With the news last week that Prince Philip will retire from public duties in the fall, it’s been reported that the Earl and Countess of Wessex, said to be favourites of The Queen and her husband, will increase their royal roles.
“Edward has moulded into a quiet and efficient figure who does not seek attention or acquire headlines,” a source told Express.
“He and Sophie are liked for being dutiful and uncomplaining.”
The Countess of Wessex is said to be a personal favourite of The Queen. The two share a love of horses and military history and reportedly share a close relationship.
“Sophie fits very well into the Royal Family because she is so unassuming,” former BBC royal reporter Jennie Bond told Express in 2015 ahead of the Countess’s 50th birthday.
“In her early days she was nothing worse than naïve but, ever since, she has thrown herself into her royal duties and not put a foot wrong.”
The Earl and Countess of Wessex were married in June 1999, and both continued in their careers for a period after their marriage. Some scandals ahead of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 saw them give up their careers to become full-time royals. The pair frequently represents The Queen at the weddings of other European royals.
Last year for Our Queen at 90, an ITV special for The Queen’s milestone birthday, the Countess of Wessex spoke about her father-in-law, saying, “You see, he’s a gentleman and a gentle man, he’s very courteous, and he looks up for her, and he’s her protector.”
Prince Edward has been the only royal to publicly comment on the retirement news. Last Saturday at the Royal Windsor Jaguar Festival, he told reporters, “I don’t believe that he’s going to be putting his feet up completely, disappearing into the background and never being seen again.”
The Prince insisted that the “show goes on.”
“It’s a team effort. We have to support each other. That’s what we do, and we’ll continue to do that.”
The Prince also revealed that his father’s retirement came as somewhat of a surprise to the Royal Family.
“Having for many years said this is a job from which you can’t retire, he’s just proved that it might be possible to retire, which is quite good for the rest of us.”