The royals are coming to Canada!
The Queen’s daughter-in-law, Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, is scheduled to make a solo trip to both New York City and Toronto this week.
While no further details have been given regarding the Countess’s visit, it comes on the heels of a busy weekend for the royal family.
The 54-year-old royal and her husband, Prince Edward, joined the Queen and senior members of the royal family at the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and appeared alongside the Duchess of Sussex for the National Service of Remembrance Commemorations in London.
So who is Sophie, Countess of Wessex?
Before marrying the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward in 1999, Sophie Rhys-Jones worked as a public relations executive and even ran her own company, R-JH Public Relations in London. According to the BBC, the Countess was first introduced to Prince Edward in 1993 during a charity function at the Queen’s Tennis Club and the pair began dating soon after.
The couple were married at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and have two children together, 15-year-old Lady Louise Windsor and 11-year-old James, Viscount Severn.
Although Prince Edward is currently 11th in line to the throne, the Earl and Countess of Wessex are both full-time working royals, just like Princes William and Harry. The Countess of Wessex personally works with more than 70 charities and organizations on behalf of the royal family, championing youth development, agriculture, preventing sexual violence and avoidable blindness.
Sources reveal that the Countess is one of the Queen’s most trusted confidants, and has publicly referred to Her Majesty using her affectionate nickname “Mama.”
During a speech to celebrate the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, the Countess referenced the work the trust has done abroad saying, “Mama, when I have returned from my travels, I have been so proud to share with you the work I have witnessed being carried out under the umbrella of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and the care of so many people working so hard to save and cure sight.”
The Countess also counts one of Hollywood’s biggest names as an ally in her charity works. Earlier this year, the royal publicly joined the Oscar-winner and United Nations Special Envoy by announcing her commitment to Jolie’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative on International Women’s Day in a blog for the Telegraph.
“Against a backdrop of ugly headlines for women, revelations of sexual exploitation, and the abuse suffered by those in war zones, it is easy to overlook the pioneering work of change-makers,” the Countess told the outlet. “Brave women that stand for progress, even when their physical security and basic aspirations are under threat. Only when women and men work alongside each other as equals will the world see sustained improvement in conflict resolution and a reduction in sexual violence in conflict.”