SOPHIE, COUNTESS OF WESSEX, entered the Royal Family 20 years ago when she married Prince Edward, but “rows and disagreements” could have led to the Oxford-born blonde never joining the royal household.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex married in a fairytale wedding on June 19, 1999. The couple have been together for 20 years and have two children together, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
Sophie is said to have had a close relationship with her husband’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, from the beginning.
She was allowed to use the royal apartments at Buckingham Palace prior to her engagement.
The Palace announced the Queen’s youngest son had popped to question on January 6, 1999 with an engagement ring featuring a two-carat oval diamond made by Asprey and Garrard, worth £105,000.
The romance history of the Earl and Countess of Wessex appears to have been a fairytale from the beginning.
Sophie Wessex heartbreak Prince Edward and Sophie came close to breaking up (Image GETTY)
Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward have been married for 20 years (Image: GETTY)
However, just a year into their relationship the couple almost split, a royal expert has revealed.
Sophie met Prince Edward in 1987, when he was dating her friend.
The two met again at a tennis charity event in 1993, and began a relationship soon afterwards.
In royal author Ingrid Seward’s 1995 book, Prince Edward, she revealed the pair came “precariously close” to breaking up.
Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward married in 1999 (Image: GETTY)
According to Ms Seward, Sophie, who was born a commoner, struggled to adjust to life as a royal.
She wrote: “Like all couples there were moments when the effort of adjusting led to rows and disagreements and, in the summer of 1994, they came precariously close to parting.”
Ms Seward further wrote just a year after they met the Prince got cold feet.
She added: “Edward became what one friend described as ‘unnerved’ by the speed which the affair was developing.
“But if Edward was wracked by indecision (a not-uncommon problem amongst male members of his family) Sophie remained coolly determined.
“She was not prepared to let the relationship flounder.
“When rumours of the rift became public she dismissed them as ‘rubbish’.
“She was being elastic with the truth, but it did give her the breathing space she needed to get her relationship back on track again.”
Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward with children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn (Image: GETTY)
By Christmas time in 1994, everything was back on track in the relationship.
In 2003, Sophie and Edward welcomed their first child, Lady Louise Windsor.
On December 17, 2007, James, Viscount Severn was born.
Earlier this year, on June 19, the couple celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK