Sophie Wessex and Edward taken step back as Firm dazzles at summit

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Despite being touted as new members of the Firm last year, the pair are conspicuously absent in Glasgow. Following the death of Prince Philip, and the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from senior royal duties, the Wessexes have increasingly been seen as key members of the monarchy. The pair were among the very first visitors to the bereaved Queen after the death of Prince Philip in April.

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge have both so far held prominent positions at the climate summit, so it may be that the Prince and Countess are taking a step back in order to let the future kings shine.

Prince Charles gave a speech in the opening ceremony of the summit, where he urged world leaders to put themselves on a “war-like footing”.

He said: “We need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector, with trillions at its disposal.”

Prince William, speaking at the climate summit yesterday, called on world leaders to act “for our children and our children’s children”.

If we are to achieve our goal to repair our planet in what is now less than a decade, it is our shared responsibility to continue thinking differently, acting boldly, and making the impossible, possible,” he said.

He and the Duchess of Cambridge dazzled fans as they hosted a reception for key members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative and the Winners and Finalists of the first Earthshot Prize Awards – Prince William’s £50million climate change initiative.

The Duchess of Cambridge was pictured wearing a blue floor-length gown, while Prince William wore a navy suit.

The event took place on the sidelines of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

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Earlier in the day, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with scouts at Alexandra Sports hub in Dennistoun as part of their activities to support the summit.

The couple met with the young Scouts to talk about the movement’s PromiseToThePlanet campaign.

The two future kings have both been holding a central position at the summit after the Queen was forced to cancel her attendance, owing to health issues.

This followed the cancellation of her trip to Northern Ireland and an overnight stay in hospital – her first in more than eight years.

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However, the 95-year-old monarch still addressed delegates via video link from Windsor Castle in a speech that she delivered on Monday.

The speech saw the Queen give future kings Prince Charles and Prince William a lesson in kingship, as she explained the difference between “government and politics” and “true statesmanship”.

She said: “For more than seventy years, I have been lucky to meet and to know many of the world’s great leaders. And I have perhaps come to understand a little about what made them special.

“It has sometimes been observed that what leaders do for their people today is government and politics.

“But what they do for the people of tomorrow — that is statesmanship.

“I, for one, hope that this conference will be one of those rare occasions where everyone will have the chance to rise above the politics of the moment and achieve true statesmanship.”

“It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit – written in history books yet to be printed – will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations.”

Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward live at Bagshot Park, just 11 miles from Windsor Castle.

The pair are likely to be providing comfort to the 95-year-old monarch, who is currently undertaking “light duties” at the royal residence.

The Countess of Wessex has forged a close bond with the Queen following her marriage to the monarch’s youngest son in 1999.

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