfect."

Louise's parents were determined to set her up for a normal life

Unlike her cousins Prince William and Prince Harry, who knew from a very early age that they were royals and were subsequently watched by literally everyone, Lady Louise Windsor was largely unaware of her standing within the famed family. Her parents, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, were so determined to give her as normal of a childhood as possible — in fact, they may have even done so to a fault! While she was catching up with the BBC, Sophie shared that when Louise started school, she didn't realize that her grandmother was Queen Elizabeth until her classmates pointed it out to her. 


"For Louise, actually, it was much more of a shock to the system. It was only when she was coming home from school and saying, 'Mummy, people keep on telling me that grandma is the queen,'" Sophie shared. Explaining that Louise "didn't understand" why schoolmates were telling her that her grandmother was the monarch, Sophie shared that her young daughter didn't "grasp that perhaps there was only one queen." "Certainly when they were very young we tried to keep them out of it," Sophie said. "Only because for their sakes, to grow up as normally as possible we felt was quite important."

Louise appeared in the public eye for the royal wedding in 2011

If Lady Louise Windsor didn't realize she was a member of the royal family — or that her beloved grandma was actually the hailed queen of England — before Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding, she certainly understood after that storied day in 2011. As noted by Hello! Magazine, Louise served as a little bridesmaid to Kate on the royal couple's big day on April 29, 2011, and walked with the bride in front of 1,900 guests at Westminster Abbey. Louise was just 7 years old at the time, and she looked absolutely darling in her off-white dress, accompanied with a delicate flower crown and small bouquet. 


Louise was one of four little bridesmaids and two page boys that joined Kate and William during their nuptials — and while it may sound odd to have children be a part of the ceremony, Louise's involvement marked the honoring of a royal tradition. As noted by Reader's Digest, royal bridesmaids are typically between the ages of 10 and 12 — the only exception on William and Kate's big day was Pippa Middleton's involvement, who served as Kate's maid of honor. Talk about a big day on the world stage for the little royal.

Was Lady Louise's life altered by the Succession to the Crown act?

As many royal fans know, the line of succession for the throne is a fickle thing, and it changes every time a royal baby is born. However, in 2013, The Succession to the Crown Act was passed, as noted by Hello! Magazine.


In order to understand the act, let's go back in time a little bit. Queen Elizabeth had four children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward — in that order. However, because The Succession to the Crown Act was not in place until the mid-2010s, both Andrew and Edward surpassed their older sister, Anne, in the line of succession. The same is true for Louise. Unlike her young nieces, who were born after the cut-off date of October 28, 2011, Louise will continue to stand behind her younger brother in the line of succession.

So to answer the question — yes, Louise's life was altered by the passing of the act, but not in a way that benefits her standing. She now stands in the 16th position in line to the British throne as of publication, behind her brother, despite being the older sibling. According to Express, "Unfortunately, Louise was born too early, before the cutoff date, to benefit from the act. As heirs are born, she will unfortunately continue to move down the line of succession."


As Louise transformed into a teenager, she developed a special bond with her mom

Observing royal family members is like a sport to some people — for a family that is largely known for not showing affection of any kind in public, the royals are fascinating to say the least. But unlike some of the more public figures of the family, Lady Louise Windsor has certainly had a close relationship with her immediate family — her parents and brother — and body language expert Judi James analyzed Louise's relationship with her mom, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, for Express. The mother-daughter duo have often been seen engaging in carriage driving (one of Louise's favorite sports — more on that later), and it's been within these moments that their close relationship can be observed. 


"Sophie's confidence signals show her as being the more socially active one in the team dynamic," James said of Sophie's relationship with her daughter. "Her encouraging and proud smile is teamed with the kind of spatial gap you'd get between friends. This allows Sophie's daughter to be seen and to feel like a confident adult in public." James went on to say that the "eye-laugh" expressions between the two displayed that they had a "friendship as well as a mother-daughter relationship," which just sounds lovely for the two royals.

As she grew up in the public eye, Louise turned to her mom for fashion advice

It's safe to say that Lady Louise Windsor and her mother, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, are extremely close. As aforementioned, the two share as much of a friendship as they do a mother-daughter relationship, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that as she started to grow up, Louise raided her mother's closet for wardrobe inspiration. As noted by Hello! Magazine, Sophie's closet is full of designer options, and given that Louise is of a stature where she could pull off her mom's clothing, we certainly don't blame her for stealing some items off the hangers. 


In particular, Sophie lent her daughter a stunning Stella McCartney tartan coat, which Louise paired with a favorite Sophie Habsburg nude clutch that her mom has been spotted with a number of times. For that particular outfit, Louise also sourced inspiration from her mom's favorite milliner — hat experts, for those of us out of the designer headwear loop — as she chose to wear a headband from famed milliner Jane Taylor. In other instances, Sophie's fashion influence on Louise is abundantly clear, as they have often complemented each other's silhouettes and color choices.

Louise looked all grown up when she attended Princess Eugenie's wedding in 2018

So many of us remember Lady Louise Windsor as the cute little bridesmaid at Kate Middleton and Prince William's wedding. But when she stepped out in 2018 for another royal wedding, everyone was shocked by her transformation. As noted by People, Louise joined her royal family members at St. George's Chapel for Princess Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank. She was 14 at the time, and instead of being a little bridesmaid, this time she assisted Prince George and Princess Charlotte as the two little ones made their way up the stairs on what can only be described as an incredibly blustery day. 


Despite George losing his footing and taking a bit of a tumble, Louise handled herself with so much grace. She looked polished in her Claudie Pierlot dress, paired with Chloé pumps, a Beauchamp clutch, and a hat from Emily London. The wedding also marked one of the early occasions of Louise's transition into public royal life. While her parents still do their best to keep her life as private as possible, the wedding served as a reminder that Louise wasn't the same little girl that so many of us remembered from 2011.

