Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, is ‘like another daughter’ to Queen Elizabeth


I haven’t written much about the Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, wife to Prince Edward, in the past. Sophie has become increasingly popular, though. It’s a combination of factors – I think she’s grown more comfortable in her royal role, she seems to enjoy royal work and she’s actually pretty good at it too. From what I’ve seen, Sophie is in-demand as a patron, and charities and organizations know that she’ll work hard for them and that they’ll see her more than once a year at a gala. In any case, the Daily Mail had a piece about Sophie this weekend. The point of it was that Sophie is not only an undercover royal asset, but she’s become the Queen’s favorite in-law, the Queen’s de facto second daughter. Oh, and Sophie apparently doesn’t get along with Duchess Kate. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Sophie has come into her own when she turned 50: “For the first time since she married Prince Edward in 1999, blonde Sophie has been able to feel completely free at last from the ludicrous millstone — which she hated — of being talked up as the apparent natural successor to Princess Diana. In addition, the excitement of a second child for the Duchess of Cambridge has helped push Sophie, also a mother of two, even more to the margins of public life and inevitable scrutiny. Some royal figures might have viewed this as a crisis — but for Sophie, according to a close friend, it was ‘positively liberating’.”

One royal aide says: “She is trusted and relied on by the Queen in a way I couldn’t say applied to the Duchess of Cambridge or the Duchess of Cornwall. She is like another daughter to Her Majesty, they are that close.’

She’s fine with her drop in ranking: A friend says Sophie is “entirely relaxed” about it because “It meant they could live life as an ordinary family, which is how she was brought up in Kent. Sophie is at her most content when she is driving the children to school in her blue Jaguar and picking them up again at teatime.”

Close to the Queen: A palace aide says the Queen “talks to Sophie in the way she used to talk to Princess Margaret. Sophie has filled a terrible gap in the Queen’s life that was left when her sister and the Queen Mother died in 2002.” Touchingly, the Queen is doing much the same for Sophie, whose mother Mary died, aged 71, in 2005, by making sure that the Countess’s 84-year-old father, Christopher, is included on the invitation list to many Royal Family events — a gesture that doesn’t extend to the Middletons.

A different kind of royal woman: “Unlike other, more glamorous royals, Sophie does her own hair, sometimes drives herself on engagements and even makes her own pre-official engagement notes without the traditional help of a lady-in-waiting. When she was asked to unveil a plaque on the Jubilee Walkway — the walking route around London originally created to mark the Queen’s 1977 Silver Jubilee — Sophie herself asked in advance if there were any particular people she ought to talk to, and on the day made sure she left no one out.”

Sophie’s business sense: Sophie recently gave a speech in which she declared, “I am rare because I am one of the few ladies in the British Royal Family who has had a professional business career and her own company.” The DM writes: “Within palace walls her observation produced some wry smiles. Sophie was seen by many as getting not so much at Camilla, who has never had a job outside marriage or pretended to have had one, as at Kate, with whom Sophie is said by one observer to be ‘never entirely at ease.’”

Sophie’s thoughts on Kate: A palace source said, “You would have thought that Sophie, coming from a not dissimilar middle-class background, and being Kate’s aunt by marriage, would have been the young duchess’s sounding board and counsel. But it just hasn’t turned out like that. The fact is the two are not particularly close.’”

[From The Daily Mail]

So, Sophie landed a sick burn on Camilla and Kate without even mentioning their names? Good for her. Camilla comes from a generation of aristocratic women whose only job was to marry well and produce children, which Camilla did until her first marriage was destroyed by her affair with Charles. As for Kate… well, I could see how Sophie would not have much to say to Kate. And how Kate wouldn’t have much to say to Sophie. As for Sophie’s closeness with the Queen, it’s also perfectly understandable that Sophie would be like a “daughter” to the Queen because Princess Anne has always been closer to her father. It’s well-known that Anne is now and has always been Philip’s favorite, and they seem to have very similar personalities. So Sophie can come along and be the daughter the Queen never really had.


Photos courtesy of WENN, Pacific Coast News.

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220 Responses to “Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, is ‘like another daughter’ to Queen Elizabeth”

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  1. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Oh, please. She was DYING to be the “natural successor” to Princess Diana. She got the same haircut and dyed her hair the same color. She wore similar outfits. She strolled and strolled hunting for the paps and popularity that never came. People would say “good morning” and she would sigh “oh would you PLEASE stop comparing me to Di!” That girl thought she was going to be the REAL queen of England, but she has no charisma. Good job by the “close friend,” though.

    • marjiscott says:

      This may be what happens though when there is a power vacuum at the top.

    • LAK says:

      To be fair, lots of people had that hairstyle and the two women have a passing resemblence.

      She came along at a time when the media love affair with Diana was waning and she was pushed into the slot.

      I know this PR lady who worked around them for a time who said that Diana was actually jealous and put out by the comparison especially because Sophie was being given favourable coverage. And Diana was unkind to Sophie the few times they met.

      You can still find newspaper images of the two ladies where the headline is screaming a typical Diana headline, but the photos are Sophie.

      • Cricket says:

        Great insight LAK! There are even pictures of Carole rocking the Diana blonde hair and cut circa Uncle Gary’s first wedding. I think Carole was a serious Diana fan which led to her daughter’s ‘interest’ in PW.

        I did think Sophie looked or was trying to look like Diana 2.0 with her outfits as well. I did catch a doc over the holidays about the Queen and Sophie interviewed saying she struggled finding her correct chair at a state banquet and that the Queen just gave her the look and that’s all it took for her to never show up unprepared again. Thought that was telling as well.

    • Sixer says:

      Not one to argue with any slamming of any royal, but I honestly don’t think this article is intended to be a Sophie Wessex puff piece, GNAT. I think it’s intended to be a backhanded dig at Twit and Twat – and at the moment, almost all the royal stories seem to have that intent behind them. Normal Bill’s attempts to censor have brought this drip-drip-drip on himself.

      • PHAKSI says:

        Agree. But really Normal Bill and Katie Bucket will fall short when compared to any royal… except Andrew I guess

      • Liberty says:

        Sixer, I tend t agree with you. All the pieces lately seem to be cast as a profile, but are really a comparative exercise that does not benefit W&K.

        GNAT, I hear your point, but…’s true a lot of people were copying the Diana look, if you look at old photos (even fashion mags of the day). And in any case, at least Sophie works very hard, and has done so unstintingly. It’s also quite possible she has matured and is past the glom and twitches of her earlier years. Even the nearly fatal experience of having Lady Louise might have altered her goals and perspective profoundly, you know? Albeit in a very political little world. In the end, I guess can’t quite snark her up, when she’s so often standing next to what would so far appear to be the epitome of lazy, self-serving, plotting vacuousness. :-)

      • Sixer says:

        Liberty – that’s exactly it. They are underhanded comparative exercises. Perfect way of putting it.

