Sophie, the Countess of Wessex was left grappling with scandal after she was claimed to have made controversial comments on public figures to a reporter disguised as a potential client of her PR firm. The Countess of Wessex faced “horrible consequences” after the Queen was also found to have been the subject of her conversations with the reporter – or so-called “fake sheikh”. Speaking to Channel 5’s documentary ‘Edward&Sophie: The Reluctant Royals?’, commentator Christina Lamb said: “She was rather indiscreet to say the least in some of her description of people like then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, who she described as presidential, and his wife Cherie as being ‘absolutely horrid.’
“And she referred to the Queen as an ‘old dear’.”
The Countess also touched upon the controversial issue of Prince Charles’s relationship with his former lover Camilla Parker-Bowles and their potential marriage.
Royal author Angela Levin said: “She was asked about Charles and Camilla and she said that a lot of people didn’t want Camilla to be queen.
“But when the Queen Mother died he would certainly marry her.”
The controversial statements had Sophie face serious embarrassment both in public and within the Royal Family.
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Commentator Ayesha Hazarika said: “So to have just dished the dirt on someone she didn’t really know, he was just a prospective client, was incredibly naive and it had terrible consequences.
“Because, of course, it was a huge story.”
However, royal expert Roya Nikkhah pointed out the Countess was quick to recover from the scandal, showing her position as a close confidante and support to the Queen had not come into question.
Ms Nikkhah said: “It was a very painful lesson for her to learn but the fact that she was able to be rehabilitated after that shows just how valued she was, and still is, in the Royal Family.”
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Following the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in March, the Earl and the Countess of Wessex have been identified as potential substitutes to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in royal representative duties.
Indeed, both Sophie and Edward joined efforts throughout the lockdown to boost morale by moving their official engagements online and appearing alongside other senior members of the Royal Family to send reassuring messages to the public.
And their efforts are due to be repaid in full in the future as the Earl and Countess are due to follow in the footsteps of the Queen and Prince Philip with a beloved title they will receive.
Upon their marriage, Edward and Sophie received a minor role compared to the ones Prince Charles and Prince Andrew received when they wed.
Her Majesty indicated the move was part of a long-term plan to have her youngest son and daughter-in-law the style of Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh once the title reverts back to the Crown.