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The Queen's 'rock' Sophie Wessex rushes to Balmoral

She was known as one of the Queen’s closest confidants, and today the Countess of Wessex seemed deeply emotional as she was driven to Balmoral, hours before the monarch’s death was announced.

Her Majesty’s 56-year-old daughter-in-law, Sophie, was often seen as the monarch’s “favorite” relative after she married Prince Edward, and her “rock” after Prince Phil’s death last year.

She ran her own PR firm before marrying Prince Edward and earned the Queen’s trust by plunging into royal life.

Sophie’s current royal reputation is a far cry from the turmoil that ensued the Countess early in her marriage, when she ran her own PR consultancy.

A ‘royals for hire’ storm arose after she posed next to a Rover 75 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, after being awarded a £250,000 contract to publicize it.

In recent years, however, former aides have previously described the Queen’s relationship with Sophie – who lost her own mother, Mary, in 2005 – as ‘like mother and daughter’, adding: ‘There is a lot of love and mutual respect between them. .’

And in 2021, a tearful Countess described the Queen as “wonderful” as she and her husband Prince Edward comforted Her Majesty at Windsor Castle after the death of her husband Prince Philip.

Today she was photographed alongside Prince William, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward as they rushed to Balmoral to be with the Queen amid her health concerns.

The royal mother of two seemed deep in thought and gloomy as she drove alongside her fellow royals in the back of the car.

The Queen, the country’s longest-running monarch, died today at the age of 96 in Balmoral, Scotland.

Known as the Queen's 'rock' and one of her closest confidants, the Countess of Wessex rushed to Balmoral today to be with the monarch just hours before her death was announced

Known as the Queen’s ‘rock’ and one of her closest confidants, the Countess of Wessex rushed to Balmoral today to be with the monarch just hours before her death was announced

Her Majesty's 56-year-old daughter-in-law, Sophie, was often seen as the monarch's 'favorite' relative and closest confidante after she married Prince Edward

Her Majesty's 56-year-old daughter-in-law, Sophie, was often seen as the monarch's 'favorite' relative and closest confidante after she married Prince Edward

Her Majesty’s 56-year-old daughter-in-law, Sophie, was often seen as the monarch’s ‘favorite’ relative and closest confidante after she married Prince Edward

Sophie seemed emotional in the back of the car driving to Balmoral this afternoon with her husband Prince Edward

Sophie seemed emotional in the back of the car driving to Balmoral this afternoon with her husband Prince Edward

Sophie seemed emotional in the back of the car driving to Balmoral this afternoon with her husband Prince Edward

Sophie lives in Bagshot Park in Surrey, with Edward and their two children James, Viscount Severn, 12, and Lady Louise Windsor, 16. She was recognized as the Queen’s favorite royal wife.

It was often Sophie who was chosen to travel with the Queen when she attended church services in Sandringham or Balmoral.

She won the coveted spot because the monarch “found her presence soothing” and liked to be “completely calm in front of the church.”

The mother was believed to be seen by the Queen as the safest hands of the royal family as her marriage to Prince Edward lasted while Charles, Anne and Andrew were all divorced.

A former aide described the Queen's relationship with Sophie - who lost her own mother, Mary, in 2005 - as 'like mother and daughter' (pictured together in February 2015 at a reception at Buckingham Palace)

A former aide described the Queen's relationship with Sophie - who lost her own mother, Mary, in 2005 - as 'like mother and daughter' (pictured together in February 2015 at a reception at Buckingham Palace)

A former aide described the Queen’s relationship with Sophie – who lost her own mother, Mary, in 2005 – as ‘like mother and daughter’ (pictured together in February 2015 at a reception at Buckingham Palace)

The Queen and Sophie’s close bond is said to be due to their similar interests, with the pair often spending Saturday or Sunday evenings together in Windsor, watching old war films and historical documentaries.

Sophie, who was raised in Kent by a tire company executive father and secretary mother, is even said to have convinced the Queen to watch The Crown – suggesting she might enjoy the Netflix series based on her. reign.

She is the patroness of more than 70 organizations, largely focused on the rights of women and girls around the world.

Writing for Town and Country, royal journalist and author Victoria Murphy pointed out that on International Women’s Day 2019, Sophie stood up at Buckingham Palace and vowed to dedicate herself to championing and supporting female peacemakers and the victims of sexual violence in conflict.

