Sophie and Edward ‘forgiven’ by Royal Family after ‘humiliating’ misstep early on

Sophie Wessex: Experts discuss Queen's view on royal

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward are due to embark on their Caribbean tour in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee today. However, at the last minute — without any explanation as to why — Grenada was removed from the list of countries. Sophie and Edward were set to visit the island nation alongside Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. 

In a statement, the Palace said that the couple hoped to visit Grenada at a later date, but did not confirm a new time. 

Despite not wanting to be full-time working royals at the beginning of their marriage, Sophie and Edward have become integral members of the Firm.

And while their transition into seniority has been smooth, one royal expert claims that their royal careers stemmed from a humiliating misstep. 

Royal commentator and PR expert Kinsey Schofield recalled how the Earl and Countess got ‘in trouble’ for mixing their business with royalty. 

Instead of working as royals, Sophie and Edward had initially pursued their own careers — the countess in public relations and the prince in TV production. 

But the lines between their monetised businesses and status as members of the Royal Family soon became blurred, and the royal couple were subsequently “humiliated”.

Ms Schofield told “They [Sophie and Edward] attempted to half in half out; Sophie wanted to continue with her PR firm and Edward wanted to be a producer — he wanted to produce content.

“And when they kind of got in trouble for mixing that royal element in with their day-to-day monetised businesses — they were humiliated.”

Just two years after their wedding, Sophie was at the centre of a PR scandal — the so-called “Sophie tapes”. 

Ms Schofield explained: “The Sophie scandal happened when a reporter recorded her talking about her royal contacts during a business meeting.”

In 2001, while running her own public relations firm, Sophie reportedly met with Mazher Mahmood, a News of the World reporter pretending to be a sheikh.

During an encounter, guised as a business meeting, Sophie made some eyebrow-raising remarks about British politicians and members of the Royal Family. 

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The Countess disparaged former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s wife, Cherie, saying she was “horrid”. 

Perhaps most damning, she appeared to abuse her royal connection, allegedly saying: “When people find we’re working for you, the chances are you’ll get people interested. 

“[They’ll say,] ‘Oh, gosh, they’ve employed the Countess of Wessex’s PR company.’”

Once the scandal hit the tabloids, Sophie stepped down from her position, releasing a statement about the proceedings.

It read: “I am deeply distressed by the carrying out of an entrapment operation on me and my business but I also much regret my own misjudgment in succumbing to that subterfuge.”

“This has been a difficult time for me. I take very seriously the issues raised and, naturally, regret any embarrassment above all to the Queen.”

Meanwhile, Edward was working at Ardent Productions, which he had founded in 1993. 

Despite a well-received ITV documentary about his great-uncle Edward VIII — who famously abdicated the throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson — Ardent Productions was largely seen as a “joke” within the industry; the head of one of Ardent’s more successful counterparts told The Guardian in 2002.

That year, Edward left the company and began life as a full-time working royal. 

Ms Schofield, the founder of LA-based royals site,, claims that this is a “great example of forgiveness within the Royal Family”.

She said: “The Royal Family allowed them to come back in.

“And now, they are single-handedly two of the most important faces in the Royal Family right now, that tells you that forgiveness is there and forgiveness is possible, not only within the family but within the world. 

“Now these are two of the strongest faces within the Royal Family and within the brand itself. 

“Forgiveness is possible. This family’s very forgiving.”

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