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Sophie Wessex celebrates her birthday in a stunning red dress with the prettiest detail

Prince Edward's wife is the belle of Buckingham Palace…

Laura Sutcliffe

The Countess of Wessex turned 55 on Monday (no, we can't believe it either - she looks so much younger) and wow, doesn't she look beautiful? The blonde royal headed to Buckingham Palace with her husband Prince Edward, sister-in-law Princess Anne and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for a royal reception which marked the UK-Africa Investment Summit. The event was hosted by Prince William and Kate on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen and Sophie decided to dress up for the occasion, wearing a beautiful red dress by Alaia with capped sleeves and a low-cut back, which she teamed with tan heels. The mother-of-two wore her trademark hair in a half-up style and as ever, her flawless yet subtle makeup looked fresh and glowing.

Watch the royals arrive at Buckingham Palace

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Birthday girl Sophie looked gorgeous in red at the Buckingham Palace reception

Kate and Sophie are very close indeed. Of course, both have an exquisite style, and often wear similar items. At the start of January, Duchess Kate wore a blue £95 Hicks and Brown 'Suffolk Fedora' which Sophie has in cream. And last year, fashion designer Donna Ida told the Daily Mail that Sophie often buys her pieces, but also picks up a little extra something for her royal relative. She explained: "She [Sophie] got our [£295] black Sadie jumpsuit for herself and then asked for one for Kate. She said: 'Kate wants one, can I get one as well?'" Who would have thought it?

MORE: The clever way The Countess of Wessex accessorised her puffer jacket with heels and a belt

In 2018, the pair teamed up and hosted a special fashion event at Buckingham Palace. Together the duo showcased a fashion initiative, on behalf of the Queen, known as the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange.

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Kate and Sophie in 2018

Duchess Kate was pregnant at the time and looked incredibly fresh and poised in a patterned dress by Erdem.  Sophie wowed guests in a black Burberry V-neck dress, which hugged her slim frame and gave her super-polished look, while her blonde hair was styled in a sophisticated updo.

READ: All the times Lady Louise Windsor has borrowed her mother the Countess of Wessex's clothes

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