‘Queen’s favourite’: Sophie Wessex's adorable bond with ‘mama’ Elizabeth II laid bare

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Senior members of the Royal Family rushed to Balmoral on Thursday to spend their final moments with the beloved monarch. But only two spouses were present. Sophie Wessex, often branded the Firm’s “secret weapon” by courtiers, was joined by Camilla, now the Queen Consort, for an intimate, family farewell.

Sophie, who has been described as the “Queen’s favourite”, is understood to have enjoyed a very close relationship with Her Majesty.

Prince Edward’s wife was often spotted sitting in pride of place next to the monarch on Sunday morning drives to church when visiting Balmoral and Sandringham.

And now author Christina Lamb has opened up about her experience of meeting the Countess and explained why Sophie’s friendship with the Queen was so strong.

The writer detailed the heartwarming moment Sophie’s face “lit up” when asked about her bond with the Queen.

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Ms Lamb said: “I spent a few days with Sophie in South Sudan two years ago, just before the pandemic stopped travel, as she visited the war-torn country as part of her work campaigning against sexual violence in conflict.

“We’d had a tough day visiting survivors of harrowing attacks in a hot, smelly and overcrowded camp but her face lit up when I asked her about the Queen and if it was true that they had a particularly close relationship.”

Ms Lamb then claimed Sophie had said in reply: “I think so, I hope so.”

The author went on to outline exactly what it was the Queen and Sophie shared a passion for.

She said the royals bonded over an interest in military history “spending hours poring over ancient documents in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle”.

Ms Lamb also claimed “the mutual warmth of their relationship was helped by proximity” because the Wessex family lived “just over ten miles away from Windsor Castle at Bagshot Park”.

The author said: “During the pandemic, when restrictions were partially lifted, Sophie went for regular walks with the Queen in Windsor Great Park, particularly after Prince Philip’s death when she became her ‘rock’”.

But life as a senior working royal was not always easy for Sophie, Ms Lamb claimed, and the Countess was guided by the Queen to “manage expectations”.

Writing for The Times, she said: “Sophie admitted to me it was a struggle and that she did not enjoy royal duties at first, wanting to take over events she attended, ‘not just be the icing on the cake’ as she put it. But over time, helped by the Queen’s guidance, she had learnt to ‘manage expectations’.”

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The author’s revelations come as the Queen’s coffin made its final journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh on Sunday to St Giles’ Cathedral where it will lie in state until Tuesday before being airlifted to London for Her Majesty’s funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday, September 19 before being moved to its final resting place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

As the Queen’s coffin passed the Scottish Parliament, Scotland’s political leaders assembled to pay their respects. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, Scottish Green co-leader Lorna Slater and Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton stood on the pavement outside Holyrood as the hearse slowed.

Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone and her deputies Liam MacArthur and Annabelle Ewing also lined the street to show their appreciation to the Queen. As the leaders joined some of the thousands lining the streets in applause, the procession increased its speed into the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Scottish mourners paid tribute to the Queen by lining the route of her coffin procession in their thousands as she left Balmoral for the last time. Silent, sombre and respectful, well-wishers gathered beside country roads, bridges and in village and city centres to say goodbye to the woman who was never more at home than when in Scotland.

By the time the procession reached its destination of Edinburgh’s Palace of Holyroodhouse, after more than six hours, the crowds were 10 deep in places on the famous Royal Mile, a famous thoroughfare the Queen knew well.



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