Sophie Wessex speaks to women from the Commonwealth
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Royal fans were overjoyed yesterday after the Queen made her first appearance outside the walls of Windsor Castle in almost five months. Marking the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force, she attended a short service at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Air Forces Memorial in Runnymede, Surrey. It comes as the Royal Family bids to restore its image following Meghan and Prince Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey last month.
The pair aimed several allegations at the royals including issues on race and mental health.
Described as an “exit interview”, the talk was one in a string of fallouts Meghan and Harry had had with the Firm since their 2018 wedding.
While many sympathised with Meghan’s struggles in being an outsider to the Firm, she is not the first “commoner” to have married into the family.
Sophie Wessex, Prince Edward’s wife, married the Queen’s youngest child in 1999.
Like Meghan and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, she came from a relatively ordinary background.
Sophie and Meghan also had a commonality in that they both had successful, independent careers before becoming royals.
Yet, as royal reporter Camilla Tominey explained during Amazon Prime’s documentary, ‘William and Kate: Into the future’, Sophie soon proved to be the model to follow.
Ms Tominey said: “Sophie Rhys-Jones is a perfect example of somebody who’s slotted into the Royal Family brilliantly.
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“And this, lets face it, is the daughter of a tyres salesman.
“But, because she’s very level-headed and she’s very together, and she’s led a so-called normal life, she’s fitted in perfectly and now she’s extremely close to the Queen.”
Like Meghan, Sophie faced fierce media scrutiny on entering the Firm.
However, as a successful PR executive running her own company she was well prepared.
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Many claimed that Meghan, having grown-up in and come from the ruthlessness of Hollywood, should have been prepared for a life under the spotlight.
She has since said that despite being famous, royal life was incomparable to the attention she was used to.
During the Oprah interview, she said: “I had confused the idea.
“I grew up in LA, you see celebrities all the time.
“This is not the same but it’s very easy, especially as an American, to go, ‘These are famous people’.
“This is a completely different ball game.”
Sophie was such a good role model for an outsider entering the family that the Queen is said to have allocated her as a mentor to Meghan.
Katie Nicholl, a royal commentator writing in Grazia, explained how the move looked to help Meghan, indicating that she found it easier to talk to Sophie compared to other royals.
She wrote: “According to sources, the Queen has earmarked Sophie as a royal mentor for Meghan.
“The two spent time together at Royal Ascot last year and are understood to get along well.
“The pair share similar backgrounds, as Sophie, like Meghan, gave up a successful career (in PR) to marry into the Royal Family, so is in a position to help Meghan.”
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