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Ten Interesting Facts About Sophie, Countess of Wessex

Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Photo:Richard Yo/Rex

Hailed as one of the most active members of the British Royal, Sophie, Countess of Wessex has been dedicating her life to the service of the Crown and of the country. Hugo Vickers wrote of her: “Her unthreatening, supportive presence has clearly endeared her, and she and Prince Edward enjoy a cosier relationship with his parents than has been the experience of the other brothers.” Here are ten interesting facts about her that might interest you to know her even more.

She was not born a royal.

Born on January 20, 1965, Sophie's father was a tire salesman while her mother was a secretary.

She was named after her father’s sister.

Sophie was named after Helen, her father’s sister who perished from a riding accident more than a decade before Sophie was born.

Sophie was a career woman before she joined the royal family.

Sophie worked for a variety of PR firms, including as a ski representative in Switzerland until she opened her own company, RJH Public Relations.

She was given an eye-popping engagement ring.

Sophie was given a luscious engagement ring by Prince Edward on their engagement made by Asprey and Garrard at an estimated cost of £105,000.

Sophie and Edward were married at St. George’s Chapel.

The couple tied the knot at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on June 19, 1999, a break from the tradition set by other members of the royal family who married at Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's Cathedral on grand and elaborate celebrations.

She was embroiled in the News of the World scandal.

In 2001, a News of the World undercover reporter, Mazher Mahmood, pretended as sheikh and recorded his telephone conversation with the countess, exposing her for her scathing comments about some government official and for seemingly using her position to gain clients for her company. The following year, the countess ceased operating her business.

The Countess used to be the second lady of the land.

Until Prince Charles’ wedding to Camilla and after changes in royal precedence on private occasions, Sophie took precedence immediately behind the Queen. Today, in official ceremonies, she ranks behind the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Sophie suffered a life-threatening labor.

The Countess’ life was put to danger after her placenta suddenly burst, forcing her to loss a great amount of blood and give birth prematurely to her eldest child, Lady Louise Windsor, in 2003.

The Countess of Wessex’s children do not hold any royal title.

The Countess’ two children, Louise and James, were actually entitled to be style prince and princess, however, after, she and the Earl made it known that they wish their kids to be simply styled as children of an earl.

The Countess, together with the Earl of Wessex, represents the Queen abroad.

As senior representatives of the Queen, the Earl and Wessex are the ones sent to attend the weddings of heirs apparent. So far, the couple has attended the weddings of the Crown Prince of Norway, the Crown Prince of Denmark, the Crown Princess of Sweden, then-Crown Prince Felipe of Spain and the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg.


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