Sophie Wessex emerges as new royal ambassador – ‘confirms her ascent within the Firm’

Sophie Wessex and children arrive at Prince Philip’s funeral

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The monarch gave her daughter-in-law a “prime position” at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle as the long life of the Royal Family’s monarch was honoured. Under Covid-secure seating arrangements which meant the separation of households, Sophie was seated “diagonally opposite the Queen, within her line of sight”.

The mother-of-two looked visibly upset as she bid farewell to Prince Philip alongside her husband Prince Edward and their children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn.

The Sunday Times reported: “Sophie’s central role, which saw her repeatedly appear to speak on behalf of the monarch last week, confirms her ascent within the Firm.”

After Buckingham Palace announced the death of Philip on April 9, Sophie was the first royal to speak in public.

She told crowds gathered outside Windsor Castle that the Queen had been “amazing”.

The following day she revealed intimate details about the duke’s final moments.

She said his passing had been “so gentle” and added: “It was just like somebody took him by the hand and off he went. Very, very peaceful and that’s all you want for somebody, isn’t it?”

Sophie was among a handful of royals who comforted the Queen after the death of her husband of more than 73 years.

She and Edward live in Bagshot Park, 10 miles from Windsor Castle.

After the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down from their royal roles last year, Edward and Sophie were tipped to have their profiles boosted.

The departure of Hary and Meghan shattered the image of the so-called “Fab Four” which included the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Royal Family was forced to call off a string of engagements last year as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

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But as things begin to return to normal with the rollout of the vaccine, royal fans could be set to see more of Sophie over the coming months.

In 2019 she carried out 236 royal engagements, the highest of any royal spouse.

Body language expert and author Judi James paid close attention to the Countess of Wessex when she appeared at Saturday’s sombre family gathering.

Ms James said Sophie been “the most magnificent royal buffer and airbag”.

And she credited her for keeping an eye on the Queen and chatting to Harry to “make things go smoothly”.

She added that she had personally noted the “levels of grief” in the eyes of Mike Tindall, who was at one point “lost in reflection” during the service.

Commenting on the family as a whole, she said: “It was almost as though they were surprised themselves at how hard Philip’s death had hit them.

“They’re clearly going through ongoing turmoil…and as a family member I
do think he will be irreplaceable for them.”

Sophie ran her own PR firm in the early years of her marriage to Edward before quitting her career to become a full-time working royal.

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