“Her work doesn’t regularly get the kind of media attention that the younger royals command, but Sophie, now 55, has become a staunch member of the ‘firm’,” Murphy wrote, adding: “The spotlight on Sophie has intensified in the the vacuum leaves as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle step back.”

Meanwhile, people who have worked with the Countess of Wessex on a professional level told Murphy that they admired her ability to say what she thinks while remaining polite.

The couple were the first to visit the grieving Monarch after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, and when they left the castle, Sophie was visibly upset

The couple were the first to visit the grieving Monarch after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, and when they left the castle, Sophie was visibly upset

The couple were the first to visit the grieving Monarch after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, and when they left the castle, Sophie was visibly upset

Her Majesty's 56-year-old daughter-in-law, Sophie, was often seen as the 'favorite' relative and closest confidante of the monarch after she married Prince Edward (pictured together at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2022)

Her Majesty's 56-year-old daughter-in-law, Sophie, was often seen as the 'favorite' relative and closest confidante of the monarch after she married Prince Edward (pictured together at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2022)

Her Majesty’s 56-year-old daughter-in-law, Sophie, was often seen as the ‘favorite’ relative and closest confidante of the monarch after she married Prince Edward (pictured together at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2022)

Sophie Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward Earl of Wessex with Queen Elizabeth II Ceremony of the Keys, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK in June this year

Sophie Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward Earl of Wessex with Queen Elizabeth II Ceremony of the Keys, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK in June this year

Sophie Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward Earl of Wessex with Queen Elizabeth II Ceremony of the Keys, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK in June this year

Amanda Pullinger, CEO of 100 Women in Finance, emphasized that Sophie is “really sober.” She said: “She basically presents herself as an ordinary person and I think that’s more and more what the royal family should be doing.

‘It’s interesting – she’s not nice. Sure she’s polite, but she’ll tell you what she thinks. If she doesn’t agree, she’ll say so, and she’s done that to me a number of times.

In a passionate speech at Buckingham Palace in 2020, Sophie said she was “drawn” to help put women and girls at the heart of “resolution conflict” and would “make this a central pillar of my work in the months and years to come.”

Addressing an audience of key figures in women’s peacebuilding from around the world, including representatives from government, NGOs, charities and academia, she said, “Good afternoon and may I begin by wishing you all a happy International Women’s Day.” .

The Queen, the country's longest-running monarch, passed away today at the age of 96 in Balmoral, Scotland

The Queen, the country's longest-running monarch, passed away today at the age of 96 in Balmoral, Scotland

The Queen, the country’s longest-running monarch, passed away today at the age of 96 in Balmoral, Scotland

Sophie’s determination led her to take on full-time royal duties and embrace rural pursuits beloved by the royal family, such as horseback riding, fishing, shooting games and carriage rides.

In recent years she has been a rock in the surf for the Queen. In 2021, a friend said, “Sophie set herself a series of tasks. She learned to ride well and now rides with the Queen at least once a week.

“She drove to be close to Philip. She had her own set of pre-marriage scandals when she was accused of cashing in on her royal connections, but she calmly put it all behind her and has been an exemplary daughter-in-law.”

Sophie previously explained to the Telegraph how these visits during the lockdown involved the Queen standing on a 20-foot-high balcony and waving down.

The couple were the first to visit the grieving Monarch after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, and when they left the castle, Sophie was visibly upset.

Sophie, often described as another daughter of the Queen, appeared emotionally in the back of the car driving to Balmoral

Sophie, often described as another daughter of the Queen, appeared emotionally in the back of the car driving to Balmoral

Sophie, often described as another daughter of the Queen, appeared emotionally in the back of the car driving to Balmoral

At the time, she was described as one of a group of four who supported the monarch.

“Sophie is like another daughter of the Queen, they are so close,” said a royal source. “She is trusted and trusted like few others.”

And in June last year, royal expert Duncan Larcombe told The Sun: “Sophie has emerged as the Queen’s unlikely ‘rock’ as the monarch adjusts to life without Prince Philip.”

Prince Edward’s wife has made it her personal mission – according to sources – to ensure that Her Majesty is fully supported by the family.

“Since the Duke’s death in April, Sophie has driven the 10 miles from her home in Bagshot Park to Windsor Castle every few days and most weekends to spend time at a distance with Her Majesty.”

For the days when she can’t see the Queen in person, the Countess has “called her mother-in-law at least once a day.”

She arrived in Balmoral earlier this afternoon, along with the Duke of Cambridge, Duke of York and Earl of Wessex.

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