The Earl of Wessex has been in Kenya to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. He planted the Pondo tree in Aberdare Open Field, Kenya – close to Treetops where his mother was staying when she first learned she had acceded to the throne. The tree will form part of The Queen’s Green Canopy — a tree planting initiative created to mark the Queen’s monumental milestone which invites people to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’.
Edward travelled to Kenya solo, while his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex was on an official visit in New York.
Despite not initially wanting to be full-time working royals, the pair have quickly become important members of the Firm.
The couple first met at Capitol Radio, where Sophie was working at the time in public relations. However, it would be six years before the couple would meet again, this time when she was handling the publicity for the prince’s Real Tennis Challenge event.
After a few months of quiet dating, the media were made aware of the Queen’s youngest son’s new romance.
Prince Edward gave a rare interview in the interest of protecting his relationship.
Edward and Sophie started dating in 1993.
From that point onwards, the press speculation about Edward and Sophie’s relationship was relentless.
In a rare TV interview at the time, Edward made his feelings about the press known.
Royal author Ingrid Seward claimed that his appearance made the Earl look “pompous and arrogant”.
In the 2020 Channel 5 documentary ‘Edward & Sophie: The Reluctant Royals?’, Ms Seward said: “I think what he really would have loved to have done is do the whole thing really secretly, but he knew he couldn’t so it [the interview] made him look a little bit pompous and arrogant.”
Edward did not like the pressure from the press.
During the interview, Edward was asked whether he planned to get engaged in the foreseeable future.
He responded: “Well that’s new, most people think I already am!”
He continued: “I’m not saying anything at all. I’m going to keep quiet and if everybody would stop asking me the question, then who knows what might happen?”
Prior to this, the Earl had sent a strongly-worded statement to the press.
It read: “I am taking this unusual step of writing to you directly in the hope of stopping your reporters and photographers from destroying that part of my life that I am entitled to regard as private and more importantly, Sophie’s life.
“We are not planning to get married, we only met each other in the last few months, but we are good friends.
“If this situation changes, we will let you know in a proper and formal manner.
“I am very conscious that other members of my immediate family have been subjected to similar attention and it has not been at all beneficial to their relationships.”
It was also reported that Edward got sharper with his requests, telling reporters to “shut up and mind your own business” when they kept asking him whether he was going to propose.
The couple got married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
He insisted that the more they asked him, the less likely it was going to happen.
He said: “If you shut up and mind your own business and let me do it when I want, it’s more likely to happen.
“The more people second-guess, the more likely it is I just won’t do it.”
Edward waited to propose to Sophie and it wasn’t until 1999 that the pair announced their engagement.
Now, the Wessexes make up part of the Queen’s team of seven senior royals who help her with official engagements.
Edward and Sophie with their two children.
Since marrying into the Royal Family, Sophie has carved out a good relationship with her mother-in-law, the Queen.
Following Prince Philip’s death in April 2021, both she and Edward have proven to be close confidantes of the monarch.
The couple also live near Windsor Castle, which was recently made the Queen’s permanent residence. They reside just 10 miles away at Bagshot Park with their two children — Lady Louise Windsor, 18 and James, Viscount Severn, 14.
To further celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Edward and Sophie are embarking on a royal tour of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, a rare overseas tour for the couple.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK