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The Edinburghs

“I think we make quite a good team” – Sophie’s lovely tribute to her husband

As her husband reaches a milestone birthday this weekend, the Duchess of Edinburgh couldn’t help but gush over “my darling Edward” in a speech on Friday.

The royal couple were in Leeds for the Sport and Recreation Alliance when Sophie took to the podium to deliver a speech praising her husband Edward for his charitable endeavours, his devotion to youth causes, and his strength throughout their nearly 25 years of marriage.

Of his work ethic, Sophie said: “Like an iceberg, what is seen above the water or in public is only a small proportion of what goes on behind the scenes. What is never seen or can ever be quantified is the effort spent on ensuring good governance for his patronages, encouraging people to support worthwhile causes, chairing committees, meeting chief executives and think tanks, writing papers, speeches, forewords, introductions, the list goes on.”

His work with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award means he “challenges those who lead it, encourages others who work within it or support it, and loves meeting and chatting with those who benefit from it,” according to Sophie.

But beyond the work, Sophie took extra care to praise the husband and father not many get to see. She called him the “best of fathers, the most loving of husbands and still…my best friend.”

Over the years, as she acclimatised to becoming a member of the Royal Family, Sophie said it was her husband’s counsel, “not always taken I admit” that has shown her the way to becoming a key member of The Firm.

She said: “He has given me much help and advice…and his knowledge and instincts that have been honed over decades of service are invaluable—so we share speech notes…chat through issues our patronages may be tackling, and together I think we make quite a good team.”

Edward and Sophie became the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh last year on Edward’s birthday, lifetime dukedoms that elevated them from the Earl and Countess of Wessex titles they’d held since their 1999 wedding day. In 2019, they were also named Earl and Countess of Forfar by the late Queen Elizabeth II.

You can read Sophie’s full speech here.

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About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.