The close relationship between Her Majesty and her youngest son’s wife has been well-known since the couple married in June 1999. Particularly following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s break from senior royal duties last year, Sophie, Countess of Wessex has increasingly adopted a more prominent role in shouldering royal responsibilities.
But the pair’s relationship goes beyond the confines of fulfilling duties for the good of the monarchy.
They also share various hobbies and interests which may encourage the Queen to lean on Sophie as she takes time to rest in Windsor, just 11 miles from the Wessex’s Surrey estate at Bagshot Park.
Richard Kay, veteran royal reporter and editor-at-large for the Daily Mail, said: “The Queen and the Countess also share a fascination with military history.
“Sophie loves listening to the Queen talk about great historical events.”
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He added that the “pair are sometimes gone for hours, pouring over ancient documents in the Royal Archives, which are kept at Windsor Castle.
“When Sophie visited the World War One and World War Two battlefields and cemeteries in France, she told the Queen all about what she had seen and what she felt.”
Mr Kay also touched how Sophie Wessex’s kinship with the Queen may be related to the death of the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, nearly two decades ago.
The Queen and her younger sister had a close relationship, and her passing coincided with the death of the Queen Mother just weeks later.
Royal expert Duncan Larcombe explained that Sophie would travel to Windsor “every few days and most weekends to spend socially-distanced time with Her Majesty”.
If unable to make the trip, she “[calls] her mother-in-law at least once a day”.
Sophie, as well as providing the Queen with emotional support during difficult periods, has increasingly taken on the practical burdens of life as a senior royal.
Sophie has a well-established track record of public and advocacy work, most recently appearing at an event for the women’s charity, Wellbeing of Women, of which Sophie is patron.
She spoke candidly about menopause, which she attributed to having a “tragic” impact on how women operate in the workplace.
She addressed a virtual conference earlier this month, saying: “To think that women are having to leave the workplace because of this is tragic.”
“We are fabulous in our 40s, we are even more fabulous in our 50s, 60s and 70s and we need to celebrate that and keep those opportunities going for women.”
In September, the Countess of Wessex said that she was “thrilled” to take on royal patronage of OSCAR International, a Mumbai-based foundation that facilitates access to education for children from underprivileged backgrounds.
She added: “It’s an enormous privilege to be working with such an amazing foundation.
“My visit to India was so important to see where you’re actually working with the boys and the girls and to see the working conditions and also the living conditions.”