Prince Edward employed ‘caution before commitment’ as he watched brothers’ marriages fail

Sophie Wessex joins Wellbeing of Women campaign

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His wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex is the new patron for Wellbeing of Women and was recently praised for talking publicly about her experience with the menopause. In a video – that was shared on the Royal Family’s Instagram page – Sophie spoke candidly about periods and the issues she had as her body went through its natural changes. Sophie said: “Nobody talks about the menopause. Why not?

“It’s something that happens to us 12 times-a-year – it is something that is incredibly normal but it’s something that is very hidden.

“And, I think it’s time to say enough.”

The Wessexes are also stepping up their royal duties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and Megxit – the term that was coined to describe Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s exit from the Firm.

In particular, Sophie’s popularity has soared – and even saw BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing’s Shirley Ballas claim she’d love to see the royal on the show.

Ms Ballas added: “Sophie Wessex, she is the one.

“I know she loves the show and she’s been at the studio a couple of times and watched the show.

“She’d be amazing, she is an avid fan of Strictly.”

The news of the Wessexes stepping up in their roles appears to have been received well.

But, Ingird Seward editor-in-chief for Majesty Magazine revealed that prior to Sophie joining the Firm officially and publicly, Edwards was very aware of his siblings history with relationships.

This in turn, made Edward take cautionary measures to make sure that his future wife felt comfortable and welcomed into his family.

In her 1995 biography of Prince Edward, Ms Seward wrote: “The failures of the marriages of his beloved sister Anne and then, in rapid and ever more embarrassing succession, Andrew and Charles, made him even more determined to put caution before commitment.”

Sophie and Edward were married in 1999 and had their royal wedding in Windsor.

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Ms Seward wrote about how much Edward wanted to have his then-girlfriend by his side and that the Queen permitted them to be “together under her roof” which “marked a significant change in attitude and approach”.

In the past both Sarah Ferguson – affectionately known as Fergie – and Princess Diana were not permitted to stay in Buckingham Palace until they were engaged, to Prince Andrew and Prince Charles respectively.

The Earl of Wessex even issued privacy statements in an attempt to protect Sophie and this was carried on by Harry and Meghan.

In 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they were quitting the Firm so that they could focus on their wellbeing and have more privacy.

In the same year, Sophie gave an interview with The Sunday Times to talk about the work she did in South Sudan.

The Countess spoke with journalist Christina Lamb about Harry and Meghan’s exit.

When reflecting on the pressure she faced when joining the Firm, Sophie said: “Remember I’d had five years to adjust.

“And, for our six-month engagement, I was even staying at Buckingham Palace.

“Not that you necessarily know how it will pan out.

“We all try to help any new member of the family.

“I just hope they are happy.”

Harry and Meghan dated for 15 months from 2017 and the couple got married in May 2018.

Sophie is said to have a close relationship with the Queen and was tasked with telling the media about how Her Majesty had been coping following the death of her husband Prince Philip.

The Countess and Earl of Wessex have two children – 17-year-old Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, 13.

It was also recently revealed that the likes of Edward, and his children, will move further down the line of succession, due to two new royal babies joining the Firm.

Both of Meghan’s and Princess Beatrice’s new babies are expected later this year, which means Sophie has moved further away from becoming Queen consort.

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