Sophie Wessex joins Wellbeing of Women campaign
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Sophie shared a candid insight into going through the menopause as she became patron of the charity Wellbeing of Women this week. She described losing her train of thought on royal engagements and feeling as if somebody had taken her brain out while secretly experiencing symptoms. The 56-year-old said she had hot flushes, memory loss and brain fog, which all symptoms of the menopause.
Sophie is thought to be the first member of the Royal Family to discuss their own experiences of the issue in public.
During a vide chat with Sarah Jane Cale, founder of the Positive Menopause website, she said:”You know in the middle of a presentation when you suddenly can’t remember what you were talking about, try being on an engagement when that happens – your words just go.
“And you’re standing there and going, ‘Hang on, I thought I was a reasonably intelligent person, what has just happened to me?’
“It’s like somebody’s just gone and taken your brain out for however long before they pop it back in again and you try and pick up the pieces and carry on.”
Sophie’s confession prompted a flurry of support on social media for “shining a light” on the issue.
Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter wrote on Twitter: “Fantastic to see Sophie shining a light on another of life’s taboo topics.”
Hello! royal editor Emily Nash added: “It’s brilliant to see the Countess of Wessex speaking so frankly about the menopause:”
Another Twitter user said: “Hope this raises the profile of this important issue.”
And someone else wrote: “She’s fabulous!”
Sophie also highlighted the importance of ensuring women still feel valued and supported while going through the menopause.
She said: “Really we should be celebrating the fact that we don’t have to have periods any more – it should be a liberation, but it feels like a shackle.
“It’s described as something incredibly negative.
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“Yes, it’s an admittance of the fact that we’re getting a bit older, we’re not as young as we were before, we’re not being, you know, to use the word ‘productive’, we are past that stage, and it’s quite a moment to admit it.”
She also spoke of the “superficial” media pressure on women to appear skinny, beautiful and looking youthful even while going through the menopause.
Sophie said: “We’ve got to be fit, we’ve got to be clever, we’ve got to be looking skinny, we’ve got to be looking beautiful, we’ve got look 25 years old for the rest of our lives.
“But unfortunately our bodies are going, ‘Well, you now, that’s fine, you can do all of that on the outside as much as you possibly can, or as much as you can possibly afford to’.
“But on the inside things are a little different, you know. The inside hasn’t been listening to social media, it’s just gonna happen.”
The countess, who is a mother to 17-year-old Lady Louise Windsor and 13-year-old Viscount Severn, also called for better education of girls.
She said: “How much are young girls actually told at the beginning? Because I don’t remember having these lessons at all.
“When we’re told that we’re going to begin our periods, are we told that they’re going to end as well?”
Sophie then called for any taboo in talking about periods and the menopause to be broken.
She said: “We all talk about having babies, but nobody talks about periods, nobody talks about the menopause, why not?
“It’s something that happens to us 12 times a year, it’s something that’s incredibly normal but it’s something that is hidden and I think it’s time to say enough, we need to bring this out on to the table and say let’s talk about this.”
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