Sophie Wessex ‘emotional’ over Prince Philip says expert
The Court Circular, which lists every official event carried out by working royals, stated on Monday the Queen had delegated a key engagement to Sophie, her youngest daughter-in-law. An entry dated November 22 read: “The Queen was represented by The Countess of Wessex at the Funeral of the Lady Maclean which was held in the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, this afternoon.”
This comes as the Queen continues a period of rest advised by her medical team.
It first emerged the monarch had been told to stick to light desk duties on October 20, when she cancelled a planned two-day trip to Northern Ireland.
This month, she missed the evening reception at COP26, the Festival of Remembrance and the opening session of the General Synod.
Buckingham Palace had announced the Queen would interrupt her period of rest at the palace to attend in person the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London on November 14.
Sophie Wessex has been described as one of the Queen’s favourites by royal insiders
Camilla, Kate and Sophie during the National Service of Remembrance
However, hours before she was due to appear on one of the balconies of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the palace announced the sovereign could no longer attend.
A statement said: “The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today’s Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph.
“Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.”
Prior to this year, the monarch had skipped only six National Service of Remembrance ceremonies since her coronation in 1953.
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The Queen during a recent audience with Britain’s Chief of the Defence Staff, General Nick Carter
Two were due to pregnancies, first in 1959 when she was expecting Prince Andrew and later in 1963, ahead of Prince Edward’s birth.
The other four ceremonies were missed by the Queen as she was undertaking official visits abroad.
Had she attended the service, the monarch would have likely appeared on the central balcony next to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, in accordance with the royal pecking order.
Her absence mixed up the order on the balconies, with Sophie taking a more prominent position as she joined Camilla and Kate.
The Queen with Sophie and Edward
The Queen acceded to the throne in 1952
From the balcony, Sophie watched husband Prince Edward take part in the service and lay a wreath of red poppies.
Sophie has often been described by royal commentators and sources as one of the Queen’s favourites.
The Countess joined the Royal Family in 1999 upon marrying the Earl of Wessex and became a full-time working royal a few years later, after she left her career in PR.
She has since gradually gained the confidence of the Queen and, insiders have noted, she has often been chosen as a companion by the monarch on her trips to church when the pair were at Balmoral or Sandringham together.
Sophie and Prince Edward got married in 1999
The trust the Queen has in Sophie became apparent in April, following the death of Prince Philip.
In the immediate aftermath of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, Sophie, Edward and their eldest child Lady Louise were spotted visiting the grieving Queen multiple times.
Moreover, they updated the public with details about the Duke’s passing.
And, Sophie told the press, when asked how the 95-year-old was doing: “The Queen has been amazing.”
The Queen has been focusing on light desk duties since October 20
A few days after Philip’s death, Sophie also released to the press an intimate picture of the Queen and the Duke she had taken while they were all vacationing at Balmoral.
The Queen is also believed to be particularly close to Lady Louise and her brother James, Viscount Severn.
Lady Louise, in particular, struck the Queen with her love for Balmoral and horse riding, according to reports.
And she famously shared with Prince Philip the love for carriage driving, which she discussed in the BBC documentary aired after the Duke’s death.