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‘Savvy peacemaker’ Sophie Wessex may bridge divide between Sussexes and other royals, says expert

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex has been described as a ‘savvy peacemaker’ who may be tasked with ‘soothing tensions between the Sussexes and the rest of the Firm’.

The 57-year-old royal, who has been married to Prince Edward, 58, since 1999, will share at the Queen’s funeral on Monday with the Duchess of Sussex.

It follows the pair being driven together behind Her Majesty’s procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall earlier this week.

Now according to royal expert Camilla Tominey, writing in the Telegraph, the job of making sure the ‘Sussexes are made to feel part of this week’s sombre proceedings’ appears to have fallen to Sophie. 

The job of ‘making sure the ‘Sussexes are made to feel part of this week’s sombre proceedings’ appears to have fallen to Sophie (pictured)’ according to royal expert Camilla Tominey

Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, (left) will share a car with the Duchess of Sussex (right) during the Queen's funeral on Monday. Here they are pictured sharing a car during the procession of the Queen's coffin earlier this week

Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, (left) will share a car with the Duchess of Sussex (right) during the Queen’s funeral on Monday. Here they are pictured sharing a car during the procession of the Queen’s coffin earlier this week

According to a former aide, Sophie (centre) is 'made for the role of mediator' and is down to Earth (pictured with the Princess of Wales, left, and the Duchess of Sussex, right)

According to a former aide, Sophie (centre) is ‘made for the role of mediator’ and is down to Earth (pictured with the Princess of Wales, left, and the Duchess of Sussex, right)

The royal expert cites reports of previous times the Countess is believed to have ‘stepped in to soothe tensions’, including after the funeral of Prince Philip last year, when she is said to have sought out Prince Harry and spoken with him for some 30 minutes.

Additionally, other reports say Sophie was the first royal to visit the Sussexes following the birth of their son Archie in 2019, driving to the Frogmore Cottage home.      

Speaking about the visit, a source told the The Times, that Sophie is ‘normal’ and has empathy that perhaps others in the Firm ‘don’t naturally have’.  

They said: ‘She did the right thing. She got in the car and went over. She has got the empathy and warmth that maybe people who grew up in that family don’t naturally have. 

‘Normal people would think: this is what you do. You go; you make sure the new mum is OK and see the baby.’

And a former aide of the Countess told the Telegraph that ‘Sophie is made for the role of mediator’.

They said: ‘That’s why she’s the Queen’s favourite daughter-in-law – she’s down to earth and just gets on with it.

The Countess of Wessex (pictured here in Manchester Cathedral on September 15, lighting a candle in memory of Her Majesty) is said to be a 'savvy peacemaker' by royal expert Camilla Tominey

The Countess of Wessex (pictured here in Manchester Cathedral on September 15, lighting a candle in memory of Her Majesty) is said to be a ‘savvy peacemaker’ by royal expert Camilla Tominey

Sophie (pictured in Edinburgh on September 12, following the procession of the Queen's coffin to St Giles' Cathedral) has been seen looking emotional following the death of the Queen, who she was incredibly close to

Sophie (pictured in Edinburgh on September 12, following the procession of the Queen’s coffin to St Giles’ Cathedral) has been seen looking emotional following the death of the Queen, who she was incredibly close to

‘Like Meghan, she’s not only had a professional life before royalty but she also knows what it feels like to be vilified in the press. She understands what Harry and Meghan are going through.’

When Sophie and Meghan share a car on Monday, they will travel behind members of the royal family walking on foot.

Her Majesty’s coffin will travel by ceremonial procession along a detailed route through London and then Windsor before she is laid to rest.   

King Charles III will one again lead his family members – including Princes William and Harry – walking behind the Queen’s coffin when it is moved Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex also shared a car during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth earlier this week

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex also shared a car during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth earlier this week

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, greeted members of the public in St Ann's Square in Manchester yesterday

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, greeted members of the public in St Ann’s Square in Manchester yesterday

After the service the Queen’s coffin will be returned to the gun carriage by the bearer party and a procession will travel to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park.

The King and the royal party will take up their same places behind the coffin as when they escorted it to the Abbey, while the Queen Consort and Princess of Wales will travel to the site by car as will the Duchess of Sussex and Countess of Wessex.

The Queen’s state funeral will end with a two-minute national silence in a ‘fitting tribute to an extraordinary reign’ before she is laid to rest beside her late husband, Buckingham Palace revealed today.

The King and the Queen’s three other children will also hold a 15-minute vigil at her coffin in Westminster Hall on Friday evening, it was announced today.

Charles III and the Royal Family have said they ‘wish to send their sincere gratitude for the messages of condolence received from around the world’, adding they have been ‘deeply moved by the global response and affection shown for the Queen as people join them in mourning the loss of Her Majesty’.

