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The Edinburghs

Sophie’s support for the countryside

Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, has become a dedicated senior member of the Royal Family in the last decade. She has chosen to support a number of different causes and represents The Queen across the Commonwealth. Her Royal Highness is a patron to a number of organisations and quietly but thoroughly supports them all. In a lesser capacity, she supports the Prince of Wales in the Campaign for Wool to promote the use of British wool.

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The Countess of Wessex has become increasingly involved in agricultural organisations in recent years. In 2010, she took on the role of Show President of the Royal Bast and West Show, and in 2011, became Vice Patron. The show celebrates the best of British, including livestock, crops, food, and drink. It is at the end of May each year.

She is also Patron of the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations, which oversees countless agricultural shows in the United Kingdom, as well as hosting a conference for show organisers. According to the ASAO, its aims are to “promote agriculture, horticulture and the countryside through shows and other events”, “encourage and share best practice between agricultural societies and related organisations”, and to “encourage and support education across the full spectrum of agriculture, horticulture and the countryside through shows, conferences, projects and initiatives”.

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Since 2013, the Countess of Wessex has served as Patron of The Border Union Agricultural Society. It is primarily based in Kelso and supports members from Scotland and Northumberland. The BUAS was founded in 1813, and she became Patron in its bicentenary year. The Society holds many different events but focuses on four major events: the Schools Day, the Championship Dog Show, the Border Union Ram Sales, and the Border Union Show. The Schools Day happens in May, the Dog Show is in mid-June, the Show in late July, and the Ram Sales are in September.

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The Countess also supports the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, whose show is on 26 and 27 June this year. Norfolk is a popular destination for the Royals, with The Queen and her family visiting Sandringham frequently, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having a home at Amner Hall. The Royal Norfolk Show also features livestock, food and beverages, fashion, entertainment, and horticulture. The Show expects to have over 80,000 visitors this week.

Sophie and her family regularly attend agricultural shows, with her daughter Lady Louise competing in carriage driving and horse events. Sophie is always relaxed and happy there, and it is wonderful to see her enjoying her patronages.  

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