Queen's reliance on Sophie Wessex discussed by expert
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Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 56, her husband Prince Edward, 57, and their two children Lady Louise Windsor, 17, and James, Viscount Severn, 13, will be among the 30 guests to attend Prince Philip’s funeral this afternoon. While Sophie and Edward kept a relatively low profile after first becoming working royals in 2002, the couple have come to the fore following Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s departure from the Fold.
The Countess was one of the first Royal Family members to speak out following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death on Friday, April 9.
After she and Edward visited Queen Elizabeth II, 94, at Windsor Castle last Saturday, Sophie told reporters the widowed Queen had “been amazing.”
Then on Sunday, Sophie spoke out again after attending a special service to honour the Duke at All Saints Chapel in Windsor.
Speaking to a member of the congregation, the Countess touchingly described the Duke’s last moments.
Sophie said: “It was right for him. It was so gentle. It was just like somebody took him by the hand and off he went.”
She added: “Very, very peaceful and that’s all you want for somebody isn’t it?
“So, I think it’s so much easier for the person that goes than the people that are left behind.”
Sophie is said to be the Queen’s favourite daughter-in-law and often represents the Queen on important trips abroad.
Prince Edward is the only one of the Queen’s children not to have divorced which is said to be partly why she has a soft spot for Sophie.
One royal commentator has claimed the Countess has been a huge source of comfort to the Queen in the days following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “Of all the statements put out by members of the Royal Family after Prince Philip’s death, the interview given by the Countess of Wessex was the most moving and emotional.
He added: “She described Prince Philip’s death as if ‘someone took him by the hand and then he went. Very peaceful, which is what you want for somebody isn’t it’.”
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He added: “She said this to a member of the public and it touched people’s hearts.”
Sophie is “extremely close” to the Queen, according to Mr Fitzwilliams who claimed they spend a lot of time together.
The expert added: “Sophie has become extremely close to the Queen who spends a great deal of time with her and she will be a great comfort during this sad period.”
Following both Prince Andrew and the Sussexes withdrawal from royal duties, Sophie and Edward’s roles within the monarchy are more important than ever.
Sophie and the Queen are bonded over certain passions, including military history and films, Mr Fitzwilliams claimed.
The expert said: “Her quiet dedication to royal duties is approved of by the Queen, who also enjoys watching films and discussing military history with her.
“She is one of the monarchy’s trump cards both at present and in future years.”
Sophie and Edward live at Bagshot Park in Surrey with their two children.
Lady Louise and James are the Queen’s youngest grandchildren and will be the youngest guests at Philip’s funeral.
The 30-person limit on guests due to coronavirus meant none of the Queen and Philip’s 10 great-grandchildren were able to attend the service.
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