Inside Prince Edward & Sophie's Relationship With William & Kate

We all remember the heyday of the now-fractured Fab Four of Windsor: Back in the early days of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's marriage, the two were often seen with Prince William and Princess Catherine. However, this quartet's dynamic eventually went south thanks to tension between the brothers... and, you know, everything that led to Harry and Meghan leaving the royal family

Well, there could be a new Fab Four in the Firm. After Harry and Meghan's exit, it appears that William and Catherine have turned to Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, as their new best friends in the family. Although Edward is William's uncle and there is a significant age gap between the two couples, it seems that the foursome gets along like a house on fire. Not only do they all support each other at royal events, they also seem to have a lot of fun. 

So, without further ado, here's a peek inside Prince Edward and Sophie's relationship with William and Catherine.

The two couples have become closer in the wake of several major royal events

Back in 2001, Prince William reportedly clashed with Prince Edward after the latter's production company sent a camera crew to the former's university against strict order. However, that seems to all be water under the bridge, as their relationship has since improved. And it seems Princess Catherine and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, get along well, too; the bond between the two couples is reportedly stronger than ever.

Their growing friendship is presumably a result of recent turmoil within the royal family. It's no exaggeration to say a lot of drama and scandal has happened in the last few years, and evidently, this quartet has banded together in the wake of all of it. In 2015, Prince Andrew was accused of sexual misconduct and in 2019, he stepped back from royal duties. In 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they were stepping back from royal life. And then, in 2022 Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96.  

"After all that has happened — not only with the queen's death but with Harry and Meghan leaving and Andrew getting 'sacked' — the two couples have formed a tight bond," Jennie Bond, former BBC royal correspondent, said to OK! Magazine in 2023. Clearly, these upheavals within the family have only brought these couples closer together.

The Waleses admire the Edinburghs' approach to parenting

Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, are the proud parents of two children: Lady Louise Windsor and James, Earl of Wessex, born in 2003 and 2007 respectively. As Sophie told The Times in 2020, she made an effort to raise her kids to be as "normal" as possible.

Prince William and Princess Catherine, who had their three children between 2013 and 2018, evidently have long looked up to Edward and Sophie's approach to childrearing in the royal world. As Katie Nicholl wrote in her book "The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth's Legacy and the Future of the Crown," Catherine was inspired by Edward and Sophie's practical parenting style. "Kate is said to admire the way Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, are raising their children — Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn — in the bosom of the Royal Family but prepared for life in the real world," she wrote. Apparently, she "regards the parents with respect." 

The four royals all reportedly share a strong sense of duty

Prince William and Princess Catherine's bond with Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, is also apparently rooted in their similar approaches to royal family life. Ultimately, William, Catherine, Edward, and Sophie all seem to hold their duties as royals in high regard.

After all, the four royals have been committed to the family for years. For instance, Edward took over many roles previously held by his father, Prince Philip, including President of the Royal Windsor Horse Show and royal patron of nonprofit Royal Youth. Sophie, meanwhile, stepped up to help the queen in her later years, even becoming a close confidant to the late monarch. Similarly, William and Catherine are always conscious of their respective royal responsibilities.

William also makes his royal duties a top priority.  "I take duty very seriously. I take my responsibilities very seriously," he said in a 2016 BBC interview. "You've got to develop into the duty role." Meanwhile, his wife, Catherine, has been praised for her work ethic and her own sense of duty. It seems that these two couples align when it comes to making royal duties a priority. 

The pair of royal couples spent time together during the pandemic

By all accounts, Prince William and Princess Catherine sure seem to enjoy spending time with Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh. In fact, they even accidentally eschewed pandemic-related rules in 2020 when they got together.

At the time, regulations in Britain stipulated that only six people could be together at one gathering. In December 2020, William and Catherine, along with their three children, traveled to Sandringham, where they visited Luminate, a Christmas event. Lo and behold, Edward and Sophie and their two children happened to be there, too.

According to the Daily Mail, this meetup was not planned, but two couples "mingled." "They were clearly breaking Covid rules, in my opinion, because there were nine of them from two separate households," said an onlooker. "They were obviously all having a fun evening out. You could tell that the royal youngsters were having a great time."

