Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward attend Southsea beach clean
Members of the Royal Family have to endure intense scrutiny on their relationships and are often asked whether they will get engaged. When Edward was dating then-girlfriend Sophie Rhys-Jones, he was asked multiple times whether he was going to propose. However, he once hit back and said if they kept asking, he was less likely to do it.
The Queen’s youngest child said: “If you shut up, mind your own business and let me do it when I want, it’s much more likely to happen.
“The more people second-guess, the less likely it is I just won’t do it.”
Edward’s son also complained about media intrusion into the Royal Family in general, saying: “There is little escape for anyone in the public eye.
“And for the Royal Family, nothing at all.”
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This was later branded a “prophetic” warning to other royals who struggled with the limelight, such as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
These comments by Prince Edward, speaking to the Radio Times in 1996, reflect the Sussexes’ desire to escape media attention.
Both Meghan and Harry have described their struggle with the scrutiny, which is still strong today, nearly a year on from their bombshell announcement that they would be leaving their royal roles.
In the 2019 documentary ‘Harry & Meghan: An African Journey’, Meghan simply said it was “a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes”.
Meanwhile, Harry related it to the trauma over what his mother suffered and the way she died.
The Duke said: “I think being part of this family, in this role, in this job, every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back.
“So in that respect, it’s the worst reminder of her life.”
Another parallel the couple have to Edward is their desire to become financially independent.
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Unfortunately for Edward, this did not go too well.
Both Edward and Sophie tried to keep up their individual careers after being given the titles of Earl and Countess of Wessex, but ended up having to quit their businesses back in 2002 and become full-time royals.
Sophie worked in public relations, including four years at Capital Radio, which is where she was working when she first met Edward.
In 1996, she launched her own public relations agency, RJH Public Relations, which she ran with her business partner Murray Harkin, for five years.
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Meanwhile, Edward ran Ardent Productions, a production company making documentaries and dramas, often with a royal theme.
When the couple married in 1999, they were bestowed the titles of Earl and Countess of Wessex by the Queen, but just a couple of years later found themselves in hot water.
Edward was accused of invading the privacy of his nephew Prince William in 2001 while studying at St Andrews, which went against an industry-wide moratorium on content on the 18-year-old, enraging Prince Charles.
Meanwhile, Sophie ran into trouble after a sting operation exposed she had allegedly used her royal connections to further her business interests.
There were also accusations she had insulted members of the Royal Family and several politicians to an undercover reporter.
Both stepped down from their roles in their respective companies shortly after these scandals, and Ardent Productions closed down completely a few years later.
The couple received a one-off payment from the Queen of £250,000 and now run their estate from Duchy of Lancaster coffers.
However, Meghan and Harry appear to be making a very good go of their attempt to be independent, even signing a huge deal with Netflix thought to be worth $100,000 (£740,000).
They have also started a podcast on Spotify and have launched a non-profit organisation called Archewell.
What’s more, they have bought a huge mansion in Santa Barbara and paid off the £2.4million they owed for the renovations on Frogmore Cottage.
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