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The Edinburghs

YEAR IN REVIEW: The Wessexes’s quiet support continues in 2022

The Earl and Countess of Wessex continued to be stalwart supporters of The Queen throughout the majority of 2022 and performed equally in support of King Charles III by the year’s end.

Though their royal work doesn’t always make headlines or grace the front covers of newspapers, as it should, Edward and Sophie continued in tireless support of their causes, travelling the world and within the United Kingdom to champion the Royal Family.

In January, Sophie visited Qatar to promote eye health and closer to home, volunteered at a vaccine centre for her 57th birthday. Edward became patron of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, following in his late father’s footsteps.

In February, Sophie discussed motherhood with new parents; in March, Edward busted out the tartan in support of the National Youth Theatre. On a visit to North Weald, the couple thanked air ambulance pilots for their hard work. They later sent a message to Team GB Paralympians.

Sophie, who has long championed women’s rights, sent a message on International Women’s Day in support of education. Edward celebrated his birthday in early March and later, in Kenya, helped mark the Queen’s Green Canopy for the Platinum Jubilee.  


Sophie’s work carried her to New York City, where she focused on the Commonwealth and women’s rights; she later visited the 5 Rifles, one unit, as part of her military appointments. She would also assume one of the late Prince Philip’s military appointments.

In April, the royal couple visited the Caribbean as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations (the visit wasn’t without controversy). Sophie later assumed patronage of an organisation that had ties to Queen Victoria, and in May, Lady Louise’s role in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations was revealed.

Sophie received a new title from Queen Elizabeth II, becoming a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St John, and The Queen was all smiles at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, watching Lady Louise perform. She also included a special tribute to her grandfather, Prince Philip, in the show.

Lady Louise borrowed her mother’s wardrobe staples for Trooping the Colour; Sophie and Edward visited Northern Ireland for the Platinum Jubilee and later joined in a record-breaking Big Jubilee Lunch in Windsor. The royal couple would mark Royal Week in Scotland at the end of the month alongside The Queen for the last Royal Week of her reign.

As the summer waned, Lady Louise and Viscount Severn cheered on competitors at the Commonwealth Games. Sophie would send a message of congratulations to the women’s hockey team while Edward handed out the medals following the final event.

At the end of August, Buckingham Palace announced that Lady Louise would head to the University of St Andrews in Scotland—where William and Catherine both studied. And Edward and Sophie carried out their final engagement during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II in Preston, a place that had received city status during the Golden Jubilee of 2002.

Following Queen Elizabeth II’s death, the Wessexes joined the Royal Family in mourning their matriarch, and Edward and Sophie travelled to Manchester to light a candle in tribute. Lady Louise curtseyed her grandmother one last time; Edward said that the loss of his mother was an “unimaginable void,” and the royal couple greeted mourners at Windsor.

Sophie shed tears watching her children stand vigil at their grandmother’s coffin; later, she and Edward would meet mourners gathered along the Mall at Buckingham Palace to Clarence House.

Following Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, Edward paid official visits to Estonia and Germany while Sophie visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Her visit continued to Rwanda, where she spotlighted sexual violence in conflict zones, and Botswana and Malawi to focus on eye health. Edward’s work with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award saw him visiting Romania.

In Forfar, the county from which their second title comes from, the couple paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. The couple were announced to attend the Royal Variety Performance for the first time, which we covered here. Edward would also play a key role during the South African State Visit.  

Photograph by Ian Jones; Copyright 2022, Royal Hashemite Court

Sophie closed out the year with a prestigious award for her work on sexual violence in conflict zones.

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.