He said: “While the head that wears the crown may feel lonelier than ever now, the heart that leads the House of Windsor has been given much support.
“Since she was widowed her family has rallied round the Queen, with Sophie, Countess of Wessex becoming the mainstay in her support.
“Sophie shares the Queen’s passion for horses, and they have ridden out regularly together at Windsor over the past 15 years, but they have more in common than that.”
Mr Wilson was told by an insider: “It’s little-known that the Queen counts among her many interests a great love of military history, and this is something Sophie shares.
“They exchange books on the subject.
“Sophie will often come over from Bagshot Park to stay at Windsor for a night or two, with or without Prince Edward, and she and the Queen have long and meaningful talks.”
Sophie, 56, has lately become a favourite royal – both for her work and her assistance to her mother-in-law.
She married the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex in 1999. Since then, she has seen — and helped — the Firm go through a series of mishaps.
Royal experts view the Countess of Wessex as a source of stability within the Firm
Sophie and Prince Edward have outnumbered Prince William and Kate in royal engagements
The stepping down of Prince Andrew, Duke of York in 2019 pushed Sophie’s role within the Firm up a nudge.
Then, the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who stepped back from the Palace and moved to the US last year, further heightened her position.
As the Royal Family lost three main players — Andrew, Harry and Meghan — Sophie’s royal commitments inevitably grew.
She and her husband are currently carrying out more than 500 royal engagements a year, more than Prince William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The Scar Free Foundation, which she has been a patron of since 2003, aims to achieve scar-free healing through “life-changing medical research”.
The charity took a small group of eight to 12-year-olds along for tea to tell Sophie about what life was like living with scars, and the impact these had on them.
The Countess said: “I am so grateful to have you helping to educate and inform people about the problems of scarring.
“It’s important that people see the person, not just the scars.”
In 2019, body language expert Judi James told Express.co.uk: “When Sophie married Edward she was hailed as the new Diana.
“But what followed looked like a masterclass in hunkering in as the soap-opera-free royal bride who managed to be a stabilising influence on her husband while keeping press and royal fan attention to a minimum.”
This “stabilising influence” echoes Mr Wilson’s account of the “mainstay support” the Countess is offering Her Majesty.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK