Sophie, Countess of Wessex had private photos of herself with Christ Tarrant published in a British tabloid after announcing her engagement to Prince Edward. Speaking on the Channel 5 documentary ‘Edward & Sophie: The Reluctant Royals?’, royal experts explained how the photos were taken over a decade before Sophie had met Edward were leaked to a newspaper by a former colleague. Sophie was left devastated when the pictures were published and said it ruined her engagement.
Narrator Glynis Barber said: “Just weeks before the wedding, they learnt how difficult it would be to escape the glare of the press.
“Sophie and Edward were given the taste of the unwanted intrusion of the tabloids.”
Royal expert Ingrid Seward added: ” newspaper got hold of a photograph that was 11 years old and it was Sophie when she worked for Capital radio.
“She was larking about with Chris Tarrant who was also a big part of Capital radio.”
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Ms Barber continued: “The photograph showed Sophie with her chest partially exposed.
“It was taken during a 1988 business trip which saw Sophie, Chris Tarrant and his co-presenter Kara Noble travel to Spain.”
Ms Montagu added: “There was no point of that photo coming out.
“This was before she had even met and before she was even dating Prince Edward.”
Ms Barber said Ms Noble had taken the photo and sold it for £40,000 to the press along with other photos.
Ms James said: “Sophie is said to be the daughter-in-law that the Queen gets on the best with.
“Shots of the two women together show them looking like friends, with Sophie adopting some relaxed, confident and down-to-earth body language when she is with her mother-in-law.”
She added: “After seeing her other children’s marriages end in disaster, the closeness could be seen as a sign that the Queen might well have sensed Sophie was good for her youngest Edward.
“Sophie’s air of confident strength seems to have had a very settling effect on Edward too.”