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The Countess of Wessex bends royal rule on visit to Sierra Leone

The Countess of Wessex enjoyed a quick two-day tour

Jenni McKnight

The Countess of Wessex enjoyed a two-day royal visit to Sierra Leone this week. During the whirlwind trip, Sophie showed off her warm nature, while also managing to bend royal protocol in the process! The Countess was spotted taking a selfie-style photo with staff at the Aberdeen Women's Clinic in Freetown on the second day of her visit on Thursday. While it's not strictly a rule, the royals tend to avoid taking selfies with the general public, but Sophie delighted the hard-working staff by obliging them with a sweet snap. She even managed to appear in a selfie within a selfie! Now that's impressive.

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Sophie took a sweet selfie-style photo with staff at the Aberdeen Women's Clinic

Members of the royal family have rarely willingly stopped to pose for a selfie with fans. In the spirit of goodwill, Prince William once obliged a schoolgirl by taking a selfie with her on Christmas Day at Sandringham in 2014. But generally speaking, royals politely decline photographs as they are often focused on an engagement when out in public, and in their working capacity. The times when you may see them in a selfie is when they've accidentally photobombed one.

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William obliged a schoolgirl by taking this selfie in 2014

MORE: The rules the royal family has to follow - from curtseying to no selfies

Prince Harry once admitted that he "hates selfies". During a visit to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, he turned down the request of a young fan, explaining: "No, I hate selfies. Seriously, you need to get out of it (the habit), I know you're young, selfies are bad. Just take a normal photograph!"

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He may not like them but Prince Harry still took a selfie with this young fan

MORE: Royal family selfies: from Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton to the Queen

The Queen has also previously revealed that she finds it "disconcerting" and "strange" when she is faced with a sea of people trying to take selfies with her. The implication was that Her Majesty considers it bad manners for well-wishers to be looking at a screen when she makes public appearances as a guest. She confided in US Ambassador Matthew Barzun, who told Tatler: "She was essentially saying: 'I miss eye contact'."

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