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The Wessex Week: Sophie and Edward’s busy seven days

It’s been a busy week for the Earl and Countess of Wessex which has seen them support some major medical initiatives, give their backing to the rural economy and meet Queen Victoria. It’s also been a week which has seen Edward and Sophie cover a large part of the UK on their visits with engagements that have taken them from the south coast of England to the heart of Wales and plenty of places in between. Here’s the Wessex week.

The Countess of Wessex officially opened a new military and civilian wound research centre in Birmingham this week. The facility, based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the city, is the first of its kind. The Scar Free Foundation Centre of Conflict Wound Research will work towards minimising the psychological and physical impact of scarring and aims to ensure that within a generation, healing processes will become increasingly scar free.

Sophie is the foundation’s patron and she heard about the work planned while she toured the facility. During her time at the centre, the Countess of Wessex also met Leonora Cantos Ogerio who was injured in the bomb attack on the Manchester Arena in 2017.

Care for military veterans was a theme for Sophie this past seven days as earlier in the week, she had visited the site of a major 19th century hospital, built under the watchful eye of Queen Victoria with the aim of caring for those injured in the Crimean War. The Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley, near Southampton, went on to care for tens of thousands of soldiers from around the world as well as leading research at the time. All that remains now is the chapel on the site and Sophie officially reopened that following a major restoration project. She heard about the work that’s been needed to bring the chapel back to its former glory and also came face to face with a Queen Victoria impersonator.

During her time in Hampshire, the countess also took part in the annual meeting of the Association of Show and Agricultural Associations of which she is President.

Sophie’s engagements followed her attendance at a series of events for Remembrance Sunday. Along with the Earl of Wessex, the countess was present at the Festival of Remembrance held at the Royal Albert Hall on November 10th as well as at the service at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday itself. Later that same day, the Earl and Countess of Wessex travelled to Wales for a ceremony marking the centenary of the end of World War One, held at Llandaff Cathedral.

The Earl of Wessex also spent time this week at the University of Bath where he’s been Chancellor since 2013. And this visit was all in the mind as the earl toured new facilities belonging to the Psychology department. The building will become the centre of the university’s work in areas including clinical, developmental and cognitive psychology. During his visit, Prince Edward also spent time at the new, state of the art research facility, the Milner Centre for Evolution.

Earlier in the week, the prince had attended a Ministry of Defence Awards ceremony which was held in London. And he was joined by Sophie at celebrations marking the 70th birthday of his big brother, the Prince of Wales. The couple joined the rest of the Royal Family at a special party at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Earl of Wessex’s next scheduled engagements are on November 19th when he will be in Cheshire. The Countess of Wessex will be in the Midlands on November 20th and she will also host a party at Buckingham Palace later this week for her charity, Shooting Star Chase.

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