      • FLORC says:

        I read that as backhanded too.
        The whole way.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I don’t see it as a Sophie PR-plant article either, but another set of digs at the lazy duo and their PR plants. The press is pointing out how someone middle class has fit in just fine with the royals, does her job, has two kids, her husband is much farther down the line but they do more than W&K. It also negates the speculation that HM doesn’t like the Middletons because they’re middle class, because her favorite in-law is middle class.

        The stats listed on the thread yesterday told the tale. Even working an outside job part of the time, through a life-threatening miscarriage, fertility struggles, two difficult pregnancies, she and their daughter nearly dying during delivery, raising two kids – Sophie works more than KM. Call it brown nosing or PR, Sophie shows up and does the job.

      • anne_000 says:

        Agree. It’s not necessarily a pro-Sophie article, but a way to get in a few insults at Kate and thereby Bill.

        I think the recent articles on W&K by the DM have had this intention. I guess it’s all on how you read it from what perspective you have.

    • vauvert says:

      I never got the feeling that she was a thirsty limelight seeker. I don’t seek out royals news so maybe I am missing something, but I only see her pics here and hear of her work ethic.

      I really think her burn was directed to Kate; after all Camilla belongs to an older generation, where ladies were only expected to marry, have kids and do some patronages that were “suitable”. Which she does. Kate meanwhile has subjected us to years of “she is so normal” press, if normal means mad shopping, inability to speak publicly, sausage curls and loads of eyeliner, and an ability to live on family money while waiting by the phone before the marriage and doing – well, not even sure what she does other than shopping since the wedding. Sophie on the other hand had a life and a career.

      • Liberty says:

        All ^ this.

        I wonder it if’s a not-so-subtle way of “compare/contrast the commoners who both had two kids” — laying bare the boneless structure of the excuses of Kitty Bucket apologists.

        “But she wasn’t born into it, had to learn for years!” [Rejected. See: Sophie]

        “But she is a young mum/had babies!” [Rejected. See: Sophie]

        “But she married a royal!” [Rejected. See: Sophie]

        “But she is near the throne, why work?” [Rejected: See: Sophie "After the death of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 2002, Sophie became the second highest-ranking woman in the U.K.'s order of precedence, preceded only by the Queen.]

        “But she’s an outsider, needs support of her mummy!” [Rejected. See: Sophie]


      • hogtowngooner says:

        Well said, Liberty! All that was missing was a mic-drop! ;)

      • BearcatLawyer says:

        The mic drop – definitely the sickest part of this burn for me – was the event where Sophie delivered this speech about having had her own business…100WHF (Women in Hedge Funds) gala in New York City. This is an organization devoted to encouraging women to pursue careers in finance and to raise significant money for charity – both things Duchess Kate NEVER did before her marriage. (The jury is still out as to whether she can raise serious money for charity as a BRF member.) Duchess Kate attended the London 100WHF gala wearing a $4000+ floral Erdem dress. That is about all anyone can really say about her presence there.

        Sophie may never be queen, but she is very, very, very good at using her PR skills to benefit her and her family. Bill and Kate and the Middletons too would do well to learn from her.

      • anne_000 says:

        @ Liberty

        Good points.

        Kate apologists keep thinking of Kate as being in an unique position that nobody else was ever in, yet they’ve completely ignored the fact that Sophie has been too and has made a success of it regardless of all the same excuses she could have used as Kate and her apologists have done.

      • Charlotte15 says:

        Here’s the thing that bothers me about all of the Kate arguments and here is as good a place as any to ask it. I am genuinely interested in what people think:

        Isn’t it okay if a woman lacks professional ambition? I get that with Kate, she is funded by the taxpayers, so that’s completely different if she falls short of fulfilling an obligation she signed on to.

        But in many of the comments here I sense a real disdain for women who are content to be housewives/SAHMs. There are plenty of intelligent, educated women who just don’t possess that drive to be a force in the professional world. I attended a good college and have two advanced degrees, and nothing annoys me more when people insinuate that the time and money I spent getting those degrees were “wasted.” (I don’t consider learning of any kind a waste, but that’s a whole other topic!) I am fortunate to be able to stay home with my young children but reading the comments here, it’s like the pitchforks come out for someone who is perfectly happy “working” inside the home.

      • anne_000 says:

        @ Charlotte15

        What exactly is being asked of Kate? ‘To be a force in the professional world’ or to at least show up 45-minutes once or twice a week to promote a charity? And how does one fall ‘short of fulfilling’ even this tiny bit of obligation? Only by not bothering to show up at all.

        And as it doesn’t require ‘professional ambition’ to get your staff to write your speeches for you or to set up and coordinate a visit, what else is there for her to do besides dressing up and showing up?

        She has an advantage over you in that nobody is asking her to make use of her art history degree in any professional way to earn enough money to at least make up for the cost of her education and the years she’s spent getting a diploma.

        If ‘working’ is so difficult for her, then I’m fine with her not ‘working’ by showing up at sporting events, galas, movie premieres, theater performances, and other such fun and fancy ‘professional world’ appearances. It’s these particular self-indulgent hours that she can otherwise spend at home with her children, for all I care.

        But would it be asking too much from the special snowflake to spend a little bit of daytime to use her position and influence for the benefit of others, especially when it’s the others who pay for everything she and her family has? Even welfare recipients are expected to work for what very little they get or otherwise receive enormous amounts of criticism if they refuse to work when healthy enough to do so.

        Unlike the worries and fears of actual professionals, she has none of them. Regardless of how well or not well she does, regardless of how much or how little she shows up to ‘work,’ regardless of how ambitious or lackadaisical she is, she will always get heftily paid and will always go up the royal ‘career’ ladder. The only person that can ‘fire’ her is William, not the public, and not even the Queen.

        As for her ‘working’ at home, what work do you think occupies her all throughout the day with her houseful of staff and two or three nannies and reports that her mom runs the house and takes care to make William comfortable at home as well as reports that her dad takes care of the gardening worries?

        All it seems her critics are asking her to do is act least pretend to be grateful and appreciative of what so many less fortunate people are forced to give her, instead of ignoring them and giving the impression of being entitled to the benefits gotten from the hard work of others.

        Even if she couldn’t care less about others, she should at least have the good sense to fake it.