King Charles looks tearful as he marches with Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Anne, Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence earlier this week

King Charles looks tearful as he marches with Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Anne, Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence earlier this week

The coffin of the Queen rests in Westminster Hall at the Palace of Westminster

The coffin of the Queen rests in Westminster Hall at the Palace of Westminster 

200 everyday heroes – including NHS staff who excelled during the pandemic and volunteers recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June – will be part of a 2,000-strong congregation gathered at Westminster Abbey for the final farewell to the long-reigning monarch on Monday.

Britain’s bravest military heroes awarded the Victoria Cross – the highest and most prestigious award of Britain’s honours system introduced in 1856 by Queen Victoria during the Crimean War – or the George Cross, have also been asked to attend.

Minute-by-minute guide to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, September 19 

6.30am – Doors will close to the public for the Queen’s lying in state in Westminster Hall.

8am – The doors of Westminster Abbey will open to the congregation to take their seats for the state funeral service.

Heads of state and overseas government representatives, including foreign royal families, governors-general and realm prime ministers will gather initially at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, and travel under collective arrangements to Westminster Abbey.

10.35am – Just after 10.35am, a bearer party, found by The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, will lift the coffin from the catafalque.

It will then carry it in procession from Westminster Hall to the Royal Navy’s state gun carriage, which will be positioned outside the building’s North Door.

10.44am – The gun carriage, drawn by 142 Royal Navy service personnel, will set off at 10.44am.

The King, members of the royal family, members of the King’s Household and Household of the Prince of Wales will follow the coffin.

10.52am – The procession arrives at the West Gate of Westminster Abbey where the bearer party will lift the coffin from the state gun carriage and carry it inside for the state funeral service.

11am – The state funeral service begins.

11.55am – The Last Post will sound followed by a national two-minute silence.

12pm – Reveille, the national anthem and a lament, played by the Queen’s Piper, will bring the state funeral service to an end at approximately noon.

The coffin will be carried to the state gun carriage.

12.15pm – The procession will set off for Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner, following the route of Broad Sanctuary Parliament Square (south and east sides), Parliament Street, Whitehall, Horse Guards including Horse Guards Arch, Horse Guards Road, The Mall, Queen’s Gardens (south and west sides), Constitution Hill and Apsley Way.

1pm – The procession will arrive at Wellington Arch.

The bearer party will lift the coffin from the state gun carriage and place it in the state hearse.

The state hearse will then depart on its journey to Windsor as the parade gives a royal salute and the national anthem is played.

The King and the Queen Consort, the Prince and Princess of Wales and members of the royal family will depart for Windsor by car.

3.06pm – The state hearse will approach Shaw Farm Gate on Albert Road, Windsor, and join the procession, which will have been formed up and in position.

3.10pm – The procession will step off. The route will be: Albert Road, Long Walk, Cambridge Gate, Cambridge Drive, George IV Gate, Quadrangle (south and west sides), Engine Court, Norman Arch, Chapel Hill, Parade Ground and Horseshoe Cloister Arch.

3.20pm – The door of St George’s Chapel will open for the congregation for the committal service.

3.25pm – Members of the royal family who will not join the procession will arrive at St George’s Chapel for the service.

3.40pm – The King and other royal family members who are walking in the procession will join it at the quadrangle on the north side as it passes into Engine Court.

3.53pm – The procession will halt at the bottom of the West Steps of St George’s Chapel in Horseshoe Cloister.

The bearer party will lift the coffin from the state hearse, from where it will be carried in procession up the West Steps.

4pm – The committal service will begin.

The length of the service is not yet known but when it ends, the King and members of the royal family will depart from the Galilee Porch for Windsor Castle.

It marks the end of public ceremonial arrangements.

7.30pm – A private burial service will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, attended by the King and members of the royal family.

The Queen is to be buried together with the Duke of Edinburgh at the King George VI Memorial Chapel.

They will join royals, politicians and world leaders in the historic church at 11am. The King will lead his family in marching behind the Queen’s coffin when it is moved Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service.

He will walk with Anne, Andrew and Edward. Behind will be the Queen’s grandsons Peter Phillips, the Duke of Sussex and the Prince of Wales, and behind them, the late monarch’s son-in-law Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, the Queen’s cousin the Duke of Gloucester, and her nephew the Earl of Snowdon.

It is not yet clear in which order the family will walk in their lines, though earlier this week Princes William and Harry walked side-by-side as the Queen’s coffin was moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. MailOnline has asked for clarification on the order.

All guests must arrive from 8am and moving elements of the funeral will include the sounding of the Last Post at 11.55am followed by a two-minute silence in the Abbey and throughout the UK as the service nears its end at midday.

