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Royal heartbreak: How Sophie and Edward lifted Royal Family spirits during time of crisis

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Prince Edward’s marriage to Sophie, the Countess of Wessex was a welcome celebration for the Royal Family. This put significant pressure on Prince Edward and his new bride to have a successful marriage following the failure of the Queen’s two sons’ marriages. Channel 5’s royal documentary Edward and Sophie: The Reluctant Royals?, explored the pair’s lasting impact on the Royal Family.

The narrator Glynys Barber said: “On June 19th 1999 Prince Edward married ‘commoner’ Sophie Rhys-Jones at St George’s Chapel Windsor.

“It was the first time one of the Queen’s children had chosen Windsor as the setting for their wedding.”

Royal commentator Rebecca English reflected on the feeling of the wedding at the time.

She said: “Sophie and Edward wanted a wedding that was a bit more personal and family orientated.

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“There was just a bit more joyful family feeling about it.”

The narrator Glynys Barber added that this was an important milestone for the Royal Family after a difficult time.

Ms Barber said: “The town took on a festive atmosphere as thousands of people queued to get a glimpse of the bride and groom.

“The wedding was a happy and welcome occasion for the Royal Family after a difficult few years.

“This came after the divorces of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew and the tragic death of Princess Diana.

“The British public were hoping that this royal marriage would stand the test of time.”

Other royal commentators noted that Prince Edward and Sophie were initially seen as an unlikely couple.

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Viscountess Hinchingbrook Julie Montagu said: “Edward and Sophie could not have had a more different upbringing.

“Edward’s mother is the Queen of England and growing up with that.

“He grew up in the limelight all of his life compared to Sophie.

“Who in comparison, probably never thought that in a million years she would be marrying into the Royal Family.”

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