SOPHIE, Countess of Wessex, banned a surprising thing from her wedding to Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest child, it can be revealed.
Sophie, who yesterday took on an Armed Forces obstacle course as she joined regiments competing for the Wessex Cup, married Edward in 1999. Interestingly, she decided to ban women from wearing hats to her Royal Wedding in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. It was a more informal affair than Edward’s older siblings’ weddings at Westminster Abbey or St Paul’s Cathedral.
Brides’ Magazine editor Sandra Boler suggested that the decision to ban hats was a “more European” style of wedding.
She said: “I don’t think it’s more modern exactly, I just think it’s more European, more continental, more to do with the world, rather than England.”
To match their low-key wedding, Sophie and Edward adopted the titled Earl and Countess of Wessex and announced that any children they had would be styled as children of an Earl, rather than a prince or princess.
They now have two children – Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex married in 1999 (Image GETTY)
Sophie at the Wessex cup yesterday (Image GETTY)
Another surprising thing about Sophie and Edward’s wedding was the Countess’ choice of vows.
She opted to keep the line promising to “obey” her husband as in the traditional Anglican vows, whereas Princess Diana had this word removed.
According to an ‘Unseen Video’ uploaded to YouTube by Icons in October 2017, this was a surprise to many, especially as Sophie was a self-confident 33-year old woman with her own life and career.
She ran her own PR agency and was living with Edward in Buckingham Palace before they were married, a break from royal protocol.
Sophie ruled that women should not wear hats at her wedding (Image: GETTY)
They seemed “set for a very modern royal marriage”, but the promise to obey was seen as a “concession to tradition”.
However, the Rt Reverend Peter Nott, Bishop of Norwich, insisted that “to say obey does not mean that you’re going to be subservient.”
He explained: “It means that there may be certain decisions – maybe only one or two in a lifetime – which, by definition, you can’t agree on.
“Nearly every decision is a shared one, but it’s then the wife says ‘I trust you to make a decision for the good of the family.”
Diana removed the promise to obey her husband from her vows (Image: GETTY)
James, Viscount Severn; Prince Edward Lady Louise Windsor; Sophie, Countess of Wessex (Image GETTY)
At the time, Sophie was compared to the late Princess of Wales due to her “striking resemblance” to the beloved royal.
However, the similarities seemed to end there, as she was a mature woman in her thirties with a successful career, compared to Diana, who was barely 20 when she married Prince Charles.
However, Sophie’s business would later get her into trouble, when a media sting operation exposed that she had allegedly been using her royal connections to further her business.
There were also accusations that she had insulted the Royal Family and a number of politicians to an undercover reporter.
She reportedly sent apology letters to Tony Blair, William Hague and Prince Charles.
However, a Buckingham Palace statement said: “The Countess of Wessex, who is trying to pursue her own career, is obviously vulnerable to set-ups like this”.
The Palace also claimed the comments reported in the press were “selective, distorted and in several cases, flatly untrue.”
In 2002, both Sophie and Edward quit their respective businesses to dedicate their time to royal duties full-time.
Sophie looks up at the Armed Forces obstacle course (Image GETTY)
Louise was born in 2003 and James four years later in 2007.
Louise, now 15, attends St Mary’s School Ascot, a Catholic girls’ school in Berkshire.
James, 11, attends St George’s School, Windsor Castle.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK