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Once derided as the “black sheep”, Sophie became the queen’s rock

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wife of Prince Edward and once known as the “black sheep” of the family, was so close to Queen Elizabeth II that she was among the small group of family members called to the monarch’s bedside when she died on Thursday, according to the Times of London.

Sophie Rhys Jones, 57, became the first middle-class professional woman to join the royal family when she married Edward in 1999. Her mother was a secretary and her father was an executive at a tire company. Sophie had been working for Capital Radio when she met Prince Edward in 1987. She then moved to a PR firm, where she ran campaigns for children’s books.

Her professional life came to an embarrassing end in 2001 when she was duped by a News of the World reporter posing as a potential client for her PR firm. She was caught on tape making comments about then-Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie, which she called “terrible, absolutely horrible”.

Sophie initially struggled with public life but eventually found her step.
Sophie initially struggled with public life but eventually found her step.
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Prince Edward and Sophie on their wedding day in 1999.
Prince Edward and Sophie on their wedding day in 1999.
Tim Graham Photo Library via Get

Though initially struggling with royal duties, Sophie was helped by the Queen and learned to “manage expectations,” she told the newspaper.

Following the death of the Queen’s husband last year, the monarch appointed Sophie Colonel in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, one of Prince Philip’s military roles

As pandemic restrictions were partially lifted, Sophie and the Queen bonded over daily walks through Windsor Great Park and over their shared love of military history, and spent hours together poring over old documents in the royal archives, according to the Times.

Sophie and her husband, Prince Edward, arrive in Balmoral on Thursday evening.
Sophie and her husband, Prince Edward, arrive in Balmoral on Thursday evening.
PA Images via Getty Images

Sophie’s two children were also close to the Queen. Their eldest, Lady Louise Windsor, now 18, learned to drive carriages at Prince Philip’s estate and paid tribute to him at the Royal Windsor Horse Show’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier this year by driving his carriage in front of the Queen.

https://nypost.com/2022/09/10/once-derided-as-black-sheep-sophie-became-queens-rock/ Once derided as the “black sheep”, Sophie became the queen’s rock

JACLYN DIAZ

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