Countess of Wessex 'so happy' as her father gets coronavirus vaccine

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·Royal Correspondent
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Watch: Countess of Wessex says she is so happy as father gets the coronavirus vaccine

The Countess of Wessex has described her happiness as her father received the coronavirus vaccine, calling it an “early birthday present”.

Sophie celebrated her birthday on Wednesday 20 January, and found out in the days before that her father, Christopher Rhys-Jones, had the call up to get his vaccine against COVID-19.

The countess, 56, said she was “so happy” and praised the staff at the hospital her father had gone to during a conference for nurses.

She said: “I had a very wonderful birthday present yesterday, well it was an early birthday present because my father received his vaccine, he’s 89 years old and I’m so happy he’s actually got it.

“It’s a huge weight off my mind. He was full of praise for the way it had been handled and how quick and easy and simple the whole process was.

“That would not be happening without the care and attention of nurses in general surgeries.”

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ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 21: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Sophie, Countess of Wessex and her father Christopher Rhys-Jones attend Day 4 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 21, 2013 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Sophie, Countess of Wessex and her father Christopher Rhys-Jones at Royal Ascot in 2013. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Sophie’s comments came as she joined NHS General Practice nurses and healthcare assistants at the Lincolnshire Hub conference on 20 January.

Sophie’s father is a retired sales director for an importer of industrial tyres and rubber goods.

The family lived together in Brenchley, Kent, and Sophie has a brother called David. Sophie’s mother, Mary, who was a charity worker, died in 2005.

Read more: Countess of Wessex is emulating the Queen as she steps up royal duties

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25:  Sophie, Countess of Wessex stands beside her father Christopher Rhys-Jones in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace after receiving her Diamond Award for biking from Edinburgh to London in support of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award on September 25, 2016 in London, England.  The Countess and the other riders were presented with a Diamond Pin to mark the completion of the Diamond Challenge. The Countess of Wessex cycled 445 miles from the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace, London over seven days as her 'Diamond Challenge' - a special initiative marking the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
Sophie with dad Christopher Rhys-Jones after receiving her Diamond Award for biking from Edinburgh to London in support of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award in September 2016. (Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
LONDON UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 25:  Sophie, Countess of Wessex is welcomed by her Father Christopher Rhys-Jones as she arrives at Buckingham Palace having completed a cycle ride from Edinburgh on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award on September 25, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.  The Countess and the other riders were presented with a Diamond Pin to mark the completion of the Diamond Challenge. The Countess of Wessex cycled 445 miles from the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace, London over seven days as her 'Diamond Challenge' - a special initiative marking the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. (Photo by  Paul Grover - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The countess, here with her dad in 2016, said she is so happy that he has had the vaccine. (Paul Grover - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Mother-of-two Sophie has been stepping up royal duties in the last year, and has had an increasingly public profile for her work.

The wife of Prince Edward is passionate about vision-related charities, as well as supporting women’s rights and survivors of abuse.

Sophie has spent time volunteering throughout the pandemic, lending her support to charity shops, as well as to organisations cooking meals for key workers.

Watch: Sophie, Countess of Wessex, celebrates her 56th birthday

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