Sophie Wessex honoured as she follows in Prince Philip’s footsteps with new Army role

Sophie Wessex: Experts discuss Queen's view on royal

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The Countess of Wessex has taken over the Duke of Edinburgh’s former position as Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (Reme). Sophie was appointed by the Queen, who is head of the Armed Forces.

The Countess’s new role was announced on Wednesday the day after Philip’s memorial service.

Sophie was said to be extremely honoured to be following in her father-in-law’s footsteps.

The Duke held the honorary title for more than 50 years, becoming Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps in 1969.

Formed in 1942, the Reme is responsible for maintaining all the equipment the British Army operates from tanks and helicopters to weapons and communications equipment.

The Royal Family said on Twitter how the Corps combined the Duke’s “enduring support of the Forces, and keen interest in engineering”.

Sophie held an audience with the Reme Master General Lieutenant General Paul Jaques and Colonel Jason Phillips on Wednesday to formally receive the title.

Lt Gen Jaques said the Countess’s appointment would build on the legacy left by the Duke.

He said: “I am very much looking forward to welcoming the countess to the home of the Corps in MoD Lyneham to meet more of our amazing soldiers, see the technical training facilities and to discuss the Corps’ support to all those in the Reme Family – Cadets, regular soldiers, reserve soldiers, veterans and their families.

“His Royal Highness The Prince Philip served for more than 50 years as Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps of Reme, and always took a very keen interest in the Corps’ business.

“We look forward to a long and happy association with the countess, building on the legacy that the late Duke of Edinburgh leaves, in ‘keeping the punch in the Army’s fist’.”

Last week, during a visit to the headquarters of 5th Battalion The Rifles, Sophie met Reme soldiers currently attached to the Battalion, to hear about their work supporting the unit.

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It comes after members of the Royal Family attended a memorial service for the Duke at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday.

Sophie arrived with her husband Prince Edward and their two children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

The Queen, who used a walking stick, was escorted to her front row seat by Prince Andrew.

The 95-year-old monarch had been determined to make an appearance at the deeply personal occasion in honour of her beloved husband, with her attendance only confirmed in the morning.

It marked the Queen’s first major official engagement outside of a royal residence for nearly six months.

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