Prince Edward stunned royal observers during his engagement announcement with Sophie, Countess of Wessex. The Earl of Wessex broke with royal protocol by kissing Sophie for the cameras and holding her hands. Royal expert Richard Kay said that the romantic display of affectation was a first for a royal couple announcing their engagement.
Kay discussed the engagement announcement at St James Palace for Channel 5’s documentary ‘Edward & Sophie: The Reluctant Royals?’.
He said that Prince Edward “showed a modern approach” in his engagement to Sophie Wessex by holding hands and kissing her in front of the cameras.
The documentary narrator Glynys Barber said: “Edward and Sophie were speaking openly about their relationship for the first time.
“Even Edward knew he couldn’t break this royal tradition, embracing the spotlight for a brief moment.”
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Kay said: “Edward demonstrated a much more modern approach.
“He actually kissed his future bride for the cameras, which no-one had ever heard of a royal doing before.”
“They also held hands. This really did look like a couple who were in love.”
Sophie and Prince Edward married in 1999 after dating for around six years.
The narrator Glynys Barber added that this was an important milestone for the Royal Family after a difficult time.
Ms Barber said: “The wedding was a happy and welcome occasion for the Royal Family after a difficult few years.
“This came after the divorces of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew and the tragic death of Princess Diana.
“The British public were hoping that this royal marriage would stand the test of time.”