Royal fans call to make Sophie Wessex a Duchess

Sophie Wessex praised for becoming a royal ‘marvellously’

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On Thursday, the hard-working royal attended ZSL London Zoo to meet with experts and children in a tour of the new exhibit called Monkey Valley. The festive visit saw Sophie get up close to ring-tailed lemurs and other animals while she met with local children and learned more about the Zoological Society of London, the international conservation charity.

The late Queen Elizabeth was patron of the Zoological Society of London since her coronation in 1953 until her death in September.

The excitable children helped the Countess fill Christmas-themed boxes with gingerbread men, sweet potato treats, and wrapped presents for the lemurs to find in their enclosure.

ZSL Director General Matthew Gould spoke after Sophie’s visit saying: “We were honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness to ZSL London Zoo today, to join in some of our festive, educational activities, learn more about ZSL’s vital science and conservation work, and visit Monkey Valley – which itself has an important link to the Royal Family.”

The Snowdon Aviary was recently restored and was designed in the 1960s by Princess Margaret’s ex-husband the late Earl of Snowdon, Anthony Armstrong-Jones.

The Grade II listed aviary is now home to 10 Eastern black and white colobus monkeys as part of Monkey Valley.

Following an Instagram post on the Royal Family’s official page about Sophie’s visit, royal fans praised the Countess with some even calling for her to be made a Duchess.

Instagram user @darlenemusciano noted that “the countess does so well by being [a] normal royal” and Sophie’s relatability to the public is a major factor in her increase popularity.

Another fan said: “Sophie is my new favourite royal. Classy, beautiful, giving, funny and intelligent.”

The Countess and her husband Prince Edward have been increasingly seen in the public eye in recent years as senior royals rallied around the Queen amid her ailing health and to fill in gaps left by other family members.

User @dcypl2 commented: “This woman DESERVES the Coronet of a Duchess!! She and her husband have been a strong support to the crown and should receive the title promised to them by the late Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth!”

The title of Countess is equal to that of a Duchess but as Edward is the only child of the Queen who was made an Earl rather than a Duke, Sophie is instead a Countess.

However, it is thought that Sophie will be honoured with the title Duchess of Edinburgh if Prince Edward becomes the Duke of Edinburgh, inheriting the title from his late father.

The title of Duchess of Edinburgh has not been used since Queen Elizabeth II acceded the throne in 1952, she had held the Duchess title since 1947.

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Upon the death of his mother, King Charles III inherited his father’s title but upon becoming King the title is now open to be given to one of his brothers which is the King’s decision.

However, it was previously reported that Prince Philip had expressed his wish for his youngest son to inherit his title, and Charles reportedly agreed to ensure this happened.

While it is thought that the King will keep to his late-father’s wishes, Edward previously told the BBC: “It was fine in theory, ages ago when it was sort of a pipe dream of my father’s.

“Of course, it will depend on whether or not the Prince of Wales, when he becomes king, whether he’ll do that, so we’ll wait and see. So yes, it will be quite a challenge taking that on.”

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