Sophie Wessex’s ‘frustration’: Prince Edward’s wife ‘reduced expectations’ in Royal Family
Sophie Wessex shares support for the ‘Menopause Workplace Pledge'
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Sophie, 56, is married to Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, 57, the Queen’s youngest son. The couple who married more than 20 years ago have two children together, Lady Louise Windsor, 17, and James Viscount Severn, 13. Today Edward accompanied the Queen for her first major public engagement at Buckingham Palace since the start of the pandemic. The pair launched The Queen’s Baton Relay for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Edward appeared alongside the monarch, who sported a bold orange coat and hat that featured the Nizam of Hyderabad Rose brooch.
In her role as head of the Commonwealth, the Queen initiated her 16th Baton Relay, which traditionally takes place before every edition of the Games.
The baton was packed with a special message to be read out by the Queen at the opening ceremony of the Games in Birmingham on July 28.
Cyclist Kadeena Cox, who won two gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, was the first baton bearer.
A total of 7,500 bearers will now take the baton 90,000 miles across each of the 72 Commonwealth nations and territories.
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Edward and his wife Sophie have had their fair share of gaffes and controversies over the years.
However, these days the couple are much more settled in their public roles and are often called upon to represent the Queen.
In June last year Sophie opened up about her experiences of carrying out public engagements.
Speaking to the Sunday Times Magazine about moving from her career in PR to her royal role, she said: “Certainly it took me a while to find my feet.
“The frustration was I had to reduce my expectations of what I could actually do.
“I couldn’t turn up at a charity and go, right, I think you should be doing this, because that’s what I was used to doing in my working life.
“I had to take a really big step back and go, OK, they want you to be the icing on the cake.
“The person to come in to thank their volunteers and funders, not necessarily to tell them how to run their communications plan.”
After marrying into the Royal Family in 1999, Sophie was still co-running her PR company R-JH.
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However, the Countess of Wessex was caught in a sting operation by an undercover reporter from the now-defunct News of the World, who had posed as a sheikh.
The ensuing so-called ‘Sophie tapes’ allegedly revealed that she had broken royal protocol with a string of embarrassing remarks about public figures, including members of her own family.
In recent years however, Sophie has struck a balance between representing the Palace and championing issues she cares about.
She is patron of women’s health charity, Wellbeing of Women, and this week spoke about the “tragic” impact the menopause can have on women having to leave their jobs.
She backed the charity’s call for all companies to sign a Menopause Workplace Pledge.
Amid her important work, Sophie has suggested that she probably won’t take on any more royal duties.
She told the Sunday Times Magazine: “I am pretty busy already, so I’m not sure how much more I can do.
“There are only so many hours in the day. People may pay more attention to what I am doing, but I remain as busy as I have ever been.”
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