Symbolic artifacts, the Sovereign’s Orb and the Sovereign’s Sceptre With Cross will be placed on top of the Queen’s coffin. The orb is presented to British monarchs during their coronation, in a tradition dating back to Charles II’s coronation in 1661. Meanwhile, the sceptre, a three-foot-long staff which represents the monarch’s power in the secular world, will also be displayed.

The Queen’s state funeral will ‘unite people across the globe and resonate with people of all faiths’, according to The Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, the man in charge of the historic day that will see Her Majesty buried with Prince Philip and her parents at Windsor on Monday evening.

The Duke of Norfolk said today that it was ‘both humbling and daunting’ to have the ‘honour and great responsibility’ to run an event that will be watched by billions of people around the globe. He said: ‘The events of recent days are a reminder of the strength of our Constitution, a system of government, which in so many ways is the envy of the world’.

The Duke has laid out his plans and revealed that the King, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex will mount a 15-minute vigil around the Queen’s coffin as it lies in state in the ancient Westminster Hall at 7.30pm on Friday. The siblings did the same thing in Edinburgh earlier this week in a ceremony known as the Vigil of the Princes.

Buckingham Palace also revealed a minute-by-minute breakdown of the state funeral – the first that Britain has hosted since Winston Churchill died in 1965.

On the morning of the State Funeral, the Lying-in-State will end at 6.30am as the final members of the public are admitted.

The doors of Westminster Abbey will open at 8am as the congregation of 2,000 VIPs begin to take their seats, three hours before the service begins at 11am.

At 10.35am, Her Majesty will be carried on the the gun carriage that conveyed her mother and father to their funerals from Westminster Hall, arriving at 10.52am. Her son, the new King, will lead the procession behind.

Moving elements of the funeral will include the sounding of the Last Post at 11.55am as the service nears its end, followed by a two-minute national silence which will be observed by the abbey congregation and by millions across the UK.

4billion people globally are expected to tune with the BBC and ITV broadcasting all day in the UK.

The Reveille – the traditional bugle call that awakens soldiers at dawn – and then the National Anthem will take place, and finally a Lament played by the Queen’s Piper which will bring the service to a close at noon, when the coffin will be carried from the Abbey.

At 12.15pm the Queen’s children and members of the Royal Family will walk behind her coffin to Wellington Arch when it leaves Westminster Abbey and Her Majesty begins her journey to Windsor to be laid to rest next to her beloved husband Prince Philip.

The Queen’s coffin will be returned to the gun carriage by the bearer party and a procession, including Prince William and Prince Harry side-by-side again, will travel to Wellington Arch at Hyde Park.

The King will once again lead his family in marching behind the Queen’s coffin when it is moved. He will walk with Anne, Andrew and Edward, and behind the quartet will be the Queen’s grandsons Peter Phillips, the Duke of Sussex and the Prince of Wales. Just like yesterday, they will be followed by the late monarch’s son-in-law Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Queen’s cousin the Duke of Gloucester, and her nephew the Earl of Snowdon.

The Queen’s coffin will be carried during the procession on a 123-year-old gun carriage, pulled by 98 Royal Navy sailors using ropes in a tradition dating back to the funeral of Queen Victoria.

She will be accompanied on her final journey by a massed Pipes & Drums of Scottish and Irish Regiments, the Brigade of Gurkhas, and the Royal Air Force – numbering 200 musicians.

The Procession is formed of seven groups, each supported by a service band. Mounties from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will lead, immediately followed by representatives of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, NHS, along with detachments from the Armed Forces of the Commonwealth.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at Queen Elizabeth's coffin procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall this week

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at Queen Elizabeth’s coffin procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall this week

William and Harry showed solidarity by both walking on foot behind their late grandmother's coffin during her lying in state procession this week

William and Harry showed solidarity by both walking on foot behind their late grandmother’s coffin during her lying in state procession this week

Her Majesty’s hearse will arrive at the Long Walk at 3.15pm, where the public will be able to give their final respects. The procession of senior royals, which will have been formed up and in position after being driven to Windsor, will again walk behind the hearse into the grounds of the castle.

There will be a televised ceremony at St George’s Chapel in Windsor at 4pm on Monday. Some 800 people, including members of the Queen’s Household and Windsor estate staff, will attend the committal service. As the coffin is lowered into the royal vault the Sovereign’s Piper will play a lament and walk slowly away so the music fades.

The Queen is to be buried together with the Duke of Edinburgh at the King George VI Memorial Chapel. The King will scatter earth on his mother’s coffin at 7.30pm at a private family service. 

Her Majesty will be buried next to her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, her father King George VI and mother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, for eternity.

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