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Why the Countess of Wessex's new patronage is close to her heart

The royal has personal connections to the charity

Emmy Griffiths

It has been announced that the Countess of Wessex has become the new Patron of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. The royal family's official Twitter account announced the exciting news on Monday, with a statement which read: "Her Royal Highness has been pleased to support the charity for many years, having personally experienced the vital care of the Air Ambulance emergency service in 2001." Indeed, the charity is particularly important to her as the royal was airlifted to hospital from her home in Bagshot Park, Surrey by the Thames Valley Air Ambulance in 2001, when she suffered a potentially
life-threatening ectopic pregnancy. The Countess underwent a two and a half hour emergency operation at the King Edward VII's Hospital, but sadly lost her baby.

The Countess is the new Patron of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance

Sophie also had to undergo an emergency caesarean in 2003 with her daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, who was born prematurely following a sudden placental abruption. The royal previously offered her support in November 2018 by opening the emergency medical care provider's new headquarters in Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire. During her visit, she toured the new facility and learned more about the service's expansion over the region.

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Speaking about the Countess' appointment, Thames Valley Air Ambulance's Chairman, Sir Tim Jenner said: "We are delighted that Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex has accepted our invitation of Royal Patronage. It reflects her long-standing interest in our service and formally recognises how vital our emergency service is to our community. With The Countess' support, we will continue to push the boundaries of advanced pre-hospital care to give our patients the best possible chance of survival and recovery." The past week has been a busy time for Sophie, who also celebrated her 54th birthday. The royal family publicly wished the mother-of-two a happy birthday by sharing a gorgeous photo of her. The snap was taken in October 2018 at Princess Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank, and showed Sophie walking to St George's Chapel in Windsor.

READ: Royal family celebrate Countess of Wessex's birthday – see the gorgeous photo

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