Queen's tribute to Sophie Countess of Wessex – new pictures with heartbreaking message

The Countess had a sculpture made of her face, but with one big difference, which was included to highlight an important and poignant message. It raised awareness for blind and partially sighted people by missing one eye.

This is a cause very, very close to Sophie Countess of Wessex’s heart as her daughter Louise was born with an eye condition and had difficulties with her vision growing up.

The images were captioned: “The Countess of Wessex sat for a sculpture designed for blind and partially sighted people as part of a special event yesterday for @vision_fdn, a charity which Her Royal Highness has been Patron of since 2003.

“The Countess joined sculptor Frances Segelman at her London studio for the unique socially distanced sculpting, which was live streamed to a virtual audience of charity supporters and guests.”

It went on: “Sculpture is one of the most accessible forms of art due to its tactile nature. For a visually impaired person, touching a sculpture can bring the piece to life in more ways than an audio description.

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“Once completed, the finished bust will be cast in bronze and will provide an opportunity for blind and partially sighted people to know The Countess of Wessex’s likeness – part of the Vision Foundation’s effort to help blind and partially sighted people access art in a meaningful way.

“The bust will be unveiled during the charity’s centenary year in 2021.”

Sophie Wessex has been passionately advocating for the blind and visually impaired for many, many years.

Her daughter, Louise, underwent her first operation due to her sight aged just 18 months.

Then in 2014 she had another operation, which was reported to correct her sight totally.

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Sophie has previously spoken about Louise’s sight with the Sunday Express.

She said: “Premature babies can often have squints because the eyes are the last thing in the baby package to really be finalized.

“Her squint was quite profound when she was tiny and it takes time to correct it.

“You’ve got to make sure one eye doesn’t become more dominant than the other but she’s fine now—her eyesight is perfect.”

Sophie is said to the Queen’ favourite daughter-in-law. The images of Sophie were given pride of place on The Royal Family Instagram account.

In fact, her close relationship with Her Majesty is exemplified by her £2million tiara collection. 

Sophie’s royal wedding tiara was even made from the jewels of Queen Victoria, one of Britain’s most famous and iconic monarchs.

Eddie LeVian, CEO of jewellery Le Vian, told Express.co.uk: “The tiara Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wore for her wedding day, the day she became a royal was commissioned for her by the Queen and is widely believed to have been made up of four pieces of Queen Victoria’s Regal Circlet.”



Prince William's birthday message to Prince Harry: Secret meaning behind Instagram post

During ITV’s Lorraine, royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah claimed the Instagram post of the brothers running together had caused a “hoo-hah”. The royal expert explained some viewers had suggested the post was a dig at Prince Harry running away from his royal past – with fans “reading between the lines” at what the image may “symbolise”.

Ms Kelly said: “There was lots of reaction to Prince Harry’s birthday yesterday.”

Ms Nikkhah replied: “Yes, he turned 36, he is starting his new life in America, it is a very poignant day.

“It is the same age that his mother was when she passed away.

“There have been lots of well wishes for him from members of the Royal Family.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry told to find new income source

“Photos were put out from the Queen, the Prince of Wales and from William and Kate.”

She added: “There has been a lot of hoo-hah and reading between the lines, was this picture meant to symbolise Harry running away from his royal past into his future.

“The Queen’s photo was of the two of them, the Prince of Wales put out a picture of them at the Invictus Games.

“You could argue that there is no Meghan in the photos and what does that mean?

Ms Robinson stated the brothers are further apart than they have ever been both in terms of geographic distance and in their personal relationship. 

Ms Robinson said: “You would think for something this important to both Harry and William, for that unveiling next year to mark her 60th birthday, that we would see them come together to do that.

“After all we know about the sort of falling out and the tensions between them, we might see them together.

It might be the first time.”

Mr Ship replied: “It might be, we do not know for sure, but it is possible that it will happen.”  



