The Duchess of Edinburgh likely sported the headset for a practical reason
Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh traveled to Italy for a somber reason.
On Tuesday, Prince Edward’s wife attended the non-religious state funeral for Giorgio Napolitano in Rome. The former president of Italy died on Sept. 22 at age 98.
Sophie stepped out solo at the Palazzo Montecitorio, and Couture and Royals posted photos on X of her wearing headphones during the service. The Duchess of Edinburgh, 58, was likely listening to a translation of what was being said.
“The Duchess of Edinburgh is seated in first row with Heads of State and members of the Napolitano Family. It has been said that Sophie is representing King Charles III and is the only Royal present,” the fan blog wrote.
King Charles’ sister-in-law was just a few seats away from French President Emmanuel Macron, who welcomed the King and Queen Camilla to France for a three-day state visit from Sept. 20 to Sept. 22. Highlights of the trip included a glamorous state banquet at the Palace of Versailles plus stops at iconic Parisian landmarks like Elysee Palace and Notre Dame.
While Sophie’s trip to the funeral was not listed in the royal family’s Royal Diary or Court Circular, it is customary for senior British royals to send relatives or close friends and aides to funerals on their behalf. Queen Elizabeth only rarely attended funerals, and King Charles and Prince William appear to be following the same custom by having family members represent them instead.
In January, Princess Anne represented King Charles at the funeral of King Constantine of Greece while Lady Gabriella Windsor went in Prince William’s stead. Lady Gabriella, 41, is the only daughter of Prince Michael of Kent, who is first cousins with Queen Elizabeth, and Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz, who goes by Princess Michael. It was a poignant choice for Prince William to ask Gabriella to represent him at King Constantine's funeral as the late monarch was a godfather to them both.
Sophie and Prince Edward have stepped up into elevated royal roles during the last few years of change for the royal family, from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping back from their working royal roles in 2020 and Prince Andrew giving up public life in the wake of his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein in 2022 and most significantly, Queen Elizabeth’s death last September.
In March, coinciding with Prince Edward's 59th birthday, King Charles named his youngest sibling as the Duke of Edinburgh, a title that previously belonged to their father, Prince Philip. In the same sweep, Sophie became the Duchess of Edinburgh — a title last held by the late Queen Elizabeth before her accession, which doubled as a thoughtful tie to her mother-in-law, who she was famously close to.
Sophie and Edward visited Edinburgh for the first time with their new titles in March, with Edward calling it a "very special and slightly overwhelming day." He then referred to Sophie as "my wife and Duchess," prompting laughs from the crowd. The couple tied the knot in 1999 and are parents to Lady Louise Windsor, 19, and James, Earl of Wessex, 15.
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It had been Prince Philip’s wish that his youngest son would receive the Duke of Edinburgh title after his death. Towards the end of his life, Prince Edward — alongside Sophie — represented Philip at award ceremonies for the Duke of Edinburgh volunteering program for young people, which Queen Elizabeth's husband of 73 years established in 1956.
Following a brief summer break during the month of August (a tradition Queen Elizabeth observed during her record reign, which King Charles continued), Sophie was out and about on Sept. 14 visits to Gul Outdoor Therapy and Activity Centre and Stable and Wick Bakery and Farm Shop in Salisbury, England.
Meanwhile, Prince Edward is currently visiting Turkey, paying a visit to meet with
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss defense and trade relations between Turkey and the U.K., Bloomberg reported.
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