      • Daisy says:

        Good point, Charlotte. It is absolutely fine not to have that ambition: I have advanced degrees myself, and am not that ambitious (or my job searching might be going better!) But the problem with Kate as I see it is that she’s not exactly working inside the home, either. She’s got nannies and housekeepers, and uses them to maintain her personal shopping and working out habits. Busy SAHP like you or millions of other women (and men) don’t have that extra support; you’re on childcare 24/7 and expected to organize and maintain a household, and your personal time gets fitted in when you can get the occasional relief.
        Plus, the money to support that household comes from the Firm (the BRF.) Whether she likes it or not, she has a job working for the Firm and she’s failing at that job. If she wanted to stay at home with kids and help and live a private life, she should have married a banker or lawyer or lesser aristocrat who could support that lifestyle; there are plenty in her circle, as Pippa’s amours demonstrate. But she chose to marry William of Wales, and when you marry into that family you know you are accepting a lifetime job working for the Firm in the public eye.

      • Jib says:

        @charlotte, if we were all contributing to you security costs, and the renovations of your two mansions and the Duchy that your father-in-law pays your clothes out of, then yes, I would resent you staying at home not using your two degrees. If you chose to stay home and be on welfare when you are capable of working, then yes, I would resent you because I go out to work and pay my taxes that are taking care of you and your children. That is Kate. Security, renovations, clothes, really all of her money comes from the people in one way or another. High class welfare. And all people ask of her is a couple of hundred hours a year.

        Now, if you, Charlotte, choose to stay home after having gone to college, I might wonder how you can do that mentally because I couldn’t (I have a Masters degree and went back to work when my third baby was 4 months old, for financial reasons, but also because I love to work at my job) but I would never judge you. People are different and have different needs. That’s fine. But don’t ask me to support you, as Kate does. And William, too, in his Make Believe Pilot Job.

      • FLORC says:

        My 2 cents.
        It’s not against Kate to want nothing more than to stay at home and shop. I may find it pretty awful of a character trait to not improve yourself, but that’s anothier story.
        I do take issue with things.
        1. She accepts the benefits of being a senior fulltime royal. So, she must put in the work. No one should get paid for a job they refuse to do until it suits them. It’s like a person only showing up to work for birthday cakes and holiday celebrations. Not for the day to day work.
        2. How her behavior is justified by some. It ends up reading as not only are women not able to be away from their children, but to leave them for an hour a week of work would destroy the bond of mother and child.
        Factor in she’s done nothing for her charities and appears to be the only one benefiting from meeting with them… it’s unbalanced.

      • bluhare says:

        Charlotte I don’t think there’s anything wrong with someone not having career ambitions. If Kate wants to stay at home and be a SAHM and wife, I’m OK with that. But she should quit telling us how keen she is to engage with [insert name of project here] because she really doesn’t look like she is anyway. But if that were to happen, her husband would need to step up because I do think one of them needs to do something. And we’d all have absolutely nothing to talk about because she finally would be invisible.

      • notasugarhere says:

        bluhare, for the amount of senior royal perks these two take, William would have to do 1000+ engagements a year. Second-in-line and spouse should not be
        outworked by Anne. That means double her number by the couple, no matter how it is divided.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I’m talking about when she first came on the scene. Have you forgotten that taped conversation where she was slamming everybody else in the BRF and saying the public put her on the plinth vacated by Diana, or something to that effect? She wishes. Sorry, but from where I sit, she has calmed down, but she was delusional and thirsty as all get out.

      • Tina says:

        She definitely messed up at the beginning, with all the fake sheikh nonsense. But she learned from her mistakes. She realised she couldn’t continue to run her own company as a member of the BRF. She dedicated herself to her charities and her children (with whom she clearly spends lots of time), showing that it is completely possible to be a good mother and do a sizeable amount of engagements for the firm. I have a lot of time for Sophie.

      • Liberty says:

        Not forgotten. Not good. But, again, maybe she matured past the early ingrained PR girl hustle and gaffes, or realized that what Andy and Fergie do isn’s something she ought to be doing! :-)

        [PS - Somehow this reminded me of the spikiness of some of the comments of younger Princess Anne. A monarchist friend has a set of magazines from I think the early 70s with some of her glorious sharp clear views and utterances about people and things. "Naff off!" featured heavily! One could imagine her tart commentary after dinner. Seat me next to Anne!]

      • HK9 says:

        I remember that-and initially she was thirsty. However, she seems to have come into her own and works really hard for her charities. If Kate was smarter, she’d talk to her about that.

      • LAK says:

        GNAT: that taped conversation was years after Diana died.

        You’d have been living under a rock to not have been aware of the press pushing the Diana vs Sophie narrative in the years they were both alive. And pointing out their similarities. In the same way they’d point out similarities between Diana and Selina Scott or Paula Hamilton. It was a media set up and perhaps she bought into it, but she *was* stating a fact when she mentioned it in that interview.

        As for the details of that conversation, she wasn’t slagging anyone off. It’s scandalous (or considered to be) to talk about the royals to the public, particularly HM and QM, so it was reported in a way that made it seem like she was saying terrible things about the royals.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Get off the lawn of my rock.

      • LAK says:

        Liberty: those Anne ‘naff off’ articles are amazing.

        She’s built this no nonsense image where it’s wierd to connect her to her teen/young woman girly image.

        GNAT: did we wake up on the wrong side of bed this morning?

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I was just joking because you said I lived under a rock? not funny?

      • LAK says:

        GNAT: didn’t read it that way. Apologies for getting the wong end of the stick.

        Now that you’ve explained, it *is* funny. :)

      • Lahdidahbaby says:

        GNAT and LAK, you two kids are just going to have to get along or I shall be forced to send you to your respective towers.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Ha, Lahdidahbaby, don’t blame LAK – it was a lame joke.

      • Lahdidahbaby says:

        O I wasn’t blaming anyone, GNAT, just making my own (clearly lame) castle joke. (I actually thought yr rock/lawn joke was pretty funny because it was so out-there corny.)

    • perplexed says:

      Yeah, she even did that thing with the eyes that Diana did. I remember my mom and her friends saying that Diana was much prettier, and asking why people were comparing the two in terms of looks just because they had blonde hair and the same short hair — they were emphatic that Diana was the much prettier one and had more distinct features.

      I think Sophie has probably matured and now works hard, but in the early years she did kind of give off the impression of wanting to look and act like Diana. Not only was she less charismatic, but she was stuck with Edward, who I don’t remember being anybody’s dreamboat.

      She does work harder than Kate, but then who doesn’t? Fergie probably does, and she’s not even part of the family anymore.