William and Sophie went to a documentary screening together

In addition to bonding over the unique experience ofbeing a member of the royal family, it looks like Prince William and his aunt also connect on their shared interest in animal welfare. In 2023, William attended a documentary screening with his aunt, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh. The pair attended the Battersea Power Station for a screening of "Rhino Man," a full-length film about rhino tusk poaching in South Africa. 

This was the first time the pair went to an event together without other family members. However, it's easy to see why both were drawn to the event. William has been passionate about protecting this species for years, having worked with the Tusk foundation and spending time with rhinos in Kenya. After a rhino who lived in William's friend's rhino sanctuary was killed by poachers in 2012, an emotional statement was released on the prince's behalf. "The Duke of Cambridge is appalled to hear about this senseless slaughter. He remains very concerned about rhino and elephant poaching and has asked Tusk Trust to keep him updated on this issue in Africa," it read (via Daily Mail).

Sophie is also a dedicated environmentalist, who has been working as Patron of the Association of Show & Agricultural Organisations since 2012. Seems like this is yet another thing these couples have in common.

The two couples always seem to be laughing together

Couples who laugh together stay together, and apparently, the same can be said of couple friends. One thing about Prince William, Princess Catherine, Prince Edward, and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, is that they always seem to be having a good time. In fact, whenever they're together, they're usually captured in fits of laughter.

In 2012, for instance, Catherine and Sophie could not stop laughing while watching a rowing competition at the 2012 Paralympic Games. "Kate's eye-connect from under her hood suggests she is prompting Sophie's response here and Sophie's laugh involves a thrown-back head, closed eyes, open mouth and neck-baring that show she is really tickled by what she is hearing or seeing," noted body language expert Judi James to The Sun. "Kate looks delighted to have made Sophie laugh like this and the slight nose-wrinkling suggests she thinks she is being rather naughty here." James went on to explain that "sense of fun between them that they also manage to combine with a regal elegance."

As for Edward and William, you'll often spot them in fits of giggles, too. In 2018, for instance, lip readers spotted Edward making both William and Catherine laugh during a ceremony at Westminster Abbey. And, in 2023, Catherine and Sophie were spotted laughing at their husbands' hats. "Their conversation prompts a lot of shared laughter," said James to the Express at the time.

The couples' bond serves to bridge the royal generational gap

As royal fans know, there are a few distinctive generations within the family, and each generation is generally thought to have its own set of values. However, while Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, are part of the older generation of royals, they are some of the youngest of that generation. In fact, Edward, born in 1964, is 16 years younger than his eldest brother, King Charles III, and only 18 years older than Charles' son, Prince William, born in 1982. And Sophie, born in 1965, is only 17 years older than William. In other words, Edward and Sophie land right in between the two generations. 

As it turns out, their friendship with William and Princess Catherine only helps to soften the dramatic divide between the two generations. "Sometimes it seems strange to realise that these are two different generations of royals as they seem much closer," she said, adding, "Because the age gap is not very great, [Sophie] is a brilliant bridge between the generations," said Jennie Bond, a former BBC royal correspondent, to OK! Magazine. "She is so easy to be with as William obviously appreciates."

William and Catherine are able to confide in Edward and Sophie

We all need friends that we can tell our secrets to — and that even goes for the royal family. For Prince William and Princess Catherine, it seems that those friends are Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh. After all, who better to understand what they might be going through and lend a sympathetic ear? And, perhaps, even some advice?

"I think William and Catherine feel they can confide in Edward and Sophie and there are so few people a royal can entrust with their thoughts and feelings. Both Sophie and Catherine have a common touch...perhaps because they lived 'normal' lives before marrying," said Jennie Bond, a former BBC royal correspondent, to OK! Magazine. "Sophie, in particular, is a wonderfully empathetic woman. The late queen regarded her as another daughter."

It's nice to know that William and Catherine have found confidantes within the royal family who understand them and are willing to listen.

Sophie and Edward were there to help when Catherine had an operation in 2024

In early 2024, Princess Catherine was hospitalized for abdominal surgery. At the time, her husband, Prince William, took a break from royal duties to help his wife in her recovery. As another sign of their friendship, Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, offered to take on a few extra royal duties to help out.

