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Sophie’s surprise: why The Countess of Wessex is now the world’s most stylish royal



As summer draws to an end, there is a new royal fashion queen in town and it’s not who you might expect. In the quiet days of August, several polls have appeared telling us who the most stylish royals are and one woman keeps floating to the top of them. The Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Letizia of Spain might have got the most headlines in recent months but both of them lose out in the summer survey stakes to Sophie. The Countess of Wessex is now the most stylish royal in the world.

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The Countess of Wessex has featured on several best dressed lists in recent weeks

That’s not just my opinion though I do think that Sophie looks great. But putting together the polls that have appeared in August hers is the name that keeps appearing in the top spots. And she’s leaving the rest of the royal fashion pack behind.

The most recent poll by Hello magazine gave us a top ten list of most stylish royals with Sophie at number five. She was just behind Queen Letizia with Kate at number three, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands at number two and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark in top spot. But when we add in the Vanity Fair Best Dressed list released just weeks before, Sophie’s dominance shines through. We didn’t expect to see Kate as she made the magazine’s Hall of Fame last year. But in the 2015 rundown, there were only two royals in the top ten and the Countess of Wessex was easily in charge here, taking fourth spot with Letizia in eighth. Such high flying ratings in two recent polls surely makes Sophie the current style queen of the royals?

And anyone who’s watched the countess in action in the past year or so won’t be at all surprised to see her rise up the ranks. Her wardrobe, filled with designs by names including Alexander McQueen, Emilia Wickstead and Diane von Furstenburg, has won plenty of admiring glances and positive comments. Her elegance often goes under the radar but she regularly pulls great looks out of the bag. It’s sometimes bemusing to see them passed over and gratifying to see her sense of style recognized at last.

But it’s also great to see a fifty year old leading the way because I’ve always thought these polls on style are slightly ageist. It’s almost automatic that Kate (33), Letizia (42), Mary (43) and Princess Madeleine of Sweden (33) get a nod but royal women in middle age or older are normally passed over. There’s little doubt that The Queen is one of the most stylish people in the world. Her clothes tick all the boxes on these surveys – classy, appropriate, well made and with enough new about them to catch the eye – and yet she’s rarely featured. Queen Paola of the Belgians and Queen Sonja of Norway are both in their seventies and seriously stylish but the chances of their featuring on a best dressed list are close to zero. The fact that Sophie is winning so many votes just after turning fifty is great.

So as we approach a new school term with plenty of royal engagements lined up for the early months of autumn there is a new head girl in the fashion class. All hail Sophie, the world’s most stylish royal.

Picture credit: The Commonwealth Secretariat/ Andrew Dunsmore via Flickr