      • Bae says:

        I was 6 when Diana died, so I don’t remeber her, but judging from pictures of her – she wasn’t exactly a beauty either. Maybe she carried herself differently, but I’d say Diana and Sophie are equals when it comes to looks. Prince Phillip and Princess Michale of Kent are by far the prettiest people to ever marry into the family.

      • perplexed says:

        I don’t think Sophie is ugly or unattractive, but I don’t think she and Diana look alike either. I think Diana’s nose made her face look different from Sophie’s, and, well, most other people’s. Diana’s nose was so distinct, thats probably why bio-pics constantly fail in trying to catch a resemblance when they try to cast someone with blonde hair to play her. Naomi Watts is very pretty or even beautiful, and has blonde hair, but when the directors of the Diana movie stuck the Diana wig on her to find a resemblance, she just wound up looking frumpy instead of regal.

        Looks aside, I do think Diana’s charisma trumps everybody else’s, and that’s where most royals fail to catch up to her, even if some of them (who are probably non-Windsors) might be prettier.

      • LAK says:

        BAE: asthetically speaking, I never thought Diana was beautiful. She was pretty. And with all the top flight glam squad could look very pretty.

        However, she had a naughty twinkle in her eye and glowed if that makes sense. It made everyone else in the pictures blend into the background or look dull and diminished in comparison.

        She was even better in motion.

        And of course the charisma which deluded you into thinking she was very beautiful.

      • wolfie says:

        Charisma is such a loaded word – “fascinate, hypnotize, enamor, bewitch, enchant, disarm, captivate” (from Roget’s Thesaurus). Diana’s attraction could not be located in an amulet or talisman, a good luck piece, or any incantation. It was a loving personality that captivated. Few of us are so loving, at least not in the way that Diana WAS. She was no charlatan – we observed her innocence put to the test – and I believe had Diana lived, she would have grown from stature to stature, because that was the direction of her life. What a woman – she took the royal family on!

        Charlie is happy at home now – but he couldn’t very well have gone on living the wild life, after Diana outed him – he HAD to settle down to garner any respect whatsoever – pity stories that we read about his entitlements, poor boy we are to believe…. Apparently wild living was a part of the aristocracy for Camilla and he – but he had to stop and so did Cam, with pressure, from the entire world! Diana had always wanted to have a settled love, that apparently wasn’t a part of courtly life.

        I wouldn’t call Diana charismatic, although she was; however, I would call her full of grace, and the *whole world wept* on losing her light. Often, others want to remind us that she was fully human – yet it is so, she was a woman, with whom we felt the presence of True Love. It’s quite impossible not to be moved in watching video, still. It can’t be erased by the BRF – even as Elizabeth asked, upon hearing about her death – “did someone grease the brakes?” – these people, who want something for nothing.

      • FLORC says:

        HM asked if the greased the breaks? Was this a rumor? First time reading it.

        Overall Diana had charisma imo. Like Harry has charisma. Everything else is perspective.

        I stand firm it’s a disservice to a person’s memory when we glorify them. The good must balance the bad. She was human and far from perfect. Which imo made her struggles more inspiring and more honest than a memory painted from only the idolized image.

        I remember her death and funeral as I am months younger than Harry. It was not a light imo, but an image created. Someone still figuring out their life and a mother of 2 children. If we knew such details of any other person the world would weep again. It reminds us of our own mortality and those we love can go suddenly. Not as much an individual with reasons unique to them alone.But that’s me. I do respect where you’re coming from Wolfie.
        And Elton John didn’t help anyone dry their eyes with the revision of Candle in the Wind..

      • Original T.C. says:

        I don’t particularly think Diana would have grown in stature had she lived. In death she is frozen in time with her looks and her work. Towards the end of her life the public was starting to view her more as a human being with flaws and there was unhappiness towards the man she was in love with.

        There would have been eventual disappointment in her life choices and questions of Botox, face lifts etc that follow all celebrity women. The further she moved from the monarchy, the more criticism of her as just a celebrity enjoying the good life, etc. That’s just how these things go.

      • wolfie says:

        Florc – here is the article about the Queen’s remarks concerning “greasing the brakes” on Diana’s car.

        Original T.C. – Perhaps, that is, if a women stature is based on the meaningless.

        I believe there is a schism in the royal family, because William is holding grudges based on the past. He did love his mother very much, and certainly he would judge his father’s, and grandmother’s remarks and behavior. I do not understand why those family dynamics are so difficult to see. Diana was a world-wide phenomena, unlike any other during my lifetime, however we might wish she were just like us. I watched her from the beginning of the ‘fairy tale”, and I believe that there are many, many others, who found the “People’s Princess” a phenomena of simple grace – however human. Of course, this can’t be good for Charles, hence the necessity of the erasure of her talent in a twist, calling her supporters, spellbound.

      • bluhare says:

        I’m of the opinion that private family business should stay private and William’s grudges against his family — if any — should be his (or the person(s) in question — alone. But he does have a job to do and that grudge should not impact his public responsibilities.

      • wolfie says:

        Diana had a great capacity for love, and the world was changed for It. The BRF needs to show her a bit of respect, for William’s sake – why should he choke because of his love for her? I do believe, that there is a great expanse of character for William, if his needs are respected, which would give him the capacity to forgive. Perhaps the Monarchy would survive him.

        As it stands, Elizabeth is winning the war, or rather bitterness is. Elizabeth and Charles demonstrate great power to force William to “toe the line”, irregardless of his feelings. That is soul death to me.

      • FLORC says:

        I think William is the one in control. Not HM and Charles. He’s getting away with so much and putting in so little. And he still speaks of his job as a burden of sorts when he has yet to actually understand it. By his own admission too.
        He holds all the cards. They can’t force him to do anything. He’s in the position of power. He decides much.

      • wolfie says:

        Florc – I see this as an existential crisis for William. His mother was maligned by the BRF after her death in order to secure their base. I don’t see a great prince coming out of a situation where justice has been abandoned in the pursuit of comeuppance. Will William sell his soul for BRF money? That is the question he is living now, because of the stubborn hearts of Charles and the Queen concerning his Mother! The royals can sit back and wait – say that it is all in William’s hands… Yet it is a false choice they are imposing on him, and a destructive one to the integrity of his soul. Certainly a grey man could find a better answer to this dilemma – they have the finest thinkers, do they not?

        It’s really sad to see the Middleton’s coming to the defense of Diana for him!!! It’s horrifyingly silly to me.

      • FLORC says:

        We don’t see eye to eye on this.
        Some Points.
        The Midds do not imo come to Diana’s defense with William. They have exploited her memory if anything.

