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Sophie set for Diana charity role

March 7, 2004
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The Countess of Wessex is expected to take over a charity role which was made famous by Princess Diana. Sophie has been asked to become a patron of WellBeing, which raises funds for research into premature labour.

In a move which will further raise her public profile, the 39-year-old will support fundraising and publicity events for the organisation. Sophie has been reluctant to take on any responsibilities that were previously handled by Diana, but the experience of an ectopic pregnancy and nearly losing her first baby is thought to have changed her mind. Both she and Lady Louise became seriously ill after she went into labour one month early on November 8 last year.

Premature labour is the biggest cause of death among infants, but WellBeing - which was previously known as Birthright - has been struggling since losing its royal link. It is hoped, however, that Sophie can help the charity rebuild its public profile.

In Kensington Palace, meanwhile, it seems Princess Diana's old quarters may soon have a new tenant, because the apartment is to be converted into offices and rented out. "The space would be suitable for offices, rented out on a commercial basis," said a spokesman.

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Photo: ©
Until now the Countess has been reluctant to accept any of Princess Diana's roles. It is believed that the frightening experience of nearly losing her first child persuaded her to give WellBeing her support
Photo: ©
The Princess of Wales is seen here at a Birthright event with TV personality David Frost. Diana's tireless support helped the charity grow hugely during the Eighties and NinetiesPhoto: © PA

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