While William and Catherine took time off, Edward and Sophie were seen around the country on official visits. Edward paid a visit to a school, while Sophie spent time at a charity. Of course, Edward and Sophie have always been very active in their royal duties, so, while these appearances may have helped lighten the load for William and Catherine, it's nothing they weren't used to. In her 2022 book "The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth's Legacy and the Future of the Crown," Katie Nicholl noted that when Sophie was asked if she and Edward would step up to fill the place of Harry and Meghan, she replied, "What did people think we were doing beforehand?"

No one understood Princess Catherine like Edward and Sophie

One of the reasons for Prince William and Princess Catherine's friendship with Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, may be the fact that Sophie and Edward really understand Catherine. For one thing, the two have similar backgrounds: Sophie and Catherine were both raised in middle-class families and worked in London in creative jobs before marrying into the royal family. Like Sophie, Catherine may come across as "non-competitive" within the family, never seeking to be the center of attention. "[Sophie's] a non-competitive daughter-in-law," says royal expert Hugo Vickers to Maclean's in 2011.

Edward has also always seemed to understand and support Catherine from the very beginning. "Catherine is doing very well," he said back in 2012 shortly after she joined the family, adding, "She has taken to royal life like a duck to water. She's very gracious and the family is very proud of her... I think Catherine can only grow in confidence now her first official engagements are out of the way" (via Express).

The two couples don't mind twinning at events

These two couples have made a habit of matching each other, and apparently, they don't seem to mind. In 2023, Princess Catherine and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, appeared at a Buckingham Palace garden party ahead of the coronation in almost identical ensembles. Catherine sported a baby blue midi dress by Elie Saab, while Sophie wore a blue dress with a matching cinched waist and ruffled bodice. "Love Sophie twinning with Catherine, it's my favorite thing," wrote one fan in an Instagram comment. Later that year, the two couples color coordinated once again for the Christmas Day celebration at Sandringham. Catherine wore a blue coat, while her daughter Princess Charlotte, wore a forest green coat. Sophie opted for a matching green coat, making her look perfectly at home within the family. Apparently, Sophie and Catherine sometimes even share the same stylist, and back in 2019, Sophie reportedly bought matching jumpsuits for Catherine and herself.

In fact, as styling director at, Rosie Hartman, told the Express, Sophie has learned a lot from her friend. Her style has "definitely has evolved over the years" as Sophie has been "recreating" Catherine's looks. "You can see some echoes of Kate's style visible especially in the more casual styles she wears, such as the floaty floral dresses matched with a classic nude pump or a wedge," she went on. "I do think her close relationship with Kate has influenced her fashion choices."

The two royal couples have joined forces for numerous events

Over the years, Prince William and Princess Catherine have actually worked with Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, on events. Most significantly, they joined forces in the summer of 2023 to host the Buckingham Palace garden party. The foursome appeared on the steps of the palace to greet their guests, before they all descended the stairs to speak with them. After Catherine and William shared photos from the event on Instagram, one fan commented on the foursome's work, writing, "No harder working royals than this lot."

Back in 2020, Catherine and Sophie worked together on an online event during the pandemic to support nurses in the Commonwealth on International Nurses Day. The pair made a number of calls from their homes, speaking to nurses and thanking them for their work. Earlier that year, Sophie and Edward joined Catherine and William once again for the U.K.-Africa Investment Summit — this came shortly after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their roles.

The two couples actually have a lot in common

At the end of the day, these two royal couples seem to be bound by their many, many similarities. Princess Catherine and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, both from middle-class backgrounds and all four have a deep sense of duty to the crown. However, their similarities go even deeper. For one thing, Catherine and Sophie share similar hobbies and interests, including photography. In fact, both have been known to take gorgeous photos of the family.  

As for William and Edward, their similarities are down to their upbringings and family ties. Very few people on the planet can say they are the son of a past or current monarch, but William and Edward sure can relate to one another there. What's more, Edward is King Charles III's youngest brother, while William is his eldest son; neither have ever known a life without Charles. Oh, and many fans have also noted the striking resemblance between Edward and William over the years. With all of these similarities, it's easy to see why this new royal foursome has formed.