In an emotional new interview, the Countess of Wessex has opened up about how Prince Philip's death has affected the Royal Family.
Sophie spoke with BBC Radio 5 Live's Naga Munchetty, who she invited in to her home of Bagshot Park for a revealing conversation that brought the royal to tears at one point as she said his loss at age 99 has "left a giant-sized hole in our lives."
"I think, unfortunately, the pandemic has slightly slewed things in as much as, it's hard to spend as much time with the Queen as we would like to," she told Naga. "We've been trying to, but of course, it's still not easy. And of course, the normal way of things isn't normal yet, so we're not necessarily doing the things that we would normally have done with him. So I think the whole grieving process is probably likely, for us, to take a lot longer."
She added she thought that was probably the case for many families who have lost a loved one during the pandemic.
"If you're not living with somebody 24/7, the immediate loss isn't necessarily felt the same way, as if somebody was in the house with you all the time," she went on. "So, if they were normally at a slight distance living down the road, whether it be 15 minutes or 1,500 miles, it's only when you would do the normal things that you would have done with them, and you suddenly realize that they are not there, that you really start to have an 'oh, my goodness' moment."
Sophie was also visibly emotional during Philip's April 17 funeral at St George's Chapel in Windsor. Photo: © Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images
The mom of two teared up as she shared a memory of a trip she, Prince Edward and their children took to Scotland for half term. While sharing her feelings about the trip, Sophie called viewers' attention back to a beautiful photograph of the Queen and Philip relaxing at the top of the Coyles of Muick, smiling warmly at the camera, which the Royal Family shared after Philip's death. She said she took the photo while she was pregnant with Lady Louise Windsor.
"And just to be there in that place, was an 'Oh, my God' moment," she said. "So I think they'll come and go. But you have to let them come and let them go. But just talking to you now, it's a bit of an 'oh, my goodness' moment, and you don't necessarily expect them to come, and I had the same when I lost my mother. I'd be fine – absolutely fine, fine fine – and something happened, or you'd hear a piece of music, or you'd do something and suddenly, you would, you know, get taken off at the knees.
"There will be lots of moments like that," she continued, "but it's good to remember."
Earlier this year, Sophie and Edward told The Telegraph that the pandemic had been "staggeringly difficult" for the Queen and Philip, since they are so used to being around other people.
"For them, life is so much about contact, it's so much about people and then suddenly that all stops," he said.
The couple shared that they attempted to have socially distanced meetings with Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh on the Windsor Castle grounds.
"We used to see them stand on the balcony, which was about 20 feet up in the air," Sophie said. "We'd see them waving. We'd shout at them and they'd shout back at us. It always seemed to be windy, so we could barely hear each other."