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Exclusive: Why Duchess Sophie was the late Queen's 'favourite' daughter-in-law

Prince Edward's wife shared a strong bond with Queen Elizabeth II

Sophie Wessex laughs as Queen Elizabeth II cuts a Women's Institute Celebrating 100 Years cake in 2015
Tracy Schaverien
Features Contributor
20 March 2024
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The Duchess of Edinburgh is often described as being a "favourite" of her late mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II

There's no denying the admiration, love, and respect Sophie had for the late monarch during her lifetime. And in turn, royal watchers have always noted how the Queen formed a special attachment to the wife of her youngest son, Prince Edward.

In this week's issue of HELLO!, Ingrid Seward, editor in chief of Majesty magazine and the author of My Mother and I, reflected on the royal women's close bond, as well as Edward and Sophie's strong marriage.

Queen Elizabeth II and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend the Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church on December 25, 2008© Getty
"Sophie never pushes herself forward or wants to make things about her," said Ingrid

"Sophie never pushes herself forward or wants to make things about her," said Ingrid. "This was one of the reasons the late Queen was so fond of her and probably one of the reasons her and Edward's partnership is such a success."

Ingrid added: "I have never heard Sophie and Edward talk about each other in the way they did recently and it was really nice to hear. They seem very genuine. Family life is important to them, too, and I think they have always made sure one of them is home for the children.

"He seems really proud of her and the way she has embraced what being part of the royal family is all about, which is about pulling together."

Prince Edward and Sophie join Queen Elizabeth II at The Ceremony of the Keys on the forecourt of the Palace of Holyroodhouse in June 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland© Getty
"Edward seems really proud of Sophie and the way she has embraced what being part of the royal family is all about," said Ingrid

Ingrid was referring to the recent interview Edward gave to Alan Titchmarsh earlier this month to celebrate his 60th birthday, as well as Sophie's tearful public tribute to "my darling husband" when the couple visited Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds shortly before the milestone.

"She's been an absolutely brilliant rock, and I'm incredibly lucky that I found Sophie and that she found me. Hopefully, we've been a really brilliant partnership," Edward said in the rare interview.

Similarly, Sophie revealed: "He has been my guide and shown me the way over the years. I am so proud of the man he is. He is the best of fathers, the most loving of husbands and still is my best friend."

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The couple, who are parents to Lady Louise Windsor, 20, and James, Earl of Wessex, 16, will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in June. 

The silver anniversary will be a personal achievement for them, but it also represents a rare landmark for the royal family – Edward is the only one of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's four children not to have been divorced.

King Charles was famously married to his first wife Diana, Princess of Wales for 15 years before their divorce was finalised in 1996. Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York divorced in the same year after ten years of marriage. 

Princess Anne and her first husband Captain Mark Phillips, meanwhile, were married from 1973 to 1992.

Magazine out 18th March 2024
Read the full feature in this week's issue out now

To read the full feature, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale in the UK now. You can subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.


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