Sophie’s importance within the Royal Family has become increasingly apparent to royal commentators and fans alike after years of work conducted behind the scenes and far from the spotlight. However, one royal expert believes Sophie’s contribution to the Royal Family could still grow with the passing of the years after both the Countess and her husband Prince Edward have shown to be “invaluable” to the Crown.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “Although it is not expected that her children will carry out royal engagements, there is little doubt that her work and that of her husband Prince Edward, is invaluable.
“It is probable that, as there are now fewer working royals, it might increase in the years ahead.
“She is serious and committed and her favourable image and popularity reflect the success she has had in her royal role.”
Sophie has been described by royal sources last year as a “dedicated and hard-working” royal who is “always busy” but largely operates behind the scenes.
Last year, in the midst of the national crisis prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and the internal turmoil created by the decision of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to stand down as senior royals, sources dubbed Sophie “the Royal Family’s secret weapon” for quietly carrying on with her work despite the disruption.
Speaking about Sophie’s commitment to the Crown and her work, Mr Fitzwilliams said: “The Countess of Wessex has a fairly low public profile as a senior working member of the Royal Family, which is as she likes it.
“She does a very considerable amount of work, much of it under the radar.
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“Her excellent relationship with the Queen is well known.
“She has been a full-time member of the Royal Family since 2002 and is linked to over 70 charities and undertakes some 200 royal engagements a year.
“These have included visits to Sierra Leone and South Sudan where she met victims of gender-based violence.”
Sophie is believed to be very close to the Queen, who sees her “like another daughter”, according to a source who spoke to in 2019.
They added: “The Queen is also mindful that Sophie’s marriage has survived where her other children’s relationships have failed – and she knows that is in no small way down to Sophie’s dedication – she is aware, as his Edward’s mother, what a tricky creature he can be.”
Both Prince Edward and Sophie are part of the New Firm plans revealed in December.
At the end of last year, a royal source claimed the Queen had given the go-ahead to reshape the monarchy into a streamlined and more united group, which will see its members work closely to one another and attend more joint engagements.
The insider told the Mirror: “The family are united in exploring the possibilities in working with each other to highlight the causes dear to their hearts, helping each other and the country at the same time.
“They are working on opportunities for next year and beyond already.
“As soon as they are able it will be all hands on deck to make up for lost time.
“The Queen has often said they ‘need to be seen to be believed’ – this is coming from the very top.”
Sophie joined the Royal Family in 1999 upon marrying Prince Edward.
The focus of her royal work is on issues ranging from women in business to avoidable blindness.
Earlier this week, the Countess opened up on her work during a webinar focused on conflict-related sexual violence.
She said: “I always think that I can be in a room with one or two women or with a group of women, particularly those that had been survivors of sexual violence, and to hear their stories, you know when you’ve got tears dripping off your chin, I mean you just, you can’t help but weep with them because they are so terrible, these stories.”
She added: “It really is heartbreaking and I’ve gone to some very dark places, you know, internally.
“But I’m not living it and therefore if they can survive, if they can put one foot in front of the other, then for goodness’ sake, of course, I can.”