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The Queen celebrates the Countess of Wessex's birthday with sweet photograph

Sophie turned 57 on 20 January

The Queen shared a touching photograph and message to mark the Countess of Wessex's 57th birthday on Thursday. The post shared on the royal family's social media account showed Sophie cuddling a puppy during a visit to the Guide Dogs National Centre in Leamington Spa last year. 

The caption read: "Wishing The Countess of Wessex a very Happy Birthday today!"

The Countess looked completely smitten with the puppies during her royal outing last November. She took over the role as patron of Guide Dogs from the Queen's cousin, Princess Alexandra, in July, after 67 years.

READ: 9 photos which prove the Countess of Wessex's close bond with her mother-in-law the Queen

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WATCH: The Countess of Wessex: Everything you need to know about Sophie

Sophie has been part of the royal family since marrying the Queen's youngest son, Prince Edward, in 1999.

The former PR boss became a full-time working member of the royal family in 2002 and she carries out hundreds of engagements a year in her role as patron of over 70 charities and organisations.

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The sweet photo shared by the royal family to celebrate Sophie's birthday

The Countess has a wide range of interests, which include supporting people with disabilities, women's rights and opportunities for young people.  

Sophie shares a close bond with her mother-in-law, the Queen, and even referred to Her Majesty as "Mama" in a speech she gave in 2019.

MORE: 15 times the Countess of Wessex has wowed in a tiara

MORE: Why Countess Sophie and Prince Edward didn't pick London for their wedding - unlike the royal's siblings

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The Wessexes pictured with the Queen at Windsor Castle in December 2020

After enjoying the Christmas break with the Earl and their two children, Lady Louise Windsor, 18, and James, Viscount Severn, 14, the Countess returned to her royal duties last week.

She travelled to Qatar with global sight loss charity, Orbis, where she visited organisations, charities and dignitaries who are championing eye healthcare programmes and tackling avoidable blindness worldwide.

Sophie also met members of the Afghan female robotics team, who were evacuated from Kabul in 2021, and are continuing their studies in Doha.

The Wessexes currently reside at Bagshot Park in Surrey, which is located just 11 miles from Windsor Castle.

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