Kate Middleton and Sophie Wessex: Expert discusses roles
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Lady Louise Windsor, 17, has been raised outside of the Firm but in recent weeks Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward’s daughter caught the attention of royal fans as she joined her parents for several engagements following Prince Philip’s death.
Louise was the first of Philip’s grandchildren to step out in public following the Duke’s death as she joined Sophie and Edward for a special church service to honour him All Saints Chapel Windsor.
Louise was a picture of composure and impressed royal fans as she put on a brave face while her parents spoke to reporters about Philip’s last moments.
In the days that followed Louise stepped out again when she joined mum Sophie to read tributes to Philip left by mourners in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The royal teenager and her brother James, Viscount Severn, were the youngest members of the Royal Family to attend Philip’s funeral on April 17 and were seated beside their parents for the poignant service at St George’s Chapel Windsor.
Louise is said to have been extremely close to the late Duke and shared his passion for carriage driving.
She has inherited Philip’s treasured ponies and trap, which he taught her to drive.
Despite Louise having kept a low profile she is a much-loved member of the Windsor clan and is said to be the Queen’s favourite grandchild.
The Wessexes were the first royals to visit Philip and the Queen at Balmoral last summer after lockdown restrictions were relaxed, a sure sign they are favourites.
A royal insider told The Sun: “The Queen loves the fact that Louise and James relish their time at Balmoral, and she has become particularly close to Louise, who seems to have become her favourite grandchild, closely followed by James.
“Louise also endeared herself to everyone by looking after William and Kate’s children when they were up here.
“Louise loves drawing and sketching and was very patiently trying to get Charlotte to do pictures of rabbits and deer.”
The Queen appreciates Louise “artistic skill” and even allowed her to look through some precious royal artworks during her time in Scotland, the source claimed.
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They added: “Because of her obvious artistic skill, the Queen allowed Louise to look through some of the collection of Queen Victoria’s Highlands sketches which are kept at Balmoral but are rarely dug out these days.”
Could Lady Louise take on a bigger royal role in future?
Following Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s departure from the Firm last year, Sophie and Edward have taken on more royal duties and experts have described the Countess as the “Royal Family’s secret weapon.”
But despite Sophie and Edward burgeoning roles within the monarchy, they have raised their children as private citizens and neither Louise nor James are expected to become working royals.
Touching on her and Edward’s decision not to raise their children with their HRH styles and titles, Sophie previously told the Sunday Times Magazine: “We try to bring them up with the understanding they are very likely to have to work for a living.
“Hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but I think it’s highly unlikely.”
Louise is currently studying for her A-Levels and attends private girls’ school St Mary’s Ascot.
Louise lives with her family at Bagshot Park in Surrey.
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