Who is the Countess of Wessex? Sophie and Prince Edward celebrate 20th wedding anniversary

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
Prince Edward and Sophie at Royal Ascot. [Photo: PA]

The Earl and Countess of Wessex celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary on 19 June, 2019.

Born on 20 January 1965 in Oxford, to parents to Christopher and Mary Rhys-Jones, Sophie began dating the Queen and Prince Philip’s youngest son Edward in 1993.

She became a full-time working royal after her marriage – here’s everything you need to know about her.

When did Sophie marry Prince Edward?

Sophie and Edward were married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on 19 June 1999. They announced their engagement in the January.

The bride wore a long-sleeve organza and silk crepe wedding dress, with pearl and crystal detailing, designed by Samantha Shaw.

Prince Edward and Sophie on their wedding day in 1999 [Photo: Getty]

On his wedding day, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex, and Sophie became Countess of his Wessex.

How many children do they have?

The couple have two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, born in November 2003 and December 2007 respectively.

Lady Louise was born prematurely, after Sophie was rushed to Frimley Park hospital from her and Prince Edward’s Bagshot Park home with crippling abdominal pains.

She showed signs of acute placental abruption (when the placenta separates early from the uterus) which can prove fatal to both mother and child.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex with their children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn on Christmas Day 2018 [Photo: Getty]

Son James was also born by caesarean section.

Lady Louise was a bridesmaid at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011. She and her brother also had special roles at Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s nuptials in October 2018.

What does Sophie do?

Sophie has been a full-time working royal since her marriage to Edward. She worked in public relations until 2002.

She is Patron of over 70 charities and organisations and her interests include supporting people with disabilities, the prevention of blindness in developing countries, agriculture and fashion.

Sophie pictured with Queen Letizia of Spain at the Order of the Garter service. [Photo: PA]

Sophie’s style

The Countess is renowned for her timeless style, favouring designers such as Emilia Wickstead, Suzannah, Bruce Oldfield and Erdem.

She’s no stranger to a bold print or a block colour dress, usually in a wrap or an A-line style.