How Sophie Wessex's engagements have increased

Sophie Wessex is tackling women’s issues on visits to war-torn and developing countries such as South Sudan and Sierra Leone, and royal expert says it’s a sign she’s ready to ‘fill Meghan Markle’s shoes’

  • Sophie Wessex taking on two far flung trips in the first quarter of the year alone 
  • This follows the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s January announcement that they would be stepping down from royal duties
  • Visited an array of women’s initiatives in Sierra Leone at the end of January 
  • Arrived in Sudan this week, visiting women’s causes close to Meghan’s heart
  • Experts have suggested Prince Edward’s wife will take on more responsibility
  • Her foreign travel trips are comparable to heir of the throne Charles who has visited Switzerland, Oman, Palestine and Israel this year
  • Meanwhile the Cambridges have only visited Ireland in the first quarter

Sophie Wesssex has taken on two far flung trips in the first quarter of the year alone, following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s January announcement that they would be stepping down from royal duties.

The royal, 55, who is married to the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, appears to be taking on more humanitarian engagements that Meghan Markle, 38, would have been passionate about taking on in her position as a senior royal. 

Sophie flew to Sierra Leone in January, visiting a Technical Secondary School, a Health Clinic, a Women’s Centre, and the Freetown Commonwealth Cemetery.

And this week the royal flew to the Republic of South Sudan, visiting various initiatives to protect the safety of girls and women, as well as meeting women peacebuilders and rights activists – all causes close to Meghan’s heart. 

Sophie flew to Munich on Valentine’s Day to visit the Initiative for Munich Girls, and has undertaken 15 other engagements this year alone – including hosting various charitable dinners at St. James’ Palace, and a reception at Buckingham Palace. 

Her foreign travel is on the same scale as that of the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, 71, who has also made three foreign travel trips, including Palestine and Israel, Oman and Switzerland this year. 

Sophie Wesssex is taking on two far flung trips in the first quarter of the year alone, following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s January announcement that they would be stepping down from royal duties (seen in Sierra Leone at the end of January)

Sophie visited Munich on Valentine’s Day (seen) to visit the Initiative for Munich Girls, and has undertaken 15 other engagements this year alone

This week the royal flew to the Republic of South Sudan, visiting various initiatives to protect the safety of girls and women, as well as meeting women peacebuilders and rights activists – all causes close to Meghan’s heart

Meanwhile Prince William, 37, and Kate Middleton, 38, are only visiting Ireland during the first three months of this year.

Royal author Phil Dampier told FEMAIL : ‘Sophie is definitely taking on more and more high profile humanitarian jobs and seems to be performing more royal duties abroad.

‘To some extent she has been doing this for years but has not had the publicity because she’s been overshadowed by the more well-known royals.

‘But I see a much bigger role for her with Harry and Meghan off the scene.

‘Sophie is very good with people and comes across as caring and interested in the causes she visits.

‘Harry and Meghan were going to be ambassadors for the Queen throughout the Commonwealth and there were going to be lots of trips all over the world.

‘Sophie will be able to step up her workload and fill Meghan’s shoes. She has a different style but it’s down to earth and effective.

‘The Queen admires her and will give her total support if she wants to take on more duties.

‘With Charles and Camilla in their 70s and Anne 70 this year, Sophie is needed to play a much larger role.’  

The royal, 55, who is married to the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, appears to be taking on more humanitarian engagements that Meghan Markle, 38, would have been passionate about taking on in her position as a senior royal (seen at a reception at London’s Buckingham Palace to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit in January)

ophie, Countess of Wessex ahead of unveiling a plaque as she opens The Countess of Wessex Studios at the Central School of Ballet’s new premises 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s final official engagement is expected to be March 9, when they will join the Queen at Westminster Abbey to mark Commonwealth Day. They are seen at Canada House on January 7 when they announced they would be stepping down

Sophie’s foreign travel is on the same scale as that of the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, 71, who has also made three foreign travel trips, including Palestine and Israel, Oman and Switzerland this year

Last month a source claimed Sophie, the Queen’s ‘long-term favourite’, is set to take on more royal responsibility and represent Her Majesty, 93, at more engagements after Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle’s decision to step back from the royal family.

A royal insider revealed how the ‘very popular’ Countess has been chosen by Buckingham Palace to step into the spotlight in the coming months. 

They told The Sun: ‘Sophie’s a long-term favourite of the Queen and has been singled out as a person the Palace would like to help ease the burden.’

Sophie, who is married to the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, 55, has a particularly close relationship with her mother-in-law and already represents the Crown both at home and overseas.

It is believed Sophie is seen by the Queen as the Royal Family’s safest pair of hands, because her marriage to Prince Edward has lasted, while Charles, Anne and Andrew have all been divorced.

A recent job advert showed the Wessexes are hiring an Assistant Private Secretary, suggesting an increase in duties. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s final official engagement is expected to be March 9, when they will join the Queen at Westminster Abbey to mark Commonwealth Day. 

Meanwhile Prince William, 37, and Kate Middleton, 38, are only visiting Ireland during the first three months of this year (pictured)

Sophie Wessex’s engagements in the first quarter of 2020 

7 January 2020

Sophie, patron of England Hockey, took part in a training session at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in Marlow

15 January 2020 

The Earl and Countess of Wessex held a dinner for their Charitable Trust

23 January 2020 

The Countess of Wessex visited the Russel Technical Secondary School in Sierra Leone, in support of the Department for International Development

Later on Sophie visited the Department for International Development-funded Tombo Health Clinic, Tombo, in the Western Urban District 

Sophie then visited the Aberdeen Women’s Centre, Aberdeen, in Freetown

Finally, Sophie visited Freetown (King Tom) Commonwealth Cemetery, in King Tom, Freetown, and laid a wreath  

14 February 2020 

The Countess of Wessex undertook engagements in Munich, Germany, and visited the Initiative for Munich Girls, at 38 Jahnstraße

Later the Countess of Wessex attended a lunch given by Her Majesty’s Consul-General for Munich, Mr Simon Kendall, at the residence

To conclude, Sophie attended the Fifty Sixth Munich Security Conference, Bayerischer Hof Hotel, 2-6 Promenadeplatz

26 February 2020 

The Countess of Wessex, Global Ambassador of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, held a reception for Vision for the Commonwealth at St. James’s Palace

27 February 2020

Sophie opened The Countess of Wessex Studios for ballet in London

Acting in her role as Grand President, St. John Ambulance in the Priory of England and the Islands, she held a meeting 

The Countess of Wessex, Colonel-in-Chief, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, subsequently received Colonel Alison Farmer upon assuming her appointment as Chief Nursing Officer

Her Royal Highness, Honorary Air Commodore, Royal Air Force Wittering, received Air Commodore Anthony Keeling upon relinquishing his appointment as Station Commander 

The Countess of Wessex, Patron, Central School of Ballet, then held a reception at Buckingham Palace

Her Royal Highness, Patron, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, attended the film première of ‘Sulphur and White’ 

3 March 2020 

The Countess of Wessex flew to Juba International Airport to be received by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan 

Sophie met with the Head of Protection Cluster on the major protection risks to women and girls

 The Countess of Wessex afterwards attended a meeting with leaders from South Sudan Council of Churches

Her Royal Highness attended a dinner with women peacebuilders and women’s rights activists at the residence

 

  

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