The Countess of Wessex was making royal history this week by being sculpted live in front of an online audience for charity Vision Foundation, of which she is patron.
Sophie was supporting the organisation's effort to make the arts more accessible to blind and visually impaired people, and sat for the sculptural portrait by Frances Segelman, which Buckingham Palace says "will provide an opportunity for blind and partially sighted people to know The Countess of Wessex's likeness".
The royal was sculpted at the London home studio of Frances, with social distancing being adhered to throughout. The event was live streamed to an audience of Vision Foundation supporters and guests, and hosted by broadcaster Sue Saville, who provided commentary and headed up a Q&A between Frances and the virtual audience.
Frances Segelman said in a statement: "It was a privilege to sculpt The Countess of Wessex, and to create a tactile piece of art specifically for blind and partially sighted people. For previous events I would normally be surrounded by a live audience so it was very different having a camera pointing at me instead.
"And the sculpting was different because we were observing social distancing – a new creative challenge! It has been great through the wonders of technology to invite people into my home and to explain how I work and give an insight to how I sculpt. The Countess was a wonder to work with and a delight to have at my home."
Sophie has served as patron of the Vision Foundation since 2003, and is actively involved in the organisation, attending events and supporting activities. The countess is passionate about the issue of sight loss and preventing avoidable blindness both here in the UK and around the world.
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