Prince Harry ‘in regular contact’ with the Queen says expert
Sophie, 55, has been described as a safe pair of hands for the Royal Family, known for being reliable and supportive to all members of the Firm. She wed the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward in 1999 and, despite a rocky start in the public eye, is considered to be the Queen’s favourite senior royal. To many royal watchers, it seems natural for Sophie to then transition into being at the forefront of the Firm, especially following Meghan and Harry’s decision to leave the royal frontline and Prince Andrew’s early retirement.
However, the Countess of Wessex has a different idea for her royal future.
Asked if she would be stepping into the gap left by the Sussexes any time soon by journalist Christina Lamb, she replied: “We’ve all got our own little portfolios.
“I don’t see anything changing, but if we’re asked to do more… I don’t know because it hasn’t really happened.”
She later added: “I am pretty busy already, so I’m not sure how much more I can do.
“There are only so many hours in the day.
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Sophie has been pipped to step into Meghan and Harry’s place following Megxit
“People may pay more attention to what I am doing, but I remain as busy as I have ever been.”
She did indeed carry out more engagements than any other royal spouse in 2019, accumulating 236 – more than even Prince William.
Even so, there was speculation that she and Edward would make up a new ‘Fab Four’ with Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and William.
Kate and William had been dubbed the ‘Fab Four’ alongside Meghan and Harry, before reports of a deepening rift emerged between the two couples.
In December, the Queen presented her new selection of senior royals, which has now slimmed down to just seven figures.
Kate and William’s young family now has the most in common with the Wessexes, making joint work between the four parents likely to be incredibly popular.
READ MORE: Sophie Wessex faced same crisis as Meghan: ‘Whatever I do I can’t win’
Meghan and Harry left the Royal Family last March
However, Sophie could also have been showing her loyalty to the Duchess of Sussex, by avoiding the topic.
Ms Lamb claimed Sophie “is said to have become a confidante to Meghan” during the Duchess of Sussex’s two years on the royal frontline.
Frogmore Cottage, the Sussexes’ home, is only 10 miles from Sophie’s home with Edward, at Bagshot Park.
Additionally, Sophie appeared to be in the best position to assist the former actress with her transition into being a member of the Firm, having also come from a middle class background with her own successful career under her belt.
Sophie worked in PR, but had to give up her private company after a minor crisis in 2001 when she was secretly recorded making disparaging remarks about the Government and referring to the Queen as an “old dear”.
The Countess also seemed to defend Meghan’s struggle to adapt to royal life, when she told Ms Lamb: “Remember, I’d had five years to adjust, and for our six-month engagement I was even staying in Buckingham Palace.
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William, Harry, Meghan and Kate were once known as the Fab Four
Edward, Sophie, William and Kate appeared close back in December
“Not that you necessarily know how it will pan out.”
She said: “We all try to help any new members of the family.”
Even so, the Sussexes only seemed able to have an amicable conversation with the Wessexes during their final royal engagement back in March.
During her interview with the Sunday Times magazine, Sophie concluded, “I just hope they will be happy”, making her one of the few royals to actually address Megxit – the terms used for Harry and Meghan’s exit from royal life.
There are alternative reports which suggest Meghan actually spurned Sophie and Kate’s attempts to help her settle into royal life.
Royal Family: The Wessexes and Cambridges have appeared close for years
The Queen has presented her new senior royals formation in December
The Duchess of Sussex took part in a bombshell interview in October 2019, where she admitted “not many people have asked if I’m OK”, and that she was only “surviving” not “thriving”.
Royal commentator Rebecca English claimed: “I have been told that Kate — and the Countess of Wessex — both repeatedly ‘reached out’ to the Duchess, particularly after she voiced her unhappiness on a television documentary.
“But they were rebuffed.”
Sophie also seemed to concede to Ms Lamb that she could not “raise the profile” of any of her causes by the same level as royals such as the late Princess Diana did — which could also explain why she would not push to replace the Sussexes.
She has stayed away from the spotlight ever since the leaked audio in 2001 meant she had to forfeit her PR company and Edward gave up his production firm.