Meet Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the Queen’s closest confidante

The mother of two, 57, was Her Majesty's 'unlikely rock'

Sophie, Countess of Wessex

by Grazia Contributor |
Updated on

Crouched down low, Sophie, Countess of Wessex has the elegance of an English rose even as she grieved before the bouquets laid out in memory of Her Majesty the Queen at Balmoral Castle.

Sophie, 57, in dark mourning black as she visited last week — is a far cry from the days when the Royal was considered the ‘invisible woman’. Indeed, Sophie and her mother-in-law were so close that she had become like a ‘second daughter’.

For years Sophie Wessex diligently carried out scores of engagements, often as many as the Duke of Cambridge if not more, without so much as the wink of a nod of appreciation from the masses. But when Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and her husband Harry left for Los Angeles, that void was been ably plugged by the stately Countess.

There was a wide-ranging, hour-long interview with Naga Munchetty on BBC Radio 5 Live last June. Weeks before that there was an eight-page magazine interview with her and her husband — the Queen’s fourth child — in The Daily Telegraph. Before that there was The Sunday Times.

And she’s was Firm favourite with the Queen. Sophie and Prince Edward live at Bagshot Park in Windsor and their children – James, Viscount Severn, 11, and Lady Louise Windsor, 15 – are schooled nearby. At one point, as Grazia revealed at the time, she had been lined up by Ma’am to mentor Meghan.

The Queen liked 'the idea of Sophie being an unofficial mentor to Meghan,’ a family friend once said. Sophie was often at Windsor taking the kids riding on the Queen’s horses and playing at the castle. 'It’s a quiet lifestyle, very much the kind Harry and Meghan want for their little one.’

And after Philip's death, Sophie Wessex’s star rose in the royal firmament. Speaking to The Sun, royal commentator Duncan Larcombe explained that Sophie 'emerged as the Queen’s unlikely ‘rock’ as the monarch [adjusted] to life without Prince Philip'. Prince Edward’s wife had — according to sources — made it her personal mission to ensure Her Majesty was fully supported by the family.

Larcombe went on to highlight that after the Duke’s death, Sophie drove the 10 miles from her Bagshot Park home to Windsor Castle every few days and most weekends to spend socially-distanced time with Her Majesty. And on days she couldn't get there in person, the Duchess of Wessex made a point of calling her mother-in-law at least once a day.

She will sorely miss Her Majesty. But her service has not gone unnoticed. There is even a swell of chatter that Sophie and Edward – who are set to be made the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh in line with Philip’s wishes – could be ‘promoted’ to William and Kate’s second in command. She is a rock in a hard place right now. But, come what may, the royals can count on the Countess.

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