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Sophie, Countess of Wessex becomes Queen’s ‘mainstay support’ as royals ‘share passion’

Sophie Wessex ‘didn’t make a fuss’ says Angela Levin

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Her Majesty The Queen, 95, shared her home with her late husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh for more than 73 years, from when they married in November 1947 until he passed away in April 2021. Royal fans and experts worried the absence of the Duke, whom the monarch described as her “strength and stay”, would have a toll on her.

However, writing in the Daily Express, royal biographer Christopher Wilson suggested the Queen is well-surrounded and taken care of

He said: “But while the head that wears the crown may feel lonelier than ever now, the heart that leads the House of Windsor has been given much support.

“Since she was widowed her family has rallied round the Queen, with Sophie, Countess of Wessex becoming the mainstay in her support.

“Sophie shares the Queen’s passion for horses, and they have ridden out regularly together at Windsor over the past 15 years, but they have more in common than that.”

Mr Wilson was told by an insider: “It’s little-known that the Queen counts among her many interests a great love of military history, and this is something Sophie shares.

“They exchange books on the subject.

“Sophie will often come over from Bagshot Park to stay at Windsor for a night or two, with or without Prince Edward, and she and the Queen have long and meaningful talks.”

Sophie, 56, has lately become a favourite royal – both for her work and her assistance to her mother-in-law.

She married the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex in 1999. Since then, she has seen — and helped — the Firm go through a series of mishaps.

The stepping down of Prince Andrew, Duke of York in 2019 pushed Sophie’s role within the Firm up a nudge.

Then, the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who stepped back from the Palace and moved to the US last year, further heightened her position.

As the Royal Family lost three main players — Andrew, Harry and Meghan — Sophie’s royal commitments inevitably grew.

She and her husband are currently carrying out more than 500 royal engagements a year, more than Prince William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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This week, the Countess of Wessex has hosted an afternoon tea at St James’s Palace for four ambassadors of a charity with a cause close to her heart.

The Scar Free Foundation, which she has been a patron of since 2003, aims to achieve scar-free healing through “life-changing medical research”.

The charity took a small group of eight to 12-year-olds along for tea to tell Sophie about what life was like living with scars, and the impact these had on them.

The Countess said: “I am so grateful to have you helping to educate and inform people about the problems of scarring.

“Your knowledge is power and you are helping The Scar Free Foundation to make people more aware by sharing your stories.

“It’s important that people see the person, not just the scars.”

In 2019, body language expert Judi James told Express.co.uk: “When Sophie married Edward she was hailed as the new Diana.

“But what followed looked like a masterclass in hunkering in as the soap-opera-free royal bride who managed to be a stabilising influence on her husband while keeping press and royal fan attention to a minimum.”

This “stabilising influence” echoes Mr Wilson’s account of the “mainstay support” the Countess is offering Her Majesty.

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