Prince Edward reads pandemic message from Queen to General Synod
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The Queen’s youngest son, 57, has been among the senior royals standing in for Her Majesty in recent weeks. It comes as the 95-year-old monarch has been resting after she was believed to have received advice from doctors following her packed recent schedule. Last week Edward delivered the Queen’s message to the General Synod, the Church of England’s national assembly.
Speaking on behalf of the Queen, the Earl of Wessex described the pandemic as a “time of anxiety, of grief, and of weariness”.
Edward and his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, are among the Queen’s most loyal subjects, who the monarch is able to depend on to deliver key messages.
However, in his younger years, Edward had a reputation as one of the Royal Family’s more controversial characters.
The Earl is credited with one of the Firm’s greatest PR blunders of all time: ‘It’s A Royal Knockout’.
Edward organised and starred in the 1987 charity event alongside his sister, Princess Anne, brother, Prince Andrew, and sister-in-law Sarah Ferguson.
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Despite enthusiasm from Edward – a passionate thespian – the day drew a damp response from the media, much to the royal’s disappointment.
Addressing reporters after the event, he angrily stormed out of the press conference following “criticism”, according to an unearthed interview with Hello! Magazine’s late royal correspondent Judy Wade.
The expert spoke for the 1999 documentary, ‘Prince Edward & Sophie Rhys-Jones: The True Story’, which was filmed in the run-up to the couple’s wedding that year.
She said: “The day that he was filming ‘It’s a Knockout’ it was a horrible day.
“The weather was foul. The media sat drenched in the rain all day long.
“So, at the end of the day when he came in for a press conference with everybody, and he said, ‘Don’t you think that was wonderful?’, they also said, ‘Well, no, not really’.”
Ms Wade said that the media had “hardly any access” to the royals at the event.
She added: “They certainly weren’t allowed to get any pictures because Edward had done an exclusive deal and they were all thoroughly fed up.”
The documentary includes footage of Edward from the press conference in which he addresses reporters.
He said: “I only hope that you’ve enjoyed yourselves. Have you?”, before being met with almost complete silence.
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The Prince replied: “Well thanks for sounding so b****y enthusiastic. What have you been doing in here all day?”
He then asks the media what they thought of the event, before storming out of the press conference after again being met with a lacklustre response.
Ms Wade claimed that Edward took the lukewarm feedback from the press as a “terrible personal criticism”.
She said: “I remember one reporter filing a story that he flounced out of the press conference like a ballerina with a ladder in her tights.
“He was just not prepared to see the other side of the story.
“He couldn’t see that this huddled mass of wet reporters and photographers were just thoroughly fed up and wanted to go home.”
‘Prince Edward & Sophie Rhys-Jones: The True Story’ is available to watch on YouTube.
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