THE Countess of Wessex is known for being a passionate patron of charities and organisations.
But who is Sophie Rhys Jones and when was her wedding to Prince Edward? Here’s the lowdown…
The Countess of Wessex is known for being a passionate patron of charities and organisations[/caption]
Who is the Countess of Wessex?
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 54, was born Sophie Helen Rhys Jones on January 20, 1965 in Oxford to parents Christopher Bournes Rhys Jones and Mary.
Touchingly, Sophie – who has an older brother David – was named after her father’s sister Helen who died in a riding accident five years before her birth.
She was raised in a four bed 17th-century farmhouse in Brenchley, Kent and began her education at Dulwich Preparatory School, before moving on to Kent College, Pembury.
It was while at Kent College where she became friends with Sarah Sienesi, with whom she shared a flat in Fulham and who later became her lady-in-waiting.
Sophie then trained as a secretary at West Kent College, Tonbridge.
She then began a career in public relations, working for a variety of firms, including Capital Radio as well as public relations companies The Quentin Bell Organisation and MacLaurin Communications & Media.
The Countess also worked as a ski representative in Switzerland and spent a year travelling and working in Australia.
In 1996, she launched her public relations agency, RJH Public Relations, which she ran with her business partner, Murray Harkin, for five years.
When did Sophie Rhys Jones’ meet Prince Edward?
The Countess met Prince Edward while working at Capital Radio for the first time in 1987.
At the time, the youngest son of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh was dating her friend.
But after meeting again at a charity event in 1993, the two began a relationship soon afterwards, and their engagement was announced on January 6 1999.
Prince Edward proposed to Sophie with a two-carat oval diamond flanked by two heart-shaped gemstones shaped gemstones set in 18-carat white gold, and was made by the Royal jeweller Garrard & Co and is worth an estimated £105,000.
When was their wedding?
Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys Jones were married on June 19, 1999 at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle – the same location as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wedded at.
On their wedding day, Prince Edward was created a hereditary peer as Earl of Wessex, and Sophie the Countess of Wessex.
The couple then spent their honeymoon at Balmoral Castle and moved to Bagshot Park, their home in Surrey.
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Who are their children?
The Earl and Countess have two children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
In December 2001, the Countess was taken to the King Edward VII Hospital after feeling unwell, and it was discovered that she was suffering from an ectopic pregnancy and the foetus had to be removed.
Two years later, on November 8 2003, she prematurely gave birth to their daughter, Louise, resulting from a sudden placental abruption that placed both mother and child at risk.
The Countess had to undergo an emergency caesarean section at Frimley Park Hospital, while the Earl of Wessex rushed back from Mauritius.
The Countess returned to Frimley Park Hospital on December 17 2007, to give birth by caesarean section to their son, James Viscount Severn.
The Countess is a mother of two[/caption]