The Countess of Wessex has taken on a new patronage that has had a notable royal patron in its past.
The Countess of Wessex has been named the new Patron of the Dispensaire Français in London. The group released a photo of Sophie visiting their London offices on 20 April. While visiting, she met with doctors and staff to discuss their work and then had coffee with volunteers and clients to learn more about the group’s day to day work.
Queen Victoria served as the first President and Royal Patron of the Dispensaire Français, which helped raise the group’s profile.
The Dispensaire Français was established in the nineteenth century to help provide aid and support to French refugees arriving in London. The organisation is one of the oldest French charities in London and has taken on a number of different roles.
The French Revolution, several societal changes, and the Second World War all led to ever-increasing numbers of French refugees, and throughout the nineteenth century, the society was able to add a French hospital and convalescent home to its roster that included a soup kitchen and housing.
The Countess of Wessex has been taking on more and more patronages in the last decade and along with The Earl of Wessex, has stepped up to provide The Queen with support as her workload is streamlined. She has over 70 different patronages related to a wide variety of causes. She focuses on organisations that provide support to and research on eradicating avoidable blindness, supporting young people across the Commonwealth, and agricultural organisations across the United Kingdom. In 2019, she also announced her commitment to Women, Peace and Security agenda and the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative and recognised the momentous role that women play in peace and conflict resolution.