Sophie, Countess of Wessex spoke to The Times about “Megxit,” her struggles adapting to royal life, and the reason why her children don’t have HRH titles.The Queen’s daughter-in-law and wife to Prince Edward said she hopes Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “will be happy” as they start their new life in LA.Sophie also spoke about her children’s relationship with the Queen: “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.Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex gave a rare interview where she spoke about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s departure from the royal family. Speaking to The Times, the Queen’s daughter-in-law shared a behind-the-scenes look at royal life, and why her children don’t have HRH titles. Sophie joined the royal family after her wedding to Prince Edward in 1999 — and, similar to another royal couple we know, the pair left behind royal duties for a brief period.However, unlike Markle, Sophie says she “had five years to adjust” to royal life.
Sophie reportedly acted as a mentor to Markle when she joined the family”Remember I’d had five years to adjust,” the countess told The Times.”And for our six-month engagement I was even staying in Buckingham Palace. Not that you necessarily know how it will pan out.”She certainly didn’t. The Queen gave Sophie and Edward permission to step back from royal duties in the early 2000s, allowing them to work on their careers before they eventually returned to the royal household full-time.At the time, the couple said they wanted to support Her Majesty during her Golden Jubilee. However, it’s been widely claimed that it was actually due to the scandal that followed Sophie after she was recorded by a reporter posing as a PR client, calling the UK prime minister’s wife “horrid.”
Transitioning from her working role as a PR executive to a countess wasn’t always easy, and it took Sophie “a while to find my feet,” she said.”The frustration was I had to reduce my expectations of what I could actually do,” she said.”I couldn’t turn up at a charity and go, right, I think you should be doing this, because that’s what I was used to doing in my working life.”I had to take a really big step back and go, OK, they want you to be the icing on the cake, the person to come in to thank their volunteers and funders, not necessarily to tell them how to run their communications plan,” she added.
Given Sophie’s past, it’s no wonder the countess is said to have been a mentor to Markle when she joined the family in 2018.”We all try to help any new member of the family,” she said. “I just hope they will be happy,” she added, when asked about the couple’s recent move to Los Angeles.Sophie and Edward didn’t give their children titles to prepare them for working life Sophie and Edward have two children together, Lady Louise Windsor (age 16) and James, Viscount Severn (age 12).
She insists that despite being brought up as royals, they still have a regular life — and that includes visiting their grandmother, the Queen, at Windsor Castle.
The Wessex family on Christmas Day 2019.
Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images
“What’s normal? They go to a regular school. They go to friends for sleepovers and parties. At weekends we do lots of dog walking and stay with friends,” she said.”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.””We try to bring them up with the understanding they are very likely to have to work for a living,” she added.
“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.”Read more:A Norwegian princess says she received death threats for being in an interracial relationship, and it’s strikingly similar to the backlash Meghan Markle facedA former royal protection officer shares his advice for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new security team
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