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Sophie Wessex, the wife of the Queen’s youngest son, showed her unwavering support to her husband this afternoon as she joined the royal family in procession to escort the Queen’s coffin down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
The royal, 57, joined the Queen’s Consort in a fleet of cars as the Queen’s children walked behind the hearse carrying the Queen to St Giles’ Cathedral this afternoon, ahead of a service of thanksgiving.
Wearing a black suit and a matching headpiece, Sophie looked sombre as she joined her fellow royals for the deeply solemn 1,200 yard procession, which took place in bright sunshine, with hundreds of well-wishers lining the city’s oldest streets.
Following the Queen’s Piper, King Charles, in full military regalia, lead his siblings on foot including the Duke of York, Earl of Wessex and the Princess Royal – while the Queen Consort and other members of the monarchy followed in cars.
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Sophie Wessex (pictured left), the wife of the Queen’s youngest son, showed her unwavering support to her husband this afternoon as she joined the royal family in procession to escort the Queen’s coffin down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile
Wearing a black suit and a matching headpiece, Sophie looked sombre as she joined her fellow royals for the deeply solemn 1,200 yard procession, which took place in bright sunshine, with hundreds of well-wishers lining the city’s oldest streets
Crowds line the Royal Mile, Edinburgh, as King Charles III joins a procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral following the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II
In bright sunshine, the Queen’s hearse made its way to St Giles Cathedral this afternoon; with the Queen’s four children leading the procession on foot
The mother-of-two appeared deep in thought as the coffin of the late Monarch left the Holyroodhouse Palace earlier this afternoon. She has been showing unwavering support for her husband Prince Edward since the announcement of the Queen’s death
Sophie was seen entering St Giles, standing very close to her husband, who was wearing his military uniform and titles for the sombre occasion
King Charles III, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex walk behind Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin during the procession from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh
Members of the royal family present at today’s service, which included the King and Queen Consort, all sat next to each other, with Sophie standing on the end
At the cathedral, the Crown of Scotland will be placed upon the coffin. After a service, members of the public will be allowed to file past to pay their respects for 24 hours before Her Majesty is moved to London by plane.
Earlier, King Charles III met with well-wishers who lined the streets of Edinburgh to see him today in an unplanned walkabout as Scotland’s capital welcomed the new monarch and mourned the Queen as she lies in rest in the throne room of Holyroodhouse.
There were cheers, clapping and cries of God Save the King as his limousine went along the Royal Mile and through the Scottish capital. He then got out and spoke to crowds, thanking them for coming and their best wishes followed by the Queen Consort, Camilla.
Prince Edward’s wife, 57, was very close to her mother-in-law, and was known as one of her closest confidantes. Her Majesty’s daughter-in-law was often been noted as the monarch’s ‘favourite’ family member after she married Prince Edward.
Sophie formed a close bond with the royal family after losing her own mother, Mary Rhys-Jones, to stomach cancer in 2005 aged 71, when her daughter Lady Louise Windsor was only two.
Sophie, who was wearing all black, appeared deep in thought as she followed the procession in a car. Her husband Prince Edward was on foot
A dark day for Sophie. The Countess of Wessex looked sombre during this afternoon’s procession, which saw the Queen’s coffin being moved from Holyroodhouse Palace to St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh
King Charles seen travelling in a convoy of cars to Holyrood to return with the Queen’s coffin to St Giles Cathedral, where the Vigil of the Princes will take place
There were cheers and clapping as the limousine passed through the Scottish capital
King Charles is pictured inspecting an honour guard waiting for him in Edinburgh
She was also extremely distraught following the death of the Duke Edinburgh, and became the Queen’s ‘rock’ following his funeral.
Sophie has spoken openly about her grief before, having previously spoken of a tragic miscarriage she suffered in 2001.
Meanwhile in 2005, Sophie lost her mother. The Countess opened up about her mother’s death last year during a speech for Women’s Institute members at their annual meeting in June 2021.
