Sophie, Countess of Wessex famously has a close relationship with the Queen, often spotted accompanying her at royal events or to her weekly church service. Royal watchers have often said the Queen sees Sophie as a daughter, and they have several interests in common.
Sophie is married to Prince Edward, the Queen and Prince Philip’s youngest son.
The close bond between the Wessexes and the Queen was evident in them being the first royals to visit her at Balmoral.
The Queen and Prince Philip are currently at Balmoral in Aberdeenshire, for their annual summer break.
Sophie, Prince Edward and their two children Lady Louise Windsor, 16, and James, Viscount Severn, 12, were spotted visiting the Queen in early August.
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They enjoyed a socially distanced walk around the grounds of the castle with the Queen.
The Scottish royal residence is where the Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, are spending the end of their summer – and usually enjoy several royal visits there each year.
Due to coronavirus any visiting royals will have to socially distance themselves from the monarch.
This will have been a welcome reunion for the Queen and Sophie, as they normally spend a fair amount of time together.
They said: “If Sophie Wessex is staying at Sandringham then you can pretty much guarantee the Queen will ask her – usually last thing on a Saturday night – if she would like ‘a lift’ to the church.
“And the same happens at Balmoral. The Queen likes to be completely calm before church and she finds Sophie’s presence soothing.
“Who gets the backseat is also one of those quirky royal ways that signals who is in favour.
“For example, Princess Anne may be staying at the same time, but how often do you see her in the Rolls?”
Cementing their bond, there is one joint interest the Queen and Sophie enjoy discussing at length.
However, Prince Philip does not share this love according to experts “raising his eyebrows” when the two royal ladies are chatting.
The shared interest is in military history, and a friend of Sophie revealed the Monarch and Sophie sometimes watch films together.
The friend said: “This fascination with military history is a key to the pair’s closeness.
“They’ve watched countless films together and at weekends the pair are sometimes gone for hours, poring over documents in the Royal Archives, which are kept at Windsor Castle.
“Sophie is hugely well read on her military history, she’s proud of her knowledge of military campaigns, and she and the Queen can chunter on for hours about whether this general or that admiral made the right move in some battle or other.
“If Philip is around he just raises his eyebrows and goes into another room.”