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, 55, 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 and father-in-law, Prince Philip and The Queen.
"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.
And who knows, perhaps low-key Sophie has been the glue that's held them strong all along...
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Now To LoveJul 26, 2021