Royals

How Sophie, Countess of Wessex has moved mountains behind the scenes in the royal family

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When Sophie of Wessex joined the royal fold on a beautiful summer’s day in 1999, little did we know that the new wife of Prince Edward was set to become one of the most important members of the regal firm in decades to come.

Indeed Sophie, 57, has had an eventful stint as a working royal, quickly becoming likeable for her down-to-earth nature, her low-key modesty and not to mention the casual feat of becoming one of the Queen’s rumoured favourites.

But there’s a lot more to Sophie than meets the eye – and we’re more than happy to investigate the matter a little further.

Becoming the partner of any royal family member is no small ask, pretty much guaranteeing you a one-way street to a life of public appearances, strict protocol and remaining under a firm microscope in front of the entire world, to be frank.

But Sophie has taken it all in her stride, in fact, she’s downright excelled – perhaps even more so than some of the family’s most prominent members.

Of course, after Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan stepped back from their senior royal roles, it was only natural for the Palace to call upon their most valuable players to up the ante – and it seems Sophie was ready for the challenge.

When it comes to her role models within the royal family, the Countess of Wessex says she looks up to her mother-in-law the Queen and before his death in 2021, her father-in-law Prince Philip.

Sophie was close with her father-in-law Prince Philip.

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“He’s constantly reading, keeps bang up to date with current affairs and everything else going on. His knowledge base is amazing. His physical capability is extraordinary. He keeps himself pretty fit and he is active. Everybody in the family really looks up to him and respects him,” Sophie explained in a documentary in 2016.

While she added of The Queen: “I think it must be a fairly lonely place being the Queen. As a female in the top job it’s important I think to have somebody that you can lean on, that you can discuss things with, that she can be open and honest with behind closed doors. For her to have found somebody like him, I don’t think she could have chosen better. And they make each other laugh which I think is a half of a battle, isn’t it.”

As she steps up and shows up more than ever, we take a look back at her greatest moments as a royal over the years.

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Prince Edward & Sophie wed in 1999

Right from the start, Sophie was everything we know to be royal. Her stunning wedding to Edward in 1999 set the precedent for what was to come…

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Lady Louise Windsor is born in 2003

Shortly after welcoming their first child, Lady Louise Windsor, Sophie and Edward were pictured looking proud as punch as they formally introduced her in November 2003.

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Attended Prince Carl Philip of Sweden’s wedding in 2015

She certainly knows how to do a royal wedding like no other. Attending the nuptials of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Sofia Hellqvist in 2015, Sophie was a vision in a pale grey gown.

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Sophie at the Autumn Racing Carnival in 2015

She’s not shy to speak up when it’s needed! Attending the Autumn Racing & CAMRA Beer Festival in 2015, Sophie cheered on animatedly from the sidelines.

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Lady Louise of Wessex had no idea her granny happens to be The Queen

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Sophie, Princess Anne & Queen Elizabeth cut cake in 2015

As she attended a women’s meeting with the Queen in 2015, Sophie couldn’t hold back the giggles as she and Princess Anne helped her cut a cake.

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Sophie & Kate attend meeting together in 2015

Both Sophie and Duchess Catherine compliment each other perfectly. They attended the Annual Meeting of The National Federation Of Women’s Institute at the Royal Albert Hall together in 2015.

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Sophie at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2018

Long before Duchess Catherine’s Back to Nature garden, it was Sophie who was a prominent regular at the Chelsea Flower show. She’s pictured here looking radiant at the event in 2018.

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Sophie’s 2019 tour of India

The Countess is very well travelled to boot. She did a whirlwind tour of India in early 2019 – here, she’s pictured visiting a school in the South Asian country.

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Queen Elizabeth & Sophie at the Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in 2019

Ever the Queen’s right-hand-woman, Sophie was there to celebrate the work of the Monarch on behalf of the Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust at Buckingham Palace in 2019.

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Edward & Sophie’s family of four

Her family is refreshingly wholesome. Sophie and Edward have had two children – James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor. They were pictured together in a rare (albeit sweet!) moment while visiting Bristol Zoo in 2019.

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Sophie attends Ascot in 2019

Ever the forward thinker, Sophie made the most of the amended dress code at Royal Ascot in 2019 – she opted for a chic jumpsuit, which had previously been banned for women. A fashion icon if we ever saw one!

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Sophie attends Wimbledon in 2019

At the 2019 Wimbledon tournament, Sophie made the ultimate fashion statement. Wearing a stunning blue printed frock she accessorised with a bag with the phrase: “I’m not saying I am wonderwoman. I’m just saying that no one has ever seen me and wonderwoman in the same place.”

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Sophie on the red carpet in 2020

A style icon for the ages, Sophie looked stunning as she attended a film premiere in Mayfair in early 2020. This green silk dress is what dreams are made of.

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Sophie & Catherine jump on nurse calls in 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, Sophie joined forces with Duchess Catherine to shine a light on the incredible work being done by nurses on the frontline. She partook in several special video calls to nurses in Commonwealth countries across the globe.

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Pub visit

As the UK came out of its strict lockdown, Sophie was pictured visiting a local pub, where she spoke to several guests about how they were going in the pandemic. Nothing like a yarn over a cold beer!

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On the farm

Sophie also visited a local farm, where she enjoyed some decent grub from a local food truck. And yep, she’s just as grounded as anyone.

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Sophie of Wessex shares a message for parents amid the COVID crisis

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Sophie at Royal Ascot in 2021

Sophie looked radiant on day two of the Royal Ascot in 2021, and we must say, lavender is so her colour!

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Sophie & one sweet puppy

The countess showed off her animal lover side in 2021!

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Announcement of Prince Philip’s death

Following the announcement of Prince Philip’s death, Sophie, her husband and daughter attended a television interview at the Royal Chapel of All Saints.

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Prince Edward & Sophie Wessex share words about Prince Philip after his death

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In the garden

The camera loves her! Sophie shone amongst the beauty found at the Queen’s Green Canopy Garden in September 2021.

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2022 Thanksgiving service

In 2022 she caught many a royal watcher’s eye in her effortlessly elegant ensemble for a service of thanksgiving in honour of Prince Philip.

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A united family

As usual, her beautiful bond with her children was on display for the solemn event.

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US tour

Then there was a trip to the US, where she delighted locals with her down-to-earth nature and charm.

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Carribean tour

Her devotion to Prince Edward was obvious during their royal tour of the Caribbean in April.

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Tea dance

In May Sophie delighted royal watchers by showing off her dance moves at a Tea Dance in Guernsey.

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex shows off her dance moves

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