        William hasn’t changed much since he was a child. His personality was well formed then when Diana was alive. It’s his way without question or here go hell come!

        The only crisis William has is resisting his duties, but not rebeling enough to have his own life. He needs the BRF to support him. And they need him for several reasons. The only real clear answer we get here is even if William takes issue with how you put it he doesn’t take that great of issue to give up his life of comfort.

        Personally, If I found out those who supported my lifestyle and take care of me took out a beloved parent I would walkaway. So, either William doesn’t feel that way or he loves money over family. IMO.

    • raincoaster says:

      Was just coming to say that. She worked hard at being Di 2.0, and was probably the last woman in Britain to give up peter pan collars.

      That said, it can’t have been an easy path, being Prince Edward’s wife (for reasons I leave to your imaginations) and I have to say she chose the most effective route to the heart of the British People, even if she didn’t quite carry it off.

  2. Betti says:

    I have always liked the Wessex’s, Sophie is another workhorse of the family. Both she and TQ are very into their military history and horses.

    The article was interesting in its burn on Katie Bucket, it mentions that Sophie didn’t have to ‘pretend’ to have a job and that Kate is jealous of her relationship with TQ. The latter i don’t buy, Kate has shown she has no interest in cultivating a relationship with the current Monarch or indeed the extended family. She is going to be Queen Consort one day, lording it over them all, so she doesn’t need to be friendly or nice to them.

    Also a note on the cost of her (Katie Bucket) appearances. If she made 91 public appearances last year and wore an brand new outfit that cost on average £2K, then she cost the taxpayer £182,000 in clothes alone for doing her duty. Money that would have paid for X number of nurses, teachers, operations on the NHS, police etc… I’m a Monarchist but she and her spend thrift ways make my blood boil.

    • Snappyfish says:

      It has been widely reported that the POW covers the cost of The Duchess of Cambridge’s wardrobe. As for DOW, she relished her Di comparison & if the DOC had a “sheik” incident most people on this tread would want her head! I’m guessing “make a mistake” wouldn’t be prevalent in the comments.

      As for the DOW & DOC not having a close relationship I think their daily activities keep them in separate places. I do know how happy Louise was to be included in the royal wedding and the DOW kind comments towards the future DOC when that came about.

      • Nic919 says:

        The Prince of Wales has money by virtue of the Duchy of Cornwall, which is not a private enterprise, so it comes from taxpayers even if he grew the revenues and made it profitable. At least he knows the game and devotes significant time to charity and creates initiatives like the Prince’s Trust.

        I am not sure who you mean by DOW. Sophie is Countess of Wessex. I guess calling her COW might look bad.

        Kate doesn’t appear to have close relationships with anyone outside of her siblings and parents. We never see her out with friends, which does seem odd, especially before there were any kids.

      • LAK says:

        POW covers Kate’s wardrobe, that’s true. Then he passes the cost to tax payers as a tax deductible.

        Therefore, irrespective of the provenance of the duchy money, it is fact that Kate’s wardrobe is being paid for by taxpayers.

  3. wow says:

    Yep, it’s been reported many times over the years that The Queens is rather close with Sophie. It’s sweet.

    • Paddy371 says:

      Yes it’s been well documented , though it would be interesting to know who the lead is in this relationship, is it Sophie brown nosing or TQ actually finds an ordinary girl elevated into her family through marriage ‘interesting’

      • anne_000 says:

        Or is it as the article says, Sophie and QE2 have something intellectually of interest to talk about, QE2 is appreciative of Sophie wanting to work for the BRF, and Sophie appreciates and respects the Queen, etc.

        Why does it have to be either brown nosing or amusement at a commoner? If only these two options were all it takes to get on the Queen’s good side, it should have been rather easy for Kate to get in thick too with QE2 as much as Sophie has.

      • Aurelia says:

        The Queen also adores Sophie’s Father too.

        I remember the funniest quite from Phillip. When asked who his best son was years ago he said “Anne”. LOL.

      • Liberty says:

        anne_000, I agree. Why is it impossible to imagine they may have a developed, shared interest and get along? And HM is no fool and may appreciate the canniness of Sophie as well. Someone who can discuss more than a few things with her…

      • Daisy says:

        I’ve also heard that TQ likes her grandson Peter’s wife Autumn quite a lot, and Autumn is decidedly middle class from Montreal. There might be some similarities between Sophie and Autumn?

  4. Jib says:

    So much snark in this article, from them featuring the comments Sophie made about her business (which did, admittedly, get her in some hot water) to the discussion of how Sophie and the Queen spend hours poring over old historical documents together! And I love the pic of Sophie and Kate at Remebrance Day, was it? Kate with twirling those sausage curls that day, and the vacuous look on her face all day – hilarious! I just wish you had put the picture of Sophie glaring at Kate that day. I tried to find it, but couldn’t. And after looking at the pics of Kate trying to look solemn that day, I think she always smiles because she looks so much better when smiling. Most of us do, but the difference in her face is dramatic.

    • bluhare says:

      I am so jealous of that. If they want to know something about history all they have to do is have one of the archivists find what they’re looking for and they can see the original documents. I would die for that!! Not really, but you know what I mean. ;)

      • Sixer says:

        Just for you, bluhare, here are links to the digitised Paxton letters. I could spend years looking at these!

      • bluhare says:

        I feel like a 14 year old whose boyfriend just asked her to go steady, Sixer!! OMG OMG!!!!!

        I will spend a very happy evening looking at these when I get home tonight.

      • FLORC says:

        I’ve bookmarked it and read a little bit. Can’t wait for the rest to be digitized!

        Go steady? Did he give you his pin too? ;P

      • Sixer says:

        Knew you’d like ‘em! Even if I did typo!

      • Jib says:

        Me, too! I teach British Lit and would love to go see the places that were populated during the time of the Angles and Saxons and see the documents from the entire history. And the times on Henry VIII – what drama!!!

        It’s nice to know someone in the BRF besides the Queen has an interest in history.

      • LAK says:

        ….because I am that child that asks if there is a movie version of the book i’ve been asked to read for English lit, and in this case, there is……YES!!!!

        A documentary on Medieval lives by Helen Castor for the BBC references the Paston family and their letters. All 3 parts are on youtube.

        Ps: she wrote (and made a documentary, also available on youtube) the excellent ‘Shewolves of England’.

      • Sixer says:

        LAK – I couldn’t remember who it was – kept thinking Vickery – else I’d have posted the YouTube links! The Paston doco was wonderful. I recommend you guys look it out.