Royal family sending message by using 'classic pictures' of Prince Harry in happier times

Royal biographer Ingrid Seward noted the royal households who publicly wished Prince Harry a happy birthday yesterday made similar choices when it came to pictures. These snaps, she added, may have been picked to send a secret message to the Duke of Sussex. 

Or, she continued, they may be simply hinting at “happier times” for the Royal Family.

She told The Sun: “They are all ‘classic’ Harry photos rather than photos of ‘married’ Harry.

“They are all from a time when Harry was securely in the royal fold.

“It certainly does look like they are harking back to happier times.” 

The expert acknowledged the messages published on Twitter may have been crafted by staff at Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace rather than the royals themselves or with their approval.

However, she added, “it could be that they are sending Harry a message”.

The Royal Family Twitter account published a picture alongside a birthday message showing Prince Harry laughing with the monarch during a Queen’s Young Leaders reception at Buckingham Palace in 2017.

The tweet published by the account, which represents the Queen as well as other senior royals without a personal social media handle, read: “Wishing The Duke of Sussex a very happy birthday!” 

READ MORE: Prince Harry ‘wouldn’t have spent birthday with royals’ if in UK 

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, shared a similar message via their Twitter account.

But their tweet was accompanied by two pictures, one showing the Duke of Sussex smiling and a second joking with the Prince of Wales and Prince William during the Invictus Games in 2014.

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William came under fire on social media after publishing a picture of Prince Harry deemed “tongue in cheek” by some royal watchers. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Twitter account shared a message reading: “Wishing a very happy birthday to Prince Harry today!”

This was accompanied by a picture taken in February 2017 at the Olympic Park, showing the Duke of Sussex running ahead of Kate and William on the athletic track.

Twitter user Claire wrote on Twitter: “Lovely to see The Cambridges acknowledge Harry’s birthday but did make me chuckle using this picture as is it tongue in cheek him running away.”

Vanessa added: “Great pic for Harry’s birthday, run Harry run”.  

And Twitter user Takauno4u added: “Why do they choose this picture…?

It’s literally, ‘he ran away from us’.”

Others social media users noted Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle had not been featured in any of the pictures shared with the royals’ birthday messages yesterday.

Comedian and podcast presenter Sheletta Brundidge added: “Did they just wish Harry a happy birthday and put themselves in the photo but not HIS wife and child? 

“Honey, no wonder Harry is running in this picture.

“He’s trying to get up out of there to be with his immediate family!

“Y’all didn’t exile him, he exiled y’all! #ByeFelicia”.    



Queen sends Prince Harry sweet birthday message with ADORABLE throw-back photo

The Queen publicly wished a happy birthday to her grandson Prince Harry via her official Twitter account. The monarch’s social media staff on The Royal Family Twitter wrote: “Wishing The Duke of Sussex a very happy birthday!”

The message was accompanied by a picture showing the Duke laughing with his grandmother the Queen. 

The snap was taken during a Queen’s Young Leaders reception at Buckingham Palace in 2017. 

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, also marked the Duke of Sussex’ birthday. 

Publishing a message on social media a few seconds after the Queen, the royal couple’s office, Clarence House, tweeted: “Wishing a very happy birthday to The Duke of Sussex today!”



Monty Don humiliation: Gardener's awkward 'I love you' message laid bare

The veteran broadcaster shocked fans earlier this week after revealing his near three decade home transformation. Taking to Instagram, Monty snapped the 27-year difference tirelessly working on his garden had made. Great trees, once young saplings, soared into the sky, surrounded by mint-green neatly trimmed hedges.

He told followers how “amazed” he was to think that almost 30 years ago the trees were small enough to fit in the palm of his hand.

The BBC Gardeners’ World star is known for his commitment to the world of horticulture.

He’s presented the show since 2003, his career having spanned a lengthy 17 years.

Monty’s also familiar with the art of self-deprecation often making himself the butt of the joke.

This was especially true when in 2018 he revealed to The Guardian his most embarrassing moment.

It came while dealing with a client whose garden he had helped tame.

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The broadcaster has aimed as much criticism as humour at himself.

