How did Sophie, Countess of Wessex meet Prince Edward? Inside their 20-year marriage
Sophie, Countess of Wessex has been a full-time member of the Royal Family since her wedding in 1999. As a working royal, she is often spotted out performing her royal duties on behalf of the Queen. She was given the title of the Countess of Wessex when she married Prince Edward, who became the Earl of Wessex. When did she meet Prince Edward and what is their relationship like?
Formally Sophie Rhys-Jones, the Countess was born in Oxford on 20 January 1965.
She trained as a secretary at West Kent College before she began a career in public relations.
Sophie worked for a number of companies and even set up her own public relations agency, which she ran for five years.
It was during her time working for Capital Radio she first met Prince Edward, who was reportedly dating her friend.
In 1993, the couple met again at a charity event and began dating shortly after.
After six years of dating, Sophie and Edward announced their engagement and tied the knot at Windsor Castle just months later on 19 June 1999.
At the wedding, Sophie showed her commitment to Prince Edward by wearing a black and white pearl necklace and earrings set he had gifted to her.
It is thought the couple have stayed so strong as they have focused on keeping their relationship private and Prince Edward even issued a statement to the press about this.
It read: “I am taking this unusual step of writing to you directly in the hopes of stopping your reporters and photographers from destroying that part of my life that I am entitled to regard as private and more importantly, Sophie’s life.”
Since tying the knot, the couple have had two children together, Lady Louise Windsor, 15, and James Viscount Severn, 11.
Sophie is also believed to get on very well with her mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, 93.
The two women are known to share a passion for military history and they have been spotted horse riding together in the grounds of Windsor Park.
The Countess has ensured her and Edward’s children grow up around family, and they both attended school in Windsor Castle, near the Queen’s home.
Sophie is an influential member of the royals and it is believed the Queen encourages her to support other younger royals.
Shortly after Meghan Markle, 37, became part of the Royal Family, Sophie looked out for her at a number of events.