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Sophie and Edward ‘respected’ in royal circles amid ‘noise’ of Cambridge-Sussex rift

Sophie Wessex's fierce defence of Lady Louise Windsor

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex and her husband Prince Edward were among the Royal Family members to attend a lavish royal wedding ceremony earlier this week. Flora Alexandra Ogilvy and Timothy Vesterberg tied the knot at St James’ Palace on Friday. She is the granddaughter of the Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra.

The couple actually married last year, but were prevented from having the grand ceremony a royal wedding warrants by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, so marked their union with a blessing ceremony at the Palace.

Sophie and Edward, the youngest child of the Queen and Prince Philip, have been heavily praised in recent months.

Sophie gave an emotional interview with Naga Munchetty for BBC Radio 5 Live in June, where she reflected on the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Russell Myers, royal editor of The Mirror, told Pod Save the Queen podcast: “The Wessexes are riding a wave of popularity, aren’t they?

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“It’s no secret that the royals are happy to push them out in front. Certainly Sophie, I think we saw a different side to her after Prince Philip’s death.

“She was the one who was breaking to the world, sort of, the nature of him slipping away and saying how it was peaceful.”

Sophie told Ms Munchetty that, in her opinion, the pandemic prolongs the grieving process.

She explained: “It’s only when you would do the normal things that you would have done with them, and you suddenly realise that they are not there, that you really start to have an ‘oh my goodness’ moment.”

Fighting back tears, she said: “Just talking to you now, it’s a bit of an ‘oh my goodness’ moment.”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s death, she said, left a “giant-sized hole” in the lives of the entire Royal Family.

The Wessexes have been taking up an increasing number of royal engagements.

Sophie is a full-time working royal, and has taken on an even bigger role since her nephew Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle stepped back from royal duties and moved to Meghan’s native California.

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Mr Myers told the podcast that Philip’s death demonstrated just how close she is with Her Majesty, and how much of a trusted family member she is.

He said: “She gets on very well with the Queen. The Queen sees her like another daughter and certainly with Edward as well, I think their family are becoming more popular figureheads really.

“All the noise that we’ve had with the Cambridges, with the Sussexes, the rifts and the splits and Oprah Winfrey interviews and whatever.

“The Wessexes are quite respected because they just get on with the job.

“Certainly Sophie has been doing her role diligently for the past couple of decades and only now is possibly getting the recognition that she deserves.”

He explained how Edward is also a very popular figure within royal circles.

Sophie and Edward have two children together — Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn. Louise is reported to be the Queen’s favourite grandchild and was gifted the Duke’s ponies and carriages after he died.

Louise will turn 18 in November, and will be given the option to take up her HRH titles.

Royal author Phil Dampier told Fabulous that Lady Louise is “definitely a favourite of the Queen” and expects her to have an important role in the future.

Mr Myers added: “I think that the children won’t necessarily have a front and centre role to play within royal life, but Sophie said recently that that would be their decision to make once they come to a certain age.

“I think you’ll see a lot more of the Wessexes coming out in future months.”

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