      • LAK says:

        Sixer: I love the BBC’s history docs. Right now I’m re-watching the one on Spain by Simon Sebag Montefiore. For the 3rd time. (also available on youtube)

        It’s all thunder and blaster, and so wonderfully rendered that I think i’ll revisit Spain as a topic.

        There is a new one about the Romanovs by Lucy Worseley that’s about to start in a couple of weeks.

        Ps: did you watch ‘War and Peace’?

      • Sixer says:

        LAK: me too. I check BBC4 iPlayer every morning in case I miss anything! I have War and Peace recorded – will watch after dinner tonight. I hope it’s good! BBC2 has an abdication programme on later this week, dramatised monologues apparently, so keep an eye out.

      • Betti says:

        Ladies, every Monday the Yesterday channel has what it calls ‘Monarchy Monday’ with some very interesting documentaries. Have seen most of them but they are pretty good – a few old BBC ones. I was watching an interesting one last night about Edward VII (QV’s eldest son), the party prince – he certainly turned his image around when he became King and shaped the Monarchy into what we see today.

      • Cricket says:

        Can’t wait to check out War & Peace.. saw on a commercial it starts here in the states in like two weeks but is being aired on the Lifetime network which shocks me! Looks so good!

      • LAK says:

        Cricket: War and piece definitely required a TV version to nudge me into reading it.

        Somehow over the years I’ve managed to avoid reading it. Perhaps it is the size of the book. Usually used as a door stop.

        With James Norton’s breeches in mind, I shall finally start reading the damn thing.

      • bluhare says:

        James Norton’s breeches, you say? Interesting!

      • Sixer says:

        I watched it. Perhaps a tad too abridged? They rushed all the many intros. But I guess that can’t be helped. It has the world and his wife in it, not just Norton. Tom Burke. Yay! Aneurin Barnard. Yay! Brian Cox. Yay! Stephen Rea. Yay! Jim Broadbent. Yay! The boy from Glue whose name escapes me. Yay! And that’s just the men. Clearly, they didn’t stint on the casting budget.

    • frisbee says:

      Here you go, I think this is the shot of Sophie and Katie Bucket – a picture is worth a thousand words! (and in this KB looks particularly gormless)

      • Original Kay says:

        That picture is priceless

      • bluhare says:

        Ha! That one says it all without saying a thing, doesn’t it?

        PS I understand I need to watch the next Agatha Christie production when PBS gets it over here. Our future roommate is featured prominently, I hear!

      • PennyLane says:

        Lol – I give people that look when they have gotten on my last nerve.

      • Jib says:

        Oh, Lawd!!!! Thank you! I can’t believe people try to claim that Sophie was looking past KatieBucket at someone else. She was looking RIGHT at her and KB was grinning and twirling away all day!!!!

      • frisbee says:

        bluhare – it’s fabulous BUT I found it quite horrific. Some fabulous actors in it, Charles Dance, is excellent and yes, Aidan is in it being thoroughly despicable and totally edible in a little white towel with his NATURAL ACCENT – died and went to heaven!
        This isn’t great picture quality but you’ll get the idea
        This ones a bit better

      • Sixer says:

        That towel shot was SHAMELESS. I laughed out loud thinking of you guys!

      • FLORC says:

        A little warning! My jaw dropped.
        And oh… I think we all get the idea… ;) Lots of ideas

      • bluhare says:

        Oh, I’ll be watching that all right. Oh yes, I will. ;)

        I think Charles Dance is hot –or was when he was younger. He had that sexy aristocrat thing going on.

      • Canadian Becks says:

        You really need to to see the series of pictures where she twirls her fingers around her ringlets. Such 3rd grade, airhead behaviour at what is arguably the most solemn event of the year.

      • Betti says:

        Those photos kill me every time – she looks spaced out and bored. Its not the first time she’s been caught looking like she’d rather be elsewhere.

      • frisbee says:

        Well I don’t know about you lot but my NY resolution is to get a lot more SHAMELESS AIDAN – (or a rather more attainable equivalent) in my life!

      • anne_000 says:

        Whenever I see those pics of Kate twirling her hair at the memorial, I think she’s thinking “Look at me. Here I am. On this balcony. I’m so important. I’m like way above everybody down there. I’m going to be the Queen of you [Sir Tim and Sophie]. Yes, me. And my fabulous curls.”

        Does she talk in short sentences? I don’t know. But on that balcony at that time, I doubt she was thinking anything profound and significant relating to the subject of the memorial.

      • Charlotte15 says:

        Yikes, those hair-twirling photos! 😳😳
        I’d seen them at the time but I guess I must have skimmed over them and not really processed just how bad they really were. I am truly shocked that by then she didn’t know well enough to at least FAKE being interested, knowing the cameras would be on her so much, FFS.

        The Queen or William (or both) MUST have given her a verbal lashing once those photos were published…right?

        It would have been bad at any time and at any appearance, but on Remembrance Day?!? Come on, Kate. Show some respect.

    • Canadian Becks says:

      @Jib – you are so right when you say that Kate looks dramatically better when she smiles. The jowls that she already has at 33 gets an instant lift.

      One thing about Kate: She must wear very heavy makeup in order to appear as photogenic as she does. People who do not wear makeup will look washed out in photographs. People who do wear makeup have their features highlighted and this photographs as more attractive. My sister is very well put together and photographs stunningly, but when you see her in person, the heavy makeup is startling.

      Since we can all see, even through the medium of a photograph, the heavy, heavy eyeliner that Kate uses, I can only imagine how strongly it must be applied in real life.

      • Betti says:

        I have seen her in the flesh and the make up is film thick, applied as is she’s preparing for her close up. Her skin isn’t great either, dry.

      • Citresse says:

        Canadian Becks
        Your comment reminds me of when I was passing through downtown Calgary during year 1990. I was walking past a crowd which had gathered outside a hotel back entrance. I inquired as to what was going on? The answer: “HM is about to leave such hotel.” (I was traveling at the time, most of it INTL so I hadn’t kept up with the fact HM was visiting Calgary, Alberta). Anyway, to make a long story short, I had a great view of HM in person and I was just (approx) seven feet from her. She’s a lovely woman, quite petite in person and she wears a lot of make up (to photograph well).

    • Jib says:

      @LAK, thank you!! I’m going to check it out right now. Good bedtime viewing!!

  5. LAK says:

    Camilla’s first marriage wasn’t a marriage at all as far as fidelity was concerned. Her husband, Andrew, was faithful long enough to produce an heir and a spare and then he was off with the ladies.

    Camilla was Ok with it, as much as Andrew was OK with her affair with Charles.

    A situation that was OK with everyone until Diana told, and they all had to divorce.

