Kate Middleton swipes Sophie Wessex’s ‘secret weapon’ namesake as Duchess shines

Kate Middleton: 'So much riding on her shoulders' says host

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The Queen’s daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 56, was repeatedly touted as being the Royal Family’s “secret weapon” after becoming a full-time royal in 2020. Amid a tumultuous time for the Firm, which saw the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Prince Andrew stepping back from royal duties and the death of the Queen’s husband, Sophie emerged as being one of the most reliable and committed members of the Royal Family.

The Countess, who married Queen Elizabeth’s youngest son Edward in 1999, received particular praise for taking up the cause of women’s empowerment as a central part of her royal work.

On International Women’s Day 2019, she stood up in Buckingham Palace and made a pledge and promised to do all she could to help survivors of sexual violence in conflict and champion the international Women, Peace and Security agenda.

At the time, she said: “As someone who firmly believes in the equality of men and women, I feel drawn to your cause and to do what I can to help raise further awareness.”

Her dedication to raising awareness about gender-based violence has also reportedly won her the title of “invaluable” because of her hard work.

Speaking to Channel 5’s documentary ‘Edward&Sophie: The Reluctant Royals?’ last year, commentator Rebecca English said: “One senior Whitehall source told me how invaluable Sophie’s work has been in this field.

“They described her sense of empathy when talking to victims and have said she really has made it a cornerstone of her public work to find out how she can amplify their voices on the international stage.”

In addition, royal journalist and author Victoria Murphy also praised the Countess when writing for Town & Country, and said Sophie had “become a stalwart member of the ‘Firm’” thanks to her down to earth nature and quietly assured approach to her royal duties.

While the Countess also received significant praise from the Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, for which she is a patron.

Karen Sugarman, who works for the hospice that supports over 700 seriously ill children and their families, told the Mirror: “I’ve heard Sophie being called the royal’s family’s secret weapon and I can see why, but to us, she is simply our guardian angel.

“It’s never about the so-called PR opportunity for her and the way I have seen her interact with each child and family on her visits, radiating warmth and kindness and really caring about what we do, means an awful lot.”

However, the title of ‘secret weapon’ is now being used to describe another member of the Royal Family – the Duchess of Cambridge.

In the absence of senior working royals, the ongoing Covid pandemic and the Queen’s ill-health, the Duchess of Cambridge stepped up throughout 2021 to hold a more significant role.

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Kate represented the monarchy at numerous high-profile events, generally upheld the image of the monarchy, and launched her own projects including The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.

Writing for The Independent in a piece to mark Kate’s 40th birthday on Sunday, Laura Hampson described the Duchess as “the monarchy’s safest bet”.

Ms Hampson claims that during the Duchess’s decade-long tenure with the Royal Family “she hasn’t put a foot wrong”, adding “For the royal family, Kate is a safe bet, their secret weapon”.

She claims that the royal has played “the role of Queen Consort-in-waiting to perfection, which has subsequently made her the Firm’s greatest asset”, adding that one factor of this is Kate’s steady popularity with the public.

A YouGov poll released upon her and William’s tenth wedding anniversary last year revealed that 43 percent of respondents think Kate would make a good Queen when the time comes.

Kate’s mental health campaigning and her own long-standing projects are also said to be factors of her appeal.

To conclude her piece, Ms Hampson notes that a significant part of Kate’s appeal lies in the fact that she holds certain attributes that the Queen favours.

She writes: “Her Majesty values tradition, poise and charity above all else, and Kate has all that in spades.”

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