Heritage

Who Is Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, Queen Elizabeth's Daughter-in-Law?

She's an under-the-radar royal style icon.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / CHRIS JACKSON
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The Queen's daughter-in-law Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, just might be the most stylish royal you haven't heard of yet. Here's everything you need to about Prince Edward's wife.

SOPHIE WAS BORN SOPHIE HELEN RHYS-JONES IN JANUARY OF 1965 IN OXFORD.

She is the second child of Christopher Bournes Rhys-Jones, a retired salesman, and the late Mary Rhys-Jones, who was a secretary. She has one older brother named David.

SHE AND PRINCE EDWARD WERE MARRIED AT WINDSOR CASTLE IN 1999.


Sophie and Edward on their wedding day.

In terms of royal weddings, it was a rather intimate affair and wasn't televised.

SHE IS KNOWN AS THE COUNTESS OF WESSEX.


Sophie and Edward at the wedding of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Sofia Hellqvist in Sweden.

On their wedding day, the Queen conferred the titles of the Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn upon Prince Edward, and so Sophie became known as Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex.

Edward will reportedly take on his father's title of Duke of Edinburgh upon Prince Philip's death, and at that point, Sophie will become a Duchess.

THEY HAVE TWO CHILDREN TOGETHER.


Here’s the whole family at Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle in May.

Their daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, is 14 and their son, James, Viscount Severn, is 10.

THE COUNTESS HAS HAD HER SHARE OF SCANDALS, BUT NOW, SHE'S THOUGHT TO BE ONE OF THE QUEEN'S FAVORITE PEOPLE.


Sophie and the Queen at Christmas in 2008.

After high school, Sophie worked in publicity at Capital Radio and later at the firm Brian MacLaurin before starting her own PR business, R-JH, reports the BBC. But in 2001, she had to step away from her company following a scandal.

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A reporter posed as "an Arab sheikh offering lucrative business to her firm," reported the Wall Street Journal, and Sophie made "indiscreet remarks" about both British politicians and members of the royal family, which were later published.

Since then, as the Telegraph put it, "she has scarcely put a foot wrong," and has become one of the Queen's trusted confidants. "[The Countess] is probably the best example of an outsider coming into the family and learning on the job,” royal biographer Robert Jobson told the British paper.

“She’s very much the Queen’s favorite, and you’ll notice that whenever there is a family holiday or gathering, Sophie and Edward often stay a while longer than the rest.”

SOPHIE IS A FULL-TIME WORKING ROYAL.


Sophie on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the Trooping the Colour celebration in 2016.

According to her biography on the royal family's website, she is the patron of over 70 charities, many of which support young people and children, and avoidable blindness.

“There is no smile quite like the one that is returned from eyes that once more can see,” she told the Sunday Express. It's a cause close to her heart, as her daughter Lady Louise was born with an eye condition known as strabismus, which has since been corrected. "Her eyesight is perfect," Sophie said.

The Countess is also a Royal Colonel of 5th Battalion the Rifle and the Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps of Army Music and of Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. She also supports the Queen at events both in the UK and abroad and is present at a number of royal events throughout the year, including Trooping the Colour and Remembrance Day.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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