Royal delight: Countess of Wessex set to open ballet studio with very personal connection

This will be the Countess’ first public engagement since returning from a family skiing holiday in St Moritz. The new studios are named in her honour and are located on the South Bank in Southwark. The Countess of Wessex studios in Paris Gardens will feature seven studios and a fully equipped studio theatre.

In addition there will be study and resource centres, as well as a state-of-the-art health suite.

The Central School of Ballet announced it was moving to its new premises three years ago.

At the time Sophie said: “This is a momentous time in Central’s history.

“Their planned move to Paris Gardens will allow a greater engagement with young people who don’t currently get access to dance classes, building on their activities with junior schools in Southwark.

“This organisation was founded on the principle that talented young dancers should get the opportunity to pursue dance as a career independent of financial circumstances or background.

“The new premises will allow the school to work with local communities to ensure this founding principle is followed.”

The Countess was named patron of the Central School of Ballet in 2003 and is a keen Strictly Come Dancing fan.

She and her daughter Lady Louise were in the audience for the show in 2018.

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Sophie is a popular member of the Royal Family and enjoys a close relationship with the Queen.

A senior royal aide told The Sun that the Queen implicitly trusts the Countess.

The relationship has developed over time to the point where the Queen considers Sophie to be her daughter.

Another royal aide said: “She is trusted and relied on by the Queen in a way I couldn’t say applied to the Duchess of Cambridge or the Duchess of Cornwall.


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She is like another daughter to Her Majesty, they are that close.”

The monarch is said to admire Sophie’s dedication to her marriage and determination to uphold her wedding vows.

Sophie is viewed as a family woman, committed to the upbringing of her two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

The sovereign also respects the way in which Edward’s wife tried hard to integrate herself into the Royal Family and to conform to its ways and standards.

She made sure that she learnt how to ride properly, to fish, to shoot game, and even mastered the art of driving a carriage.

A Palace source confided that the closer to Sophie the Queen becomes, the more she depends on her.

The source explained: ”She talks to Sophie in the way she used to talk to Princess Margaret.

“Sophie has filled a terrible gap in the Queen’s life that was left when her sister and the Queen Mother died in 2002.”

Both women also share a fascination in military history.

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