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Why the Countess of Wessex's births were so different from other royal mums

The royal is married to Prince Edward

sophie wessext
Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
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The Countess of Wessex and her husband Prince Edward share two children together, Lady Louise Windsor, 18, and James, Viscount Severn, 14.

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Former PR manager Sophie and her family live at their home of Bagshot Park in Surrey and the royal is reportedly loved by the Queen due to her hard-working down-to-earth nature.

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We saw this modest side to the Countess when she welcomed her children in 2003 and 2007, as the place she chose to give birth at was an NHS hospital – highly unusual for a member of the royal family.

Aside from the Queen giving birth to her four children at her home of Buckingham Palace, most royal ladies have welcomed their babies at private hospitals - one assumes for added seclusion away from other patients.

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wessex family

From left to right: James, Edward, Louise, Sophie

So while the Duchess of Cambridge and her late mother-in-law Princess Diana welcomed their children at the Lindo Wing of London's private St Mary's Hospital, and the likes of Sarah Ferguson, Princess Eugenie and the Duchess of Sussex gave birth at the exclusive Portland Hospital, Sophie and Edward chose Frimley Park NHS Hospital in Surrey.

Giving birth to Lady Louise was a tough experience for Sophie; the royal had an emergency caesarean section a month earlier than her due date.

The official announcement at the time read: "Her Royal Highness and her daughter are both stable. As a purely precautionary measure, the baby was taken to the regional neonatal unit at St George's Hospital, Tooting."

baby louise

Sophie and Edward chose an NHS hospital for the births of their two children

Sophie herself came close to death during the emergency caesarean after she lost nine pints of blood through internal bleeding. While baby Louise received specialist care at St George's Hospital, Sophie remained 35 miles away in Frimley Hospital for another 16 days.

In 2014, The Mail reported on a return trip that Sophie made to Frimley Hospital to open the hospital’s new neonatal unit. She said: "The service you can provide can literally make the difference between life and death. I can attest to that."

In 2007, the couple had also welcomed their second child, James, at the same hospital, this time with a much more straightforward delivery. Proud dad Edward revealed that the birth had been "a lot calmer than last time" and that his wife was "doing very well".

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