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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 January, 2004, 00:20 GMT
Palace releases first baby photos
Baby Louise and parents
Lady Louise Windsor with parents the Earl and Countess of Wessex
Buckingham Palace has released the first official photos of Lady Louise Windsor, two months after her premature birth by emergency Caesarean section.

The tiny baby is seen dressed in white and nestled in the arms of her parents, the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

It is one of four pictures of Louise taken by Prince Andrew at Sandringham over Christmas to have been released.

Louise had previously been photographed with her parents as she was taken home from Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey.

'Best day ever'

Sophie first arrived at the hospital by ambulance on 8 November after suffering cramps at home.

Lady Louise Windsor
Lady Louise Windsor
Four weeks premature and 4lbs 9oz (2 kg) when she was born, the baby was taken initially to the neo-natal unit of St George's Hospital in Tooting, South London, for special care.

She was moved back to Frimley Park Hospital on 13 November, from where Sophie was discharged on 19 November.

Prince Edward missed the birth as he was on a state visit to Mauritius but flew home immediately to be with his wife and daughter when they were reunited. He described it as "quite an emotional moment".

The youngster left hospital with her parents four days later and Sophie described it as "the best day ever".

Keen photographer

The pictures of the Wessexes at Christmas, taken with a Canon EOS 1D camera, are the third set of official Royal Family photographs the Duke of York has taken.

Keen photographer Prince Andrew became interested in the subject while in the Royal Navy and published a book of mainly black-and-white pictures two years after buying his first camera in 1983.

He has previously taken pictures of his mother to mark her 60th birthday and a portrait for her Golden Jubilee.

One picture of Lady Louise was released free of charge, but the remaining three images will be sold with profits going to the Earl and Countess of Wessex Charitable Trust.

The BBC's June Kelly
"Proceeds from the sale of these pictures will go to a charitable trust"


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