    • Sixer says:

      Like I always say: British aristos are a bunch of swingers and perfectly happy in their swingerhood. Diana was definitely the one who messed it all up for them!

      • LAK says:

        I have to say that i’d have a go at the yound Andrew PB. He was a looker. Especially in his guards uniform.

        I love that he is the inspiration for Rupert Campbell Black in the Jilly Cooper novels.

      • Citresse says:

        Fergie “the jig is up with toe sucking” didn’t help either re- any (common) sense of discretion.

      • Sixer says:

        LAK: Yes, but you’d have had to pass the parcel with all the other toothy horsefaces. A fate that does not bear even the contemplation!

        Citresse: possibly the best pap shot of all time!

      • LAK says:

        Citresse: did you know that it was Diana who tipped the paps off as far as that particular holiday Fergie was on?

        The fact that Fergie gave the paps the mother of pap shots vis a vis the toe sucking was a bonus.

        Sixer: nope. I’d get his in the stables and be off my merry way afterwards.

      • Citresse says:

        LAK, I believe it, especially if Diana had plantar warts by then.
        Camilla played nice in the beginning by inviting Diana to the Menage restaurant, though as some authors put it, Diana (initially) had an overly romantic notion of love and marriage. How could she not? Being 19 yr old, having Cartland (those books) in the family by marriage etc..but she soon learned what it was all about.

      • Liberty says:

        Love that Andrew PB was the inspiration for the fabulous Rupert (who was still hot and swaggery in WICKED! and JUMP, don’t you think?).

        LAK: – at first I thought you were referring to young Prince Andrew and PB stood for Prince Balls. Then after a moment of shock I absorbed the reference. Clearly I need coffee not more green tea today.

        Citresse: yes, she was 19, grew up reading romantic novels in a sort of padded isolation even with older worldly sisters. I view her as giddy and young at that point, not a plotting girl.

        Who knows the truth, but realizing right off that your Prince Charming s still all up his great-great-grandfather’s mistress’s great-granddaughter has to be off-putting if not a little mind-bending at 19. I think I would have packed a couple of tiaras and said see ya later. But I suppose with her upbringing, and media, she felt stuck.

      • LAK says:

        LOL @ Liberty.

        …although…*Prince* Andrew had a moment. I think it was the year he was dating Koo Stark. Not sure I’d have turned him down that year. All other years, nope, never, nada.

        I’ve always thought that Camilla is a character too from any one of those novels. She comes across that way to me.

        Speaking of Barbara Cartland, I was obsessed when I was 14. It was collective puberty/sickness. We devoured those books. Definitely responsible for my terrible romantic life in later teens/early adulthood.

        I would hate to be caught in that moment by a real life Prince who I couldn’t divorce without an act of parliament. It would be a terrible come down from the fictional AND real life constructs. I pitied Diana in that respects.

        I also pitied the fact that she went from institutionalised isolation of her parents’ home, with a few months of freedom inbetween, to the institutionalised isolation of her husband’s home. From that perspective, I can understand her more ridiculous actions.

      • bluhare says:

        Liberty, I was bowled over by Diana at the time, too, but I remember my dad, who everyone once in a while did have some great insights, thought I was daft. He told me “that girl is sneaky and sly, bluhare. Don’t know why you like her.” Not sure he was 100% right in that, but I don’t think he was wrong either. I ignored him at the time. It wasn’t until many years later I realized he might have seen something most of us missed.

      • Citresse says:

        Don’t know about “sneaky and sly” Diana esp circa 1980 and 1981 but I loved her hair at two point of her life 1. pre-engagement and 2. while pregnant with Harry.
        There is a quote from Diana re- spending time with the Royals at Balmoral pre-engagement when she stated; “I wanted to get it right.” Therefore I suppose there was a little sly behaviour in becoming the Princess of Wales, however the lion’s share of that particular drive came from Diana’s father I suspect.

      • bluhare says:

        That was my dad’s take and I thought he was nuts at the time. I remember reading Arthur Edwards thought that she was more than a sweet young thing too. Came from when she was first spotted with Charles fishing at Balmoral and she turned away and looked at the photographers through the mirror in her makeup compact, so she could see them but they couldn’t see her. Not an example of sly or sneaky particularly, but an example of not being anyone’s fool or something to that effect.

        I don’t think dad was dead right on that, either, but I do think he saw a piece of her personality the rest of us missed.

      • FLORC says:

        Parents learn much from their children. Might you have had a gleam in your eye of sly behavior? Your father might have seen the same look and think…”I know exactly what that look means”

      • bluhare says:

        Moi, sly, FLORC? Actually, no. I was too afraid of everything!!

      • Elizabeth says:

        Bluhare, my Mom said the same thing as your Dad the day the engagement was announced.

    • Elizabeth says:

      As I understand it, Andrew PB wasn’t faithful even that long. He may have been faithful through the honeymoon, but was apparently cheating before the first anniversary.

  6. Sixer says:

    Ack. I doubt Sophie launched sick burns on anyone. Not that I particularly like her – but I do concede that if we must have royals who fart about with patronages for a living, at least she does the job as advertised.

    This is just the new front in the press’s passive aggressive assault on the Cambridges. I might not like the Mail, but I thoroughly approve of the assault!

    • LAK says:

      I was struck by how many anti-Cambridge shots were fired.

      Also made me laugh that they made a point of emphasising that HM has never extended an invitation to the Middletons.

      I guess they’ll double down on their middle class malarkey as a virtue as compared to those horrid aristocratic Germans.

      • Sixer says:

        That’s the only card they can play, really, isn’t it? Cue Carole on a few more beaches.

      • bluhare says:

        I noticed that too. No mention of anyone else (the Shands, Parker-Bowles’), Tindalls, etc. etc., just the Middletons.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Yes, Sixer, because the British middle class spend so much time on St. Barts and Mustique. Oh wait, when they’re the Middletons they DO!

  7. Citresse says:

    I normally like Sophie but perhaps in this case, she’s taking advantage of a disconnect between HM and Kate. Additionally, I’m not fond of Sophie’s recent fashion choices. Considering the hats and repetitive OTT fur collars, Sophie is looking a little too Cruella De Vil, for my liking.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Sophie and HM have been close for almost 20 years, it is nothing new.

      • Citresse says:

        I would guess HM appreciated and appreciates Sophie’s career ambition and hard work long before meeting Prince Edward.

