Royal rising stars Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward among Queen’s favourite Balmoral guests

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SOPHIE, Countess of Wessex, and Prince Edward are believed to be among the favourite guests hosted every year by the Queen at Balmoral Castle.

Sophie, 56, Prince Edward, 57 and their two children Lady Louise Windsor, 17, and James, Viscount Severn, 13, are expected to visit the Queen to Scotland in the coming weeks. The Wessex family normally travel north of the border when the monarch takes residence at her Balmoral Castle.

She said: “The poor Queen has had to put up with us staying on much longer than anybody else in Scotland and Norfolk.”

James and Louise are also believed to be fond of their time in Scotland with the Queen.

According to a royal insider, the young royals “relish” their time and activities there.

sophie wessex prince edward children lady louise james balmoral castle queen guests news

Sophie is believed to be very close to the Queen (Image: GETTY)

sophie wessex prince edward children lady louise james balmoral castle queen guests news

Sophie and Prince Edward usually visit the Queen at Balmoral during her summer break (Image: GETTY)

The source told the Sun: “The Queen loves the fact that Louise and James relish their time at Balmoral, and she has become particularly close to Louise, who seems to have become her favourite grandchild, closely followed by James.

“Louise also endeared herself to everyone by looking after William and Kate’s children when they were up here.

“Louise loves drawing and sketching and was very patiently trying to get Charlotte to do pictures of rabbits and deer.”

Given Louise has “obvious artistic skills”, the source added the Queen granted a major honour to her youngest granddaughter.

sophie wessex prince edward children lady louise james balmoral castle queen guests news

Lady Louise reportedly has ‘obvious artistic skills’ (Image: GETTY)

Moreover, James is said to have picked up fly-fishing over the past few years – a sport loved by both the Queen Mother and taken on by Prince Philip after he could no longer shoot.

Another source told the Sun: “[James’s] enthusiasm for fly-fishing delighted Her Majesty because it’s a sport beloved of James’ great-granny, the late Queen Mother.

“James was in the Dee as often as possible, waders up to his armpits.

sophie wessex prince edward children lady louise james balmoral castle queen guests news

Sophie with her children Louise and James at the funeral of Prince Philip in April (Image: GETTY)

sophie wessex prince edward children lady louise james balmoral castle queen guests news

Sophie and Prince Edward became full-time working royals in the early 2000s (Image: GETTY)

“His mother Sophie, who was a keen fisherwoman herself, liked to stand with him.

“The Balmoral ghillies [gamekeepers] were impressed by both of them.”

Prince Edward and Sophie have been full-time working royals since the early 2000s but they became increasingly beloved among members of the public in recent years.

In January 2020, after Meghan and Prince Harry announced their intention to step back as senior members of the Firm, the Wessexes were tipped by many commentators as the best candidates to pick up the work and patronages the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would leave behind after their exit.

However, in an interview with The Sunday Times dating back to June 2020, Sophie said, after being asked whether the public would see “more of her”: “There are only so many hours in the day.

“People may pay more attention to what I am doing, but I remain as busy as I have ever been.”

Sophie joined the Royal Family by marriage in 1999 and steadily gained the trust of her mother-in-law the Queen to the point many royal watchers believes she has become one of Her Majesty’s closest confidantes.

According to an insider, the Queen favours Sophie when she needs to pick a person to accompany her to church while at Sandringham or Balmoral because she finds the Countess’ presence “soothing”.

sophie wessex prince edward children lady louise james balmoral castle queen guests news

Sophie and Prince Edward during a reception at Buckingham Palace with the Queen (Image: GETTY)

“She is like another daughter to Her Majesty, they are that close.”

Following the death of Prince Philip in April, the key bond between the Wessexes and the Queen became apparent, with Sophie and Edward being trusted to speak to the press about how Her Majesty was doing and how the Duke passes away.

Moreover, the Countess could release to the media a very intimate picture of the Queen and Prince Philip at Balmoral she had taken herself.

As a testament to her affection for the Duke of Edinburgh, Sophie broke down in tears in June during an emotional interview with the BBC while she was discussing the “giant-sized hole in our lives” left by Prince Philip’s death.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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