The Countess of Wessex has opened up about her and husband Prince Edward's parenting choices, giving a real insight into their family life.
Mum to Lady Louise Windsor, 16, and James, Viscount Severn, 12, the royal told The Sunday Times Magazine all about the family expectations for the children's futures and how they operate as a family unit.
“We try to bring them up with the understanding they are very likely to have to work for a living,” she told the magazine. “Hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but I think it’s highly unlikely.”
The royal parents try to instil normality throughout their children's lives, Sophie explained.
“What’s normal? They go to a regular school [they both attend top independent schools]. They go to friends for sleepovers and parties. At weekends we do lots of dog walking and stay with friends. I guess not everyone’s grandparents live in a castle, but where you are going is not the important part, or who they are. When they are with the Queen, she is their grandmother," Sophie said.
And, as they aren't expected to become full time working royals, their studies will be a time of carving out their career paths. Lady Louise is one of many final year GCSE students who has had her exams cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“She’s working hard and will do A-levels. I hope she goes to university. I wouldn’t force her, but if she wants to. She’s quite clever, so I think probably. Whereas James I don’t know," Sophie said.
In the interview, Sophie agreed she is a feminist and believes in equality for everyone. When asked if that applied in their home, she spoke about how she and Prince Edward approach parenting from a perspective of equality.
“Actually we do,” she said. “I wasn’t well when I got back [from a campaign work trip to South Sudan], so my husband has been doing the school run. If one of us goes away, we try to make sure the other is around.
“He is very good at barbecues, and the children love those" she said.
"He takes our son fishing, does a lot of riding with our daughter, he is very engaged as a father."
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