She said of her other that she missed ‘her very much and there are moments where I hear some music she loved or I do something I know she’d have wanted to hear about, which make her early departure very hard.
She has missed out on so much, and I’m particularly sad that she hasn’t seen my children grow up or seen how my work has grown and developed,’ she added. ‘She would have loved that I am talking to you today.’
At the time of Mrs Rhys-Jones death, a statement from Buckingham Palace said: ‘The Countess was very close to her mother and this is a very sad time. She is being comforted by her husband but she is deeply saddened.’
After her mother’s passing, Sophie grew close to the Queen, whom she was heard calling ‘mama’ on occasion, including at a Diamond Jubilee Trust event at Buckingham Palace in 2019.
In recent years, former aides have previously described the Queen’s relationship with Sophie as ‘like mother and daughter’, adding: ‘There is a great deal of love and mutual respect between them.’
Sophie and The Queen enjoyed a privileged relationship, and the Countess of Wessex was often described as the Monarch’s favourite daughter-in-law (pictured at Royal Ascot in 2019)
Sophie became the Monarch’s ‘rock’ following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh in 2021. Pictured at his funeral in Windsor on 17 April of that year)
And in 2021, a tearful Countess described the queen as ‘amazing’ as she and her husband Prince Edward comforted Her Majesty at Windsor Castle following the death of her husband Prince Philip.
Sophie’s determination also saw her take on full-time royal duties, and embrace rural pursuits beloved by the royals, such as riding, fishing, shooting game and carriage driving.
In recent years, she has been a rock for the Queen. Speaking in 2021, one friend said: ‘Sophie set herself a series of tasks. She learned how to ride properly and now rides with the Queen at least once a week.
‘She took up carriage-driving to be close to Philip,’ they added.
Earlier today, she was seen looking through floral tributes the late monarch with Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice
Prince Edward and Sophie were the first to visit the grieving Monarch after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, and as they left the castle Sophie was visibly upset.
At the time, she was described as one of a group of four who were providing support for the monarch.
‘Sophie is like another daughter to the Queen, they are that close,’ said a Royal source. ‘She is trusted and relied on like few others.’
And speaking in June last year, royal expert Duncan Larcombe told The Sun: ‘Sophie has emerged as the Queen’s unlikely “rock” as the monarch adjusts to life without Prince Philip.’
‘Prince Edward’s wife has – according to sources – made it her personal mission to ensure Her Majesty is fully supported by the family.
‘Since the Duke’s death in April, Sophie has driven the 10 miles from her Bagshot Park home to Windsor Castle every few days and most weekends to spend socially-distanced time with Her Majesty.’
For the days she couldn’t make it to see the Queen in person, the Countess ‘made a point of calling her mother-in-law at least once a day’.
Sophie looked very sombre on Thursday when she arrived at Balmoral alongside the Duke of Cambridge and Cornwall, Duke of York and Earl of Wessex.
The Countess broke down in tears as she opened up about the death of Prince Philip during an emotional BBC interview.
Sophie was seen holding hands with her daughter Lady Louise in Balmoral earlier this afternoon
In the interview, recorded in 2021, the interview Sophie grew increasingly tearful while talking about the Duke of Edinburgh, who she was close to. She spoke candidly about the photograph she took of the Queen and her father-in-law in Scotland in 2003.
She said: ‘We were lucky enough to go to Scotland for half term and I don’t know if you remember the photograph I took? It was… yes… I was pregnant with Louise at the time and we went up there during half term.’
The Royal was forced to pause as she struggled to hold back the tears as Ms Munchetty asked: ‘Are you okay?’
She continued: ‘And just to be there, in that place… was an oh my god moment. So I think they’ll come and go. But you have to let them come and let them go.
‘But just talking to you now it’s a bit of an oh my goodness moment which you don’t necessarily expect and you don’t expect them to come.
‘I had the same when I lost my mother. You know I’d be fine, absolutely fine fine fine, then something happened or you’d hear a piece of music or you’d do something then suddenly you would, you know, get taken off at the knees.
‘So there will be lots of moments like that but it’s good to remember.’