The Countess of Wessex has given a rare and personal interview, where she has spoken about the future of her two children, Lady Louise and James Viscount Severn, her frustrations on giving up her career when she married Prince Edward and her thoughts on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's departure from the royal family.
Speaking to The Sunday Times' Christina Lamb following a trip to South Sudan in March, the royal opened up about her family life, revealing that Prince Edward is a hands-on father, and how their life is very normal, despite being part of the royal family.
Sophie with her daughter Louise and son James
On how Edward helps her with every day chores such as cooking, the mother-of-two revealed: "He is very good at barbecues, and the children love those. He takes our son fishing, does a lot of riding with our daughter, he is very engaged as a father."
Sophie and Edward have kept their children's life quite private since they were born, only appearing at a handful of royal events per year. "They go to a regular school [they both attend top independent schools]. They go to friends for sleepovers and parties," she says of Louise, 16, and 12-year-old James.
"At weekends we do lots of dog walking and stay with friends. I guess not everyone's grandparents live in a castle, but where you are going is not the important part, or who they are. When they are with the Queen, she is their grandmother."
Sophie praised Edwards's hand-on approach to parenting
The 55-year-old added: "We try to bring them up with the understanding they are very likely to have to work for a living. Hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but I think it's highly unlikely."
On the future hopes for her teenage daughter, Sophie reveals she would like to see her go to university. "I wouldn't force her, but if she wants to. She's quite clever, so I think probably, whereas James I don't know," she explains.