As Queen Elizabeth’s youngest child, Prince Edward has stayed out of the spotlight considerably more than his older brother Prince Charles, who is destined for the throne.
Still, Prince Edward has had his share of notoriety over the years, from his disastrous foray into reality TV production in the ’80s to making waves with his own royal wedding to a “commoner” long before Prince Harry married Meghan Markle.
Now 57 years old, Edward has lived a full and privileged life. Here are the most fascinating candid photos and footage of Prince Edward, starting with his childhood and ending with his most recent thoughts on Harry and Meghan!
Edward’s first public appearance
In Edward’s first public appearance three months after he was born, here he is being held by Queen Elizabeth on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in June 1964. She is dressed up for a ceremony called the Trooping of the Colour, also known as the Queen’s Official Birthday Parade.
Trooping of the Colour
Here is footage of the event when Queen Elizabeth introduced baby Edward to the world.
Christmas with the Queen
Here Queen Elizabeth waves from the royal train with baby Edward on her lap from Liverpool Station in December 1964. They were headed to the Queen’s Sandringham Estate where she traditionally spends the Christmas holiday.
Edward in a pram
This 1965 footage of the Royal Family at Windsor Castle features baby Edward being pushed around in a pram.
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First day of school
This adorable photo shows young Edward attending his first day of school in October 1968 when he was four years old. He’s accompanied by his nanny Mabel Anderson to Gibbs School in Kensington.
Meeting an astronaut
Here you see Edward, almost five years old, meeting Apollo astronaut Frank Bowman in February 1969 at Buckingham Palace. Also pictured are Bowman’s wife Susan, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth, and Princess Anne.
Charles in charge
What’s remarkable about this photo from May 1969 is that it shows the extreme age gap between Edward and his brother Prince Charles. Here 20-year-old Charles takes five-year-old Edward go-kart riding at the Windsor Castle estate.
Here is Prince Edward at age 12, taking photographs at the Badminton Horse Trials in April 1976.
Visiting a Canadian potash mine
In July 1978, the Royal Family took a trip Canada, where 14-year-old Edward visited a Saskatchewan potash mine with Prince Philip. Here they are 3,240 feet below the surface of the earth. Edward is wearing a gold-painted safety helmet, and was reportedly too shy to speak to Premier Allan Blakeney’s 14-year-old son on the tour!
Here is 16-year-old Edward in April 1980, looking quite serious while watching the veterinary inspection at the Badminton Horse Trials.
Smiling with braces
Eventually, Edward broke into a huge smile that day at the Badminton Horse Trials, revealing a mouth full of braces. Even though he’s a prince, Edward was just like any other teenager!
Riding a horse
Prince Edward has attended the Badminton Horse Trials since he was a child. Here he is at the equestrian competition in April 1983, riding a horse at age 19.
With Princess Diana
Here Prince Edward chats with Princess Diana and Prince Charles (off-camera) in April 1983. Diana and Charles visited 20-year-old Edward at Wanaganui Collegiate during their royal tour of New Zealand. He worked there as a house tutor and junior master for six months during his gap year, teaching history.
Charles and Diana greet Edward in New Zealand
Here is footage of the moment when Charles and Diana arrived at Wanaganui Collegiate to greet Edward.
In November 1984, Edward dressed as Lord Zalburg for the Cambridge Graduate Review run of Captain Curious and his Incredible Quest in London.
Yachting with Sophie
Here 30-year-old Edward and his then-girlfriend Sophie Rhys Jones are playing a game on the royal yacht in July 1994. Edward and Sophie met in 1987 and began dating in 1993.
Edward and Sophie got married in June 1999 at St. George’s Chapel. Here they are on their wedding day at Windsor Castle. After marrying, they became known as the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
Interestingly, Edward requested the “Earl of Wessex” title from the Queen, who originally wanted to name him Duke of Cambridge, because of a character from the movie Shakespeare in Love.
When a secretary married a prince
This Real Royalty documentary on Edward and Sophie traces their relationship and makes much of the fact that Edward was marrying a middle-class “commoner.”
With baby Lady Louise
Edward and Sophie’s first child Lady Louise was born in November 2003. Here Edward holds her when she is just two weeks old.
With baby James, Viscount Severn
No, this isn’t from the same day as the previous photo! Despite the fact that Edward appears to be wearing the same jacket, this is actually a photo of him four years later. Here he is leaving Frimley Park Hospital with his newborn son James, Viscount Severn in December 2007.
Trooping of the Colour again
Remember the first photo of Queen Elizabeth holding baby Edward at the Trooping of the Colour? Here Edward attends the Trooping of the Colour at Buckingham Palace with his own family in June 2013! Louise was nine and James was five years old at the time.
In April 2014, Edward visited the Clearwell Caves in Gloucestershire. Here he is walking through underground tunnels.
At the zoo
In April 2016, Edward took his family to the Bristol Zoo. Here he is with eight-year-old James feeding a lemur at the Wild Place Project.
Here is footage of the Bristol Zoo trip with Edward, Sophie, Louise, and James.
Ever the equestrian
In November 2018, 54-year old Edward and 92-year-old Queen Elizabeth were photographed riding horses around the grounds of Windsor Castle. While the Queen was content to go at a trot, Edward was seen galloping around.
Cutting a cake
In October 2019, Edward visited Northern Ireland to celebrate Lakeland Community Care Centre’s 25th anniversary. But he caused a stir when his uniquely odd cake-cutting technique went viral online!
Giving back to the community
With the COVID-19 pandemic raging in December 2020, Edward and Sophie volunteered to make Christmas dinners for local families at the Moorcroft Community Centre.
Edward’s thoughts on Harry and Meghan
In June 2021, Edward sat down for an interview with CNN to discuss the legacy of his father Prince Philip after his recent death in April. However, CNN couldn’t help but ask Edward about the royal rift with Harry and Meghan, and he gave his very candid thoughts.