Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, is expected to receive the Queen’s title as Duchess of Edinburgh, reports claim.
The Countess was close to Queen Elizabeth, as she telephoned Her Majesty every day and regularly visited her.
The two royal women shared a love of military history and would often spend time pouring over historic documents in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle.
The Earl and Countess also only live a short distance away from Windsor Castle at their estate, Bagshot Park, and would often spend time with the Queen by walking their dogs together.
Sophie Wessex was also known to call Queen Elizabeth ‘mama’ and it was reported that the Queen helped the Countess deal with her mother’s death from stomach cancer in 2005.
The Countess is known for her hard work behind the scenes of the Royal Family, and some couriers are believed to refer to her as “the royals’ secret weapon”.
In the past, the royal has admitted to struggling with royal duties but has said she has learned to “manage expectations” with help of Queen Elizabeth.
She said: “It took me a little while to find my feet. But I’ve met some incredible people during the time I’ve been doing royal duties.
“I’ve learnt a huge amount about an awful lot and now I’ve got this new area [campaigning against war rape] which is enormously challenging and quite an emotional rollercoaster, but I find hugely rewarding.”
The Countess is known for her passion for helping women, as she has worked with sexual violence survivors and founded the Women’s Network Forum, which promotes gender quality in the workplace.
READ MORE: The Queen’s close friendship with Sir Winston Churchill
The Countess of Wessex is expected to become the next Duchess of Edinburgh, as it was Prince Philips’s wish for his title as the Duke of Edinburgh to be passed down to his youngest son, Prince Edward.
It is thought that King Charles agreed with his father to make his brother a Duke, but speculation last year indicated that the new King may have changed his mind.
A source told the Sunday Times that: “The Prince is the Duke of Edinburgh as it stands, and it is up to him what happens to the title. It will not go to Edward.”
In a past interview with the BBC, Prince Edward seemed hesitant on if he would receive the new title, as he said: “It was fine in theory, ages ago when it was sort of a pipe dream of my father’s… and of course, it will depend on whether or not the Prince of Wales, when he becomes king, whether he’ll do that.”
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The Prince added: “So we’ll wait and see. So yes, it will be quite a challenge taking that on.”
However, royal experts seem to believe Prince Edward will inherit the title, according to the Telegraph, as he is already taken over the responsibilities of Prince Philip’s successful Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
Prince Edward is the current Chairman of Trustees for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation and regularly presents Gold Awards to young people who participate in the programme.
The scheme, which helps young people develop skills for life and work, has given over 2.5 million young people awards for completing the programme and currently has over one million active participants.