Sophie Countess of Wessex: How the royal’s marriage to Prince Edward has lasted 20 years

Sophie Countess of Wessex married Prince Edward in 1999. Originally from Oxford, she was a PR girl before marrying to the Royal Family. Now she and the Earl of Wessex have two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. While Sophie and Edward have been together for over two decades after meeting a charity match in 1993, all of Edward’s siblings first marriages haven’t lasted. Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced in 1996, and Prince Andrew also split from Fergie in 1996. Princess Anne and Mark Phillips divorced in 1992. So how have Sophie and Edward managed to defy the odds and stay happily married? Some believe it may have a lot to do with their loyalty to one another, Sophie’s closeness to the Queen and their strong body language.

Sophie Countess of Wessex: How royal’s marriage to Prince Edward lasted 20 years

They support each other

According to royal biographer Ingrid Seward, Edward didn’t want his family history of divorce to repeat itself when it came to his own marriage with Sophie.

“The failures of the marriages of his beloved sister Anne and then in rapid and ever more embarrassing succession, Andrew and Charles, made Edward even more determined to put caution before commitment,” she revealed.

As soon as their relationship became public, Edward, 55, warned the media not to hassle Sophie, writing in an official letter: “I am very conscious that other members of my immediate family have been subjected to similar attention and it has not been at all beneficial to their relationships.”

Since then, the couple have supported each other through the thick and thin. They regularly make visits across the world, including South Africa, Canada and Jamaica, and are often praised for their kindness when meeting the public.

And in 2011, the couple leaned on one another, as the Countess sadly suffered an ectopic pregnancy and had to undergo an emergency caesarian.

Sophie’s close relationship with the Queen

Often described as “the Queen’s favourite”, Sophie has blossomed from a supporting player in the Royal Family into a prominent figure. Her close relationship with her mother-in-law hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The two women share a passion for military history and a love of horse, and have been spotted out riding together in the magnificent grounds of Windsor Park.

The Queen has been known to turn up unannounced at Edward and Sophie’s Surrey home for afternoon tea.

Their strong bond was made even clearer when the Queen visited Sophie in hospital shortly after Lady Louise’s birth in 2003, breaking tradition.

A royal source told OK! magazine: “Her majesty doesn’t even visit people on their deathbeds.”

Body language

Body language expert Judi James analysed the couple and assessed why their marriage has stood the test of time.

She said: “Of all the Queen’s children, Edward was perhaps the one least expected to make a strong, long-term marriage.

“Having quit the Royal Marine training in a rather emotional escape he began as a tea-boy for a theatre company before showing both his talent for making bad decisions and his more high-handed, belligerent side by first organising the ill-fated ‘It’s a Royal Knock-out’ and then storming out of the press interview in a strop when journalists gave it a less than enthusiastic reception.”

However, the body language expert has claimed that Sophie is an ideal partner for her prince. She explained: “Judging from her history and her body language I would suggest this is largely down to Sophie.

“A successful PR with her own firm she integrated into the Royal Family in a very unfussy way and was a perfect complement for her husband’s trait of apparently taking himself a little too seriously.”

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