Prince Edward’s wife, who has been widely praised for her work during the pandemic, takes over the patronage of Princess Alexandra’s guide dogs.
The queen’s cousin is leaving his post after more than 60 years.
The two royals opened the new Guide Dogs South West regional center in Bristol this week to officially mark the handover.
They met people supported by the amazing charity, along with some of their adorable dogs and puppies, and attended training demonstrations.
Guide Dogs President Jamie Hambro said: “We are incredibly honored to personally mark and thank Princess Alexandra for her wonderful contribution over the past sixty-seven years, first as President and then since 1957 as a godmother.
“We hope she feels proud of the organization that has flourished under her patronage. Since our first four guide dog owners in 1931, we are now helping thousands of visually impaired people, of all ages, enjoy freedom and independence.
“We look forward to working with our new boss to continue to showcase our work that empowers people with sight loss to live the lives of their choice. “
Sophie has been described as the royal family’s ‘secret weapon’ and the Queen has relied on her more than ever in the past two years.
After Meghan and Harry resigned and Prince Andrew was forced to resign due to his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, there was a shortage of senior royals to carry out engagements – with Sophie ready to fill the void.
As a godmother to more than 70 organizations, Prince Edward’s wife is equally at home in a suburban primary school or at the United Nations, campaigning to help British nurses or defending the rights of women and girls in the whole world.
Courtiers praise her work ethic and admire how she managed to carve out a place for herself in the family business after being caught in an embarrassing scandal that rocked the royal family.
The countess was forced to resign as president of her public relations firm in 2001 after she was recorded making derogatory comments about senior politicians to an undercover journalist.
Sophie, who had only been married to Prince Edward for two years, issued a creepy apology after being embarrassingly accused of using her royal connections to manage a £ 20,000-a-month PR account for a prince Saudi.
An assistant revealed: “She never shied away from what was a manifestly embarrassing episode at the time, but every day since she became an active member of the family, she has worked tirelessly for every cause in her life. which she is passionately involved with. “
Indeed, her work can often seem to go unnoticed next to the attention that comes with other arguably more glamorous royals, but those who know her best will confirm that the arrangement suits her modest personality.
Despite being a descendant of King Henry IV, the Countess, née Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones, grew up in a fairly affluent middle-class family in Kent.
The second child of her father Christopher, sales manager, and Mary, a charity worker, born January 20, 1956, the family lived on a 17th century four bedroom farmhouse in Brenchley.
She met future husband Edward in 1987 while working for Capital Radio in London, apparently while dating his boyfriend. Several years later, they reconnected at a charity event and began dating, their engagement being announced in January 1999.
Edward proposed with a two-carat oval diamond flanked by two heart-shaped gemstones set in 18k white gold – valued in excess of £ 100,000.
Sophie, in rank at least, is essentially under the hierarchical order of the young duchesses of the family, but the queen is said to be “fabulously attached” to Sophie and greatly admires her work.
The Duchess of Cambridge is also seen as a strong friend with her as they have teamed up on common commitments.