Monday, 28 Sep 2020

Queen favourite: Sophie Wessex opens up on how she is following in the monarch’s footsteps

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Sophie opened up on the moment she was officially asked by the Queen to carry on with her legacy and take over one of her patronages. In a rare interview, Prince Edward’s wife laid bare how she felt and what she is doing to make the monarch proud. 

She told the Good Housekeeping: “This was the first patronage that Her Majesty asked me to take on and I accepted the honour immediately.

“The NSPCC is one of the UK’s most well-known and respected children’s charities and its name has been familiar to me for as long as I can remember.

“I am proud that I can support the work being done to prevent child abuse and neglect, and support those who do not have adults that protect them.”

The Queen announced in December 2016 her intention to step down as patron of 25 organisations, including Save The Children UK and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). 

In a brief statement, Buckingham Palace explained the monarch wanted to share the workload with her family members on the eve of her 91st birthday.

The statement read: “At the end of the Queen’s 90th birthday year, Her Majesty will step down as patron from a number of national organisations.

“Her Majesty will continue to serve as patron to hundreds of charities and institutions but will now share this work with her family.

“Many of the organisations listed below already have other members of the Royal Family as vice-patrons or presidents, which will ensure a smooth transition.

“This decision follows the example set by the Duke of Edinburgh who resigned from a number of patronages on the occasion of his 90th birthday in 2011.”

The monarch remains the patron of more than 600 charities and, before the coronavirus pandemic hit the country, used to be in touch with them regularly.

Sophie is widely considered the Queen’s favourite by royal commentators. 

Royal insiders have claimed the monarch sees the Countess as a soothing presence and will often choose her as a companion on key occasions.

When in Sandringham and Balmoral, the Queen is often pictured going to church on Sundays.

And on several occasions, when she has guests at her residences, she is photographed in her maroon Bentley alongside with members of the Royal Family.

When the Wessexes are her guests, Sophie will likely be asked by the monarch to accompany her, according to a former royal equerry. 

They told The Sun: “If Sophie Wessex is staying at Sandringham then you can pretty much guarantee the Queen will ask her – usually last thing on a Saturday night – if she would like ‘a lift’ to the church.

“And the same happens at Balmoral.

“The Queen likes to be completely calm before church and she finds Sophie’s presence soothing.

“Who gets the backseat is also one of those quirky royal ways that signals who is in favour – for example Princess Anne may be staying at the same time, but how often do you see her in the Rolls?” 

Another senior source claimed Sophie is so loved by the Queen she is just like another daughter to her.

They said: “She is trusted and relied on by the Queen in a way I couldn’t say applied to the Duchess of Cambridge or the Duchess of Cornwall.

“She is like another daughter to Her Majesty, they are that close.

“The Queen is also mindful that Sophie’s marriage has survived where her other children’s relationships have failed – and she knows that is in no small way down to Sophie’s dedication – she is aware, as his Edward’s mother, what a tricky creature he can be.

“And not only has Sophie flourished as a dedicated, albeit still relatively junior member of the Royal family, but she has also brought up two teenagers who are well-balanced, sporty, amusing and delightful.”

Royal sources had also claimed in the past the monarch is close to Sophie and Edward’s son James and daughter Louise as well.

Lady Louise, in particular, struck the Queen with her love for Balmoral and horse riding, according to these claims.

Read the full interview with HRH The Countess of Wessex in the October issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale the 26th of August.

It is available in all supermarkets and online at MagsDirect.     

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