SOPHIE Wessex is the wife of the late Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward.
Known more formally as the Countess of Wessex, Sophie has become a beloved member of the Royal Family – from her marriage to the prince to her children, here’s everything you need to know.
Sophie Wessex is married to the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward
Who is the Countess of Wessex?
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, was born Sophie Helen Rhys Jones on January 20, 1965, in Oxford.
On January 20, 2033, Sophie turned 58.
She is the second child of parents Christopher Bournes Rhys Jones and Mary. Touchingly, Sophie – who has an older brother David – was named after her father’s sister Helen who died in a riding accident five years before her birth.
She was raised in a four-bed 17th-century farmhouse in Brenchley, Kent, and began her education at Dulwich Preparatory School and attended Kent College School for Girls, before completing her education at West Kent College.
While at Kent College she became friends with Sarah Sienesi, with whom she shared a flat in Fulham and who later became her lady-in-waiting.
After leaving school, Sophie embarked on a career in public relations working for a variety of firms, before opening her own public relations agency, which she co-ran for five years.
The Countess also worked as a ski representative in Switzerland and spent a year travelling and working in Australia.
More recently, Sophie splits her time between her work in support of King Charles and visits to a large number of her own charities and organisations. The Countess has a wide range of interests which include supporting people with disabilities, the prevention of blindness in developing countries, agriculture and fashion.
When did Sophie Rhys Jones meet Prince Edward?
The Countess met Prince Edward at a real tennis event in the summer of 1993. After dating for several years, the happy couple announced the news of their royal engagement in January 1999.
Prince Edward proposed to Sophie with a two-carat oval diamond flanked by two heart-shaped gemstones set in 18-carat white gold and was made by the Royal jeweller Garrard & Co.
It is worth an estimated £105,000.
When was their wedding?
Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys Jones were married on June 19, 1999, at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle – the same location that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said I do.
The couple had a relatively simple Royal wedding, with no ceremonial state or military involvement.
Despite the low-key affair, the celebration was watched by 200 million viewers.
On their wedding day, Prince Edward was created a hereditary peer as Earl of Wessex, and Sophie the Countess of Wessex.
The couple then spent their honeymoon at Balmoral Castle, before moving to Bagshot Park – their home in Surrey.
Who are Prince Edward and Sophie’s children?
The Earl and Countess have two children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
In December 2001, the Countess was taken to the King Edward VII Hospital after feeling unwell, before discovering that she was suffering from an ectopic pregnancy and the foetus had to be removed.
Two years later, on November 8, 2003, she prematurely gave birth to their daughter, Lady Louise, resulting from a sudden placental abruption that placed both mother and child at risk.
The Countess had to undergo an emergency caesarean section at Frimley Park Hospital, while the Earl of Wessex rushed back from Mauritius.
The Countess returned to Frimley Park Hospital on December 17, 2007, to give birth by caesarean section to their son, James Viscount Severn.