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A new Channel 5 documentary about Prince Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex has offered insights into their early days as a royal couple. After announcing their engagement in January 1999, there was questions over whether Sophie would be able to cope with life as a royal wife. However, according to royal commentators, the Queen was sure she would do quite well compared to Diana, Princess of Wales, and Sarah Ferguson.
Daily Mail Editor-at-Large, Richard Kay, told Channel: “The Queen and Prince Philip welcomed the news that Sophie would soon become their daughter-in-law.
“Her discreet and independent nature made her perfect royal wife material.
“The Queen famously observed once rather drily of Sophie, ‘she wouldn’t stick out in a crowd’.
“That might seem a rather cruel observation but in fact it was well meant and heartfelt.”
Journalist Ayesha Hazarika agreed: “I think the Queen thought this is the kind of girl we definitely want coming into the family.
“I think as well particularly having had Diana and then Sarah Ferguson, they quite liked the fact that she was not a drama queen, she was quite down-to-earth.
“I think they felt that she wasn’t going to cause trouble.”
Unlike the other royal couples who had come before them, Edward and Sophie wanted to shy away from the spotlight.
Julie Montagu, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke, added: “The Queen does not like royal members to attract attention.
“So with Sophie, she saw that she definitely wasn’t attracting as much attention as other members of the Royal Family.
“I think the Queen really liked that.”
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The couple finally married in June 1999.
Edward was the first of the Queen’s children to go against tradition when choosing the venue for the ceremony.
Instead of picking more luxurious locations like St. Paul’s Cathedral, where Prince Charles wed Princess Diana, or Westminster Abbey, where Andrew and Fergie had tied the knot, the couple opted for a more unassuming spot.
Edward chose St George’s Chapel, which is a much smaller venue, though it still holds several hundred people.
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