In a separate 2009 interview with the publication, he revealed how his “yes man” attitude had often negatively impacted his life.

This, he said, was especially true of his relationships with his wife, Sarah, and his children.

He explained: “Ask Sarah what the worst thing is about living with me and she would probably say that I always put work above everything else, to the detriment of my children, my wife, my health, my life.

“And what I am really bad at is saying no.”

He has also described himself as a “bully”, “egocentric”, and “impulsive”, traits which have resulted in dark periods of his life.

His self-proclaimed impulsivity was especially true during the late Eighties, early Nineties, when he and Sarah uprooted their comfy London lives for the countryside.

It wasn’t all as easy as simply moving away.

The couple had a jewellery business in Knightsbridge which soon fell apart.

A loan to buy a farm and subsequent crash of the business left Monty and his family in severe debt.

For two years their unemployment was deep rooted.

At the end of a jobless season, Monty struck gold and managed a slot on a TV gardening segment in the early Nineties.



Drivers warned about new car bumper sticker with this hidden road safety message

Drivers must be aware of the new “T” bumper sticker which is being used to identify drivers who are on telematics car insurance agreements. The new sticker has been launched by the Co-Operative Insurance to help drivers suffering from road rage by other motorists.

The plate, similar in style to an “L” or “P” plate will be a quick indicator that the driver has a telemetry system installed.

Those with a telematics black box must strictly follow speed limits and cannot drive aggressively as the device constantly rates their overall skills to determine policy prices.

Drivers who are considered to be safe drivers will be offered premiums at a cheaper rate which is important to young drivers who often face high costs.

Although, those caught driving aggressively will be hit with higher charges as they will be considered a higher risk.

READ MORE: Driving test changes have been introduced 

“Ultimately, every driver should be adhering to speed limits and driving in line with the law, but we know that isn’t always the case.

“Instead of being role-models, too many older drivers are exacerbating what is already a testing time for new and less-experienced road users.

“Drivers with black boxes will see their insurance premiums increase, or in some extreme cases, their policies cancelled if they don’t drive as they should.

“Yet, currently it’s impossible for other motorists to know if another vehicle has a black box fitted.

James Doyle, a young driver insured by the Co-Op said: “After months of learning I was so happy to finally be able to drive by myself.

“What I wasn’t prepared for was the pressure I would feel from other drivers wanting me to go faster.

“At times I’ve even had to pull over to regain my confidence. I just wish that other drivers understood how their driving makes me feel.”

Joshua Harris, spokesperson for road safety experts Brake revealed motorists “must avoid aggression” and “show patience” to less experienced drivers.

He said telematics policies were “vital” to encourage younger motorists to drive safely when they are first behind the wheel.

Mr Harris said: “Telematics can play a vital role in nudging young drivers to drive more safely and within the law.

“But this needs to be aided by the behaviour of the more experienced drivers on the road who must avoid aggressive driving and show patience to those with a lack of experience.

“We are all responsible for road safety and together we can make the roads safer for everyone.”



Russia bomb threat: Airport emptied after sickening message triggers mass evacuation

Khabarovsk Novy Airport received an anonymous bomb threat over e-mail. The message claimed there was an explosive planted in the terminal of a domestic airline.

500 people were evacuated from Khabarovsk Novy Airport after the threat.

Staff told them to wait inside buses away from the airport, partially to keep them dry.

Khabarovsk Novy Airport’s press services told Russian media agency TASS passengers can expect serious delays.

They said: “It is expected that seven flights will be delayed.”

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Russia bomb threat: Airport emptied after sickening message triggers mass evacuation

Khabarovsk Novy Airport received an anonymous bomb threat over e-mail. The message claimed there was an explosive planted in the terminal of a domestic airline.

500 people were evacuated from Khabarovsk Novy Airport after the threat.

Staff told them to wait inside buses away from the airport, partially to keep them dry.

Khabarovsk Novy Airport’s press services told Russian media agency TASS passengers can expect serious delays.

They said: “It is expected that seven flights will be delayed.”

MORE TO FOLLOW