Prince Edward celebrated his 50th birthday on Monday, and to mark the landmark occasion, the Queen”s youngest child released an official family photograph of his nearest and dearest.
The Earl of Wessex gave the nation a glimpse into his life as a family man in the relaxed portrait, taken in the panelled dining room of their Berkshire home by photographer Millie Pilkington, who also took the private photographs at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge”s wedding.
In the charming photograph, Prince Edward is seen with his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex and their two children The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and James, Viscount Severn at Bagshot Park.
Edward, who is eighth in line to the throne, is casually dressed in a lilac shirt unbuttoned at the neck and bottle green trousers as he holds his beaming son, six, who is sitting on the arm of his chair. Young James is clearly relaxed, with one foot perched on the arm of the chair and playing with the sleeve of this fathers shirt.
His ten-year-old daughter sits at his side in a grey pinafore and white jumper, affectionately clutching his arm while Sophie, 49, smiles widely as she crouches behind with an arm around her daughter.
The ever elegant Countess of Wessex, the title she was granted upon marrying Edward, who then became the Earl, wears her hair swept back into an up-do and delicate gold drop earrings.
Celebrations were in keeping with the feel of the family snap relaxed and low-key, with the Prince opting for a gathering at home attended by his parents, the Queen and Prince Phillip, along with other close family memebers.
Edward is expected to carry out two public engagements with his wife of almost 15 years in support of the Wessex Youth Trust, the charity set up by the couple before their marriage in 1999.
The couple will then accompany the Queen and other senior royals to the Commonwealth Observance Service at Westminster Abbey.