New royal friction as Sophie Wessex could never be friends with Meghan
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, had a bumpy start in royal life but ended up sharing a deep friendship with her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
However, a source close to the countess says there’s one member of the family with whom Sophie will “never be the best of friends”.
A confidante of the Wessexes told The Sun: “Sophie was one of the first to invite Meghan, on her own, to Bagshot for tea.”
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But while the two royal wives “got on perfectly well”, the source added, “Sophie could feel they were never going to become the best of friends”.
Meghan apparently had little patience for Sophie’s advice, no matter how “well-intentioned” it might have been.
The countess knows how hard it can be to adapt to the unique culture of royal life.
Prince Edward showed a flicker of his nephew Prince Harry’s impatience with public interest in his personal life in 1996 when he snapped at a reporter who had just asked him if he had wedding plans, saying: “If you shut up, mind your own business, and let me do it when I want, it’s much more likely to happen.”
After they were married, Sophie drew widespread criticism after people claimed she was exploiting her royal status to boost her PR career.
That came to a head when she was seen posing beside a Rover 75 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, having been paid £250,000 to advertise it.
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And in 2001 Sophie was snared by a “fake sheikh” sting operation in which a reporter posing as a wealthy Arab recorded her calling the Queen an “old dear”, and the wife of then-PM Tony Blair “horrid, absolutely horrid”.
At around the same time as the scandal, Prince Edward’s company, Ardent Productions, was slammed for filming his nephew Prince William at university, in breach of privacy rules.
The couple then deliberately dropped off the radar for a time, before re-emerging as full-time royals.
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And over time, the Countess of Wessex became a close confidante of the Queen.
The two shared an interest in history, and would “counter on” about ancient battles for hours.
“If some particular event or battle caught their imagination,” a source revealed, “the Queen would sometimes arrange for the Royal Archives – kept at Windsor – to be opened so the two could pore over any relevant documents.”
And, when the end finally came for Her Majesty, Sophie was the only member of the family called to Balmoral who wasn’t a blood relation.
When it came to becoming a royal “it took me a little while to find my feet,” Sophie told the Sunday Times, but the next Duchess of Edinburgh has finally arrived.
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