Queen develops close bond with her ‘new favourite grandchild’ as Sophie Wessex steps up

Queen enjoys ‘enormous freedom’ at Balmoral says expert

The Queen has a large family, with four children, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren – with more on the way. Her son Prince Andrew is often claimed to be her favourite child, but a royal insider has declared the monarch also has a favourite grandchild.

The Queen’s children include Prince Charles, 72, Princess Anne, 70, Prince Andrew, 60 and Prince Edward, 56.

She also has eight grandchildren, Peter Phillips, 43, Zara Tindall, 39, Prince William, 38, Prince Harry, 36, Princess Beatrice, 32, Princess Eugenie, 30, Lady Louise, 17 and James, Viscount Severn, 13.

The whole family typically comes together to celebrate family milestones, Christmas and Easter holidays and also spend weeks together during the summer break.

Although the Royal Family has been unable to come together this past year due to coronavirus restrictions, the Queen is understood to have forged a close relationship with one of her youngest grandchildren.

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A source has claimed Louise, the daughter of Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex, is becoming the Queen’s “favourite”, closely followed by her younger brother, James.

The 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.”

The Queen typically spends the summer months at her Scottish residence in Balmoral and was able to get away to the Castle last summer as coronavirus restrictions eased.

Sophie Wessex, Prince Edward and their two children were able to join the monarch this summer as they stayed in separate houses.

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Balmoral has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since 1852 and Queen has visited Balmoral every summer of her 68-year reign, typically staying for three months at a time.

Sophie and Edward have stepped up in recent months, taking on the work of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after they quit the Royal Family.

The Countess of Wessex has undertaken several key roles during the pandemic and has been described as an “incredible source of comfort and support” for the Queen and other senior royals.

Royal expert Rebecca English has said Megxit provided an opportunity for Sophie Wessex to stand out.

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She told Mail Plus Palace Confidential: “They view it as an opportunity for her star to shine.

“And rightly so, she has been doing some really powerful work behind the scenes for a long time, particularly, over sexual violence against women.

“She brings a lot to the table, and she is an incredible source of comfort and support to the Queen.

“And also, actually to the Duchess of Cambridge – they have developed a really good friendship, there, which is something that I think will stand Kate in great stead moving forwards as a future Princess of Wales and as a future Queen.

“And I think Sophie will be there as a small, still voice of calm.”

Sophie has joined the Queen’s “New Firm” of eight senior royals, which was unveiled in December last year.

The other members of the Royal Family include Sophie’s husband, Prince Edward, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and the Queen.

The Queen hopes this new group of senior royals will carry out joint engagements when they are able to and coronavirus restrictions have eased.

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