The Truth About Prince Edward's Wife, The Countess Of Wessex

Queen's Elizabeth II's youngest child Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, is arguably one of the more low-key members of the British royal family. Per the BBC, Edward is currently 12th in line to the throne and married to Sophie Rhys-Jones, Countess of Wessex, with whom he shares two children, Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn. But, what else is there to know about his wife the Countess of Wessex, and what is the truth about her role within the royal family? 

As Showbiz Cheat Sheet reports, Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones was born in 1965 in Oxford, England. She met the Queen and Prince Philip's youngest son, Prince Edward, for the very first time in 1993 whilst attending a tennis event. Six years later, the Earl of Wessex proposed to Rhys-Jones and the couple were married in an unusually low-key ceremony in June 1999. 

Unlike Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, Sophie does not have the title of Duchess. The reason for this is down to her husband's decision to not accept a dukedom prior to their marriage, and he instead requested to become an earl. Because of this, Rhys-Jones was handed the title Countess to match with her husband's peerage. Speaking to the Telegraph about Edward's decision to become an earl, a royal courtier previously explained that "he liked the sound of it and asked the queen if he could have that instead." 

The Countess of Wessex shares a very special relationship with the Queen

According to The Sun, the Countess of Wessex reportedly shares a very special relationship with Her Majesty the Queen, and one source previously revealed, "Sophie takes her role within the family incredibly seriously but is tremendous fun, which is probably why the Queen and her get on so well."

Speaking to the Mirror, sources also claimed Rhys-Jones and the queen share a mother and daughter-like relationship, especially following the death of Prince Philip in April 2021. "The Countess has been a tremendous source of comfort to the Queen... Sophie cherishes her relationship with the Queen and not only appreciates her guidance and wisdom throughout her own life, she is very protective of her." The source concluded, "Their bond is very like a mother and daughter and the feeling of love and respect is quite mutual. It is very special."

Elsewhere, in the days following the Duke of Edinburgh's death at the age of 99 on Friday, April 9, the Countess of Wessex complimented her mother-in-law's handling of the situation, telling reporters the queen "has been amazing," the BBC reports.