Lady Louise made headlines in 2019 for supposedly being the queen's favorite

To say that the royal family has been through it over the past couple of years is an understatement. From the concerning allegations lodged against Prince Andrew, to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's departure from the royal family, it's fair to assume that things haven't been easy for the matriarch, Queen Elizabeth. However, if one person has made it all easier for her, it's Lady Louise Windsor. As noted by The Sun, it was revealed in 2019 that Louise is reportedly the queen's favorite grandchild, and after spending a summer with the monarch at Balmoral, the young royal's stature was solidified. 


"The Queen loves the fact that Louise and James relish their time at Balmoral, and she has become particularly close to Louise, who seems to have become her favorite grandchild, closely followed by James," a royal insider shared. "Louise also endeared herself to everyone by looking after William and Kate's children when they were up here. Louise loves drawing and sketching and was very patiently trying to get Charlotte to do pictures of rabbits and deer." The royal insider also shared that Louise in particular took the queen's mind off of Andrew's affiliation with Jeffrey Epstein, which is quite an accomplishment for a teenager.

Louise focused on her education

Lady Louise Windsor might be the grandchild of Queen Elizabeth, and she might have a title and access to designer clothes and carriages, but there are a lot of aspects of her life that are pretty normal. One such element is her schooling. As noted by Hello! Magazine, she went through the same process as most other students in the United Kingdom did at age 16. Britain's schooling system is a little different than that of the United States' system — Louise received her GCSE results in August 2020, and as such, she was set to start her A-levels that September. 


"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," Sophie, Countess of Wessex, told The Times about Louise's academic pursuits. And, unlike many royals both past and present, Louise attended pretty normal schools. As noted by Express, she went to St. George's School and then went on to St. Mary's School Ascot — similarly, her brother attended Eagle House School, a prep school in Berkshire. In comparison, Prince William and Kate Middleton's kids have attended "prestigious" academic institutions — just another way Louise has lived a pretty normal life throughout her transformation!

Louise and her grandfather bonded over carriage driving

If you've ever watched the iconic film "What a Girl Wants," then you know that British people, according to the fictional Lady Dashwood, only show affection to dogs and horses. This might not be the case for everyone, but horses are big in the royal family circle, and it was through this interest that Lady Louise Windsor bonded with her late grandfather, Prince Philip. In one of her most public appearances to date, Louise spoke about the relationship that she shared with Philip, most notably how their shared love of carriage driving solidified their bond. 


In the BBC One documentary, "Prince Philip: The Royal Family Remembers," the now 17-year-old shared, "The Duke of Edinburgh has been so involved in my driving which has been lovely, but slightly scary because he invented the sport pretty much, but it's incredible to have learned first-hand from him and definitely made us closer, I think." She went on to reveal that after she would compete, Philip would also make a point of asking her how it went and when he did so, "his eyes would light up because he would get so excited," according to Louise. "He's honestly one of the most interesting people I've ever met," she shared, as noted by Hello! Magazine.

The royal's mom made it clear that Louise's decisions as a young adult are up to her

When we think of the structures that are synonymous with the royal family, we imagine a very set-in-stone idea of what each royal family member should achieve. But when it comes to Lady Louise Windsor, she has transformed into a young lady who is set to manage her own life. While she has been in the public eye more these days, her parents have made it clear that it is still up to her what she wants to accomplish — they don't have set expectations for her, nor is she directly in line to the throne — which definitely makes it easier for her to pursue her own life path. 


When it comes to her life, as of publication, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, have put their faith in Louise — extending from her professional and royal life all the way to her personal life. "I hope that she and her friends will protect her from anything that somebody might want to do," Sophie told BBC Radio 5, as noted by Express. "But I have to let her live her life. It's not mine to live. I can only equip her the best that I can, and then she has to make her own choices."

Louise might take on a new royal title

Lady Louise Windsor turned 18 on November 8, 2021, and the landmark birthday presented an opportunity for her biggest transformation to date. As noted by Tatler, when Louise was born, her parents, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, decided not to give her the title of princess. While she could've been given the title, her parents opted for the title of lady, in hopes that it would allow their daughter to have a more down-to-earth childhood. 


While her parents' wish of a life outside of the public eye has definitely been granted, it's up to Louise herself now that she's 18 whether she would like to inherit the title of princess or not. Louise is expected to work just like anyone else — she can't rely on the royal family to sustain her life, nor can her work solely consist of royal duties. As such, only time will tell if Louise chooses to take on the title that would absolutely set her apart in society. While Sophie has previously said that it's "unlikely" that Louise would take the "Her Royal Highness" title, speculation has emerged that she might, given Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's exit from the firm, as well as Andrew's current legal fight.


Louise has been called the royal family's 'secret weapon'

It's not a shock to anyone now when we say that the British royal family has been under pressure. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left for California, Prince Andrew is facing mounting legal battles, Prince Philip died, and even Queen Elizabeth has been suffering from health setbacks, so to say that things are rocky is an understatement. That's where Lady Louise Windsor might come in. Everyone is looking to the next generation of royals, namely Prince William and Kate Middleton, but Louise is not to be underestimated. 


As noted by The Telegraph, Louise could very easily be a key player in the family's stability, and royal expert Phil Dampier said that she is the firm's "secret weapon." He told The Telegraph that Louise is "precisely the kind of person the Queen can rely on," and even divulged that Queen Elizabeth might look to Louise to take on some of her own responsibilities as she continues to slowly step back from public life. "There's a huge workload there," Dampier said of the decision to potentially give Louise more responsibility. If anyone has proven that they're graceful and cool in the spotlight, it's her.