Sophie Wessex breaks down in tears as she receives honour from Hillary Clinton in the US


The Countess of Wessex flew to Washington DC from London’s Heathrow Airport on Saturday.

She interrupted her speech to ask the crowd: “Would you just forgive me for a minute — I just need a tissue. Sorry.”

She then joked: “That’s a first for me, but you don’t want me to carry on sniffing throughout.”

Also honoured at the event was Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, and both the UK and Ukrainian ambassadors to the US were in attendance.

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The Countess of Wessex travelled across to Washington, D.C. for the ceremony (Image: Rex/Shutterstock)

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Also honoured at the event was Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska (Image: Rex/Shutterstock)

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The former US Secretary of State bestows the award each year for “exceptional leadership in advancing women’s rights and creating a more peaceful and secure world for all”.

The award looks to “celebrate extraordinary women trailblazers”, and the former First Lady praised Sophie for having “travelled to some of the most violent and difficult conflict zones to meet with survivors and spotlight their needs”.

The Countess has long worked to promote the rights of women and girls, and is part of the United Nations’ Women, Peace and Security agenda, focusing on the fate of women and girls in conflict zones.

She is also a champion of the UK Government’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative.

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The award looks to ‘celebrate extraordinary women trailblazers’ (Image: Rex/Shutterstock)

In her speech, the Countess of Wessex reflected on how women often have their “credibility […] challenged”, and that her work with women in influential positions is a source of “huge pride”.

Body language expert Judi James, looking at the Countess’ address, lauded Sophie’s handling of what could have become an “embarrassing” moment for the royal.

Ms James told “Sophie handled a case of the sniffs with amazing confidence here, managing to turn the problem into an endearing joke while acting in a very natural way.

“She was talking her audience through it while getting stuck straight back into her speech.”

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The Prince and Princess of Wales also travelled to the US last week (Image: Getty)

“The problem is often that they have adopted a delivery style that is too formal or so far away from their authentic, natural personality that they become anxious about what are quite normal glitches that affect anyone and everyone.”

She said: “As someone who firmly believes in the equality of men and women, I feel drawn to your cause and to do what I can to help raise further awareness of your work.

“To help give voice to women and girls who are being denied their fundamental rights as humans and are being subjected to harm and violence as a result of conflict, to promote those who seek to play a part in finding peace, and to support others as they attempt to rebuild their lives.”


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