New mother Samantha Hawkins wishes Sophie luck on her pregancy as she introduces the 38-year-old royal to her four-day-old daughter Eleanor
Photo: PA
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The Countess chats with expectant mum Pamela Carrell during the visit
Photo: PA

16 JULY 2003
Sophie Wessex, nearly 20 weeks into her own pregnancy, met with patients and staff at a Surrey hospital maternity unit just ten minutes from her Bagshot House home on Tuesday.

Dressed in a cheerful white suit with a summery pink flower print, Prince Edward's wife was relaxed and smiling as she chatted with new mothers in the ward and even received some advice from some of the more experienced parents.

"She asked me whether I took to motherhood easily, and I told her you learn together," said Samantha Hawkins, 36, who introduced the Countess to her four-day-old daughter Eleanor. "I got the impression she was looking forward to (being a mum), and I said good luck."

The 38-year-old royal, who suffered an ectopic pregnancy in 2001, was expected to take a break from duties until the birth of her child. However, Sophie has continued with a light agenda in addition to the Frimley Park Hospital visit, she also appeared at Ascot last month.

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