Sophie, Countess of Wessex turns 56 today and as well as the usual birthday wishes, the Countess has received a special plug from her mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth II, 94. The Countess provides vital support to the Crown and her valued royal work got a mention from the Queen on her birthday.
Sophie is married to Prince Edward, 56, who is the only one of the Queen and Prince Philip’s children not to have divorced.
The Queen, who is known to value longevity, is said to have a soft spot for Sophie – in part because of her enduring marriage to Edward.
However, Sophie has also gained recognition for the low-key but effective way with which she conducts her royal duties, prompting some experts to dub her the Royal Family’s “secret weapon.”
On Wednesday, the Queen sent a birthday tweet to Sophie via the Royal Family’s official Twitter account.
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The tweet read: “Yesterday, The Countess of Wessex joined a @LSE_WPS webinar to discuss her experiences of working within the Women, Peace and Security agenda, alongside peacebuilders @venuwanand @ab_hajibrahim.
“The WPS agenda promotes the meaningful participation of women in peace processes.”
The tweet was followed up with two more, further promoting Sophie’s work to combat violence against women this time in conversation with charity Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.
The first message in the second set of Tweets read: The Countess also caught up with @end_svc Survivor Champions @haoussou and @ntunasi yesterday.
“Her Royal Highness discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict (PSVI) initiative, and how the pandemic has presented new challenges for survivors.”
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Speaking about her work to tackle sexual violence against women, Sophie previously told the Sunday Times Magazine: “You read your brief, but don’t really know what to expect, then get there and, oh my God, this is just a drop in the ocean, what can I do?
“At my most depressed times I think what’s the point, but then, like today, they ask, ‘Please can we have more torches.’
“Even if I made the tiniest difference … if we can get them torches, encourage the men, then it was worth going.”
Asked if she spoke to the Queen about these trips, Sophie said: “She is interested in my trips, particularly in Commonwealth countries.
“I don’t know how many countries she has visited. Every time I come back from a place she has been there.”