Mary Rhys-Jones died in hospital on Sunday with her daughter at her bedside, Buckingham Palace has confirmed
Photo: Empics
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The Countess' mother, seen above (right) at Sophie's 1999 wedding to Prince Edward, was reported to have been diagnosed with cancer in May
Photo: Empics

29 AUGUST 2005

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The Countess of Wessex is mourning the loss of her mother, Mary Rhys-Jones, who passed away in hospital on Sunday aged 71.

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Sophie, wife of Prince Edward, is "deeply saddened" by her beloved mother's death, a spokesperson for the 40-year-old royal announced. A statement from Buckingham Palace said that former charity worker Mary died peacefully after a short illness. The Countess, her only daughter, was at her bedside.

While the cause of death was not revealed, in May it was reported that Mary had been diagnosed with cancer and had an operation to remove a tumour from her colon.

A private funeral is planned, and arrangements for a thanksgiving service have yet to be announced.

Also surviving Mary are her husband, Christopher Rhys-Jones, and son David.

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