Recrystallised grain nucleation, grain growth and corresponding texture evolution in a cold-rolled rare earth containing WE43 Mg alloy during annealing at 490 °C was fully tracked using a quasi-in-situ electron backscatter diffraction method. The results show nucleation sites, such as double twins, can weaken the deformed texture and for the first time provide direct evidence that recrystallised grains originating from double twins can form the rare earth texture during annealing. Precipitation and recrystallisation occurred concurrently during most of the annealing period, with precipitates forming preferentially along prior grain and twin boundaries. These precipitates effectively retard the recrystallisation due to particle pinning leading to an excessively long time for the completion of recrystallisation. A large portion of recrystallised grains were observed to have 〈0001〉 poles tilted 20–45° away from the normal direction. The RE texture emerges during the nucleation of recrystallised grains and is maintained during subsequent uniform grain growth, which results in a stable RE texture being developed as recrystallisation progresses. The uniform grain growth could be attributed to solute drag suppressing the grain boundary mobility of those grains that had recrystallised with a basal texture and precipitate pinning restricting potential orientated grain growth.