  8. Emily says:

    *Honk for the Wessexes*

  9. Ana A. says:

    I actually came to like Sophie. She started as Di II and made quite a few mistakes in the beginning, but she really grew into her role. She is working hard for the Royal Family and her charities and making an effort without trying to make everything about her. She’s simply very good at her job.
    Not like others who think that the most important part of the job is to make sure that the fashion industry is advertised and tourism in Caribbean islands is enforced.

  10. wow says:

    It will be interesting to see if Sophie or her side of the family will be accused of planting this favorable story to the press or is that only applied to The Middleton’s, William, or any girlfriend of the moment of Harry’s…

    • FLORC says:

      It’s not common so it might not be a major deal. And it’s only helping the press get out their angst of being so heavily used by KP PR without directly doing anything.
      Now, if these stories with repeating narrratives continued she will get called out and rightly so.
      Justlike the Cambridges and Just like the Midds.

  11. Paddy371 says:

    That idiot of a husband of hers has a cheek to wear all those medals for doing zippo other than being a good boy for mummy.

    • Citresse says:

      Well, we know they’re not medals from the British Marines.

      • Sixer says:

        See, that’s what I call a sick burn! Snigger.

      • Liberty says:

        hahaha :-)

        Now I think there should be a movie wherein the Prince Philip and the Prince Harry are like a secret highly placed Special Forces-type A-list Scotland Yard hard ass buddy team protecting the realm with a lingering goal of resurrecting world domination (Philip) and making it a better world for all (Harry)!

        With Edward as the shy stuttering IT guy. Charles in a cardi tutting over the costs of a flying car, and Andy stupidly blundering around in his XL Speedo with weird bad Eastern EU guys (incl Albert and Charlene), causing problems like a Fredo (Godfather reference) that must be addressed.

        Sophie is actually a super highly trained stealth agent placed to assist and apply silent deadly muscle, acquiring the catsuit from Anne and Diana Rigg who founded the ladies order of the secret guard years before with a young Helen Mirren.

        With all hands trying to keep Kitty and Billy away from the Secret lest they trade the secret plan away to the really really super bad guys in exchange for Harvey Nichols gift cards and a trip for Fiji.

        Agents Philip and Harry are secretly training George as their Special Forces heir, and he shows startling natural gifts for the job, which they struggle to conceal from the public eye (already trained in infant warfare with miniature-sized agents posing as babies). Camilla is the jolly souzer distraction. Diana knew too much!

      • bluhare says:

        I think that would be an excellent movie, Liberty. But someone has to write the screenplay first! :D

      • Sixer says:

        Oh, Liberty. I am TRYING TO WORK. Now I can’t stop laughing.

        In this scenario – it’s a bit like V, isn’t it? – who are the dauntless earthlings fighting the good fight?

      • Liberty says:

        Oh Sixer that’s IT— we add an element of “Alien Royal Life Forms” that have infiltrated the family via the mystery of the Lindo Wing!!! The ODNILs.

        Chelsy can be building a secret good earth army somewhere, hence her disappearance, etc! The Secret Order of Molesworthians, of course. “No Fules Here” being their motto.

      • Liberty says:

        bluehare, let’s get going! three scenes! Bashing opener!

      • Sixer says:

        Sign me up for the Molesworthians! Any fule no the Aliens Have Landed. Can Mel Brooks direct?

      • bluhare says:

        I’m trying to work too, and now I’m all LOL’ing everywhere thinking of a remake of The Producers and Edward singing Springtime for Hitler. STOP IT!

        I don’t know the Molesworthians. I foresee some lunchtime googling.

      • Sixer says:

        Bluhare: Nigel Molesworth is the hero of a set of satirical kids books mocking the public school system. He is the “gorila of 3B” at St Cuthbert’s, and his catchphrase is, “as any fule no”. Very funny, as Liberty will attest!

    • Boston Green Eyes says:

      I remember back in the day that her hubby was well-known for being called “Dockside Doris.” I wonder if the Wessex’s have some sort of agreement as well.

    • Citresse says:

      And yet Edward (the Marine’s washout) has been described as the favourite of Philip? Strange. If HM is feeling miffed, Philip sounds like “Feeeeeeelip.” “Feeeeeeeelip, we must support poor Edward.”

      • notasugarhere says:

        It appears he didn’t want to be in the military, it was expected. Fine, he took the hardest route possible to try to please his father. He washed out of the marine commando unit, as one third of them do. He took it on the chin from his father and the press, and stubbornly went his own way. Even while cursing to him and about him, I can see Philip admiring Edward for that.

  12. Seraphina says:

    This just brought to life how little is expected of the royals: that She herself asked who to seek out and talk too. And that impressed them. Wow. Yes. That’s what someone is supposed to do when they are VIP and the livelyhood of their organization depends on them.

    I trying to understand why the BRF is being tolerated in this day and age. And if hear tourism I’ll scream.

  13. birdy says:

    The press must take 100′s of photos of Kate at events yet the ones that get seem to get published are the ones where she looked deranged (crazy too big smile/laugh) or she looks vacant. The press can’t write too bluntly about their lack of work and spending habits as he will ultimately inherit the big job but the choice of photos that get out in the public always makes me think that is the only opportunity for editors to be honest whilst publishing write-ups written by their pr guy. Will and harry apparently did an interview in week. Can’t wait to see what gems we get from will trying explain his avoidance of royal duties yet taking money from the duchy of Cornwall and continuing being resentful of all the privilege and opportunities that he has had laid out for him on a silver platter.

    • LAK says:

      When it comes to her engagements, or general public duties, I prefer to see video rather than photos because the photos are always so manipulated and photoshopped.

      What I’ve noticed, more since she became a mother, is that the deranged open mouthed grin is turned on and off like a switch. Whether someone is talking to her or not, whether she’s in conversation or not. She is always aware that she will be photographed, so she turns on the grin, turns her face and poses at best advantage for the photos, and then turns her head away, simultaneously turning smile off. Rinse and repeat throughout the engagement.

      In the past, she would also position herself to be photographed in a way that appeared that she was engaged in conversation with groups of people. Those pictures were always disconcerting if shown in wide angle because it would give away the fact that she wasn’t part of the conversation.

      • Amber says:

        This is also why I’m learning to prefer videos. It takes more effort and time to watch them, Lol. But pictures can be quite misleading, and are so much easier to distort in many ways. I knew that to a pretty healthy degree. But with Kate in particular, (the things you mentioned apply and), you really don’t get something like how she turns that fake, manic grin on and off until you see videos. With the BRF in general, take the church visits for example, the press (small in attendance at that) cherrypicked photos that flattered individuals, The Firm and it’s narrative. But if you watch film of them you can really see things like how little they interact with one another. Photos at times don’t give you any real impression of what actually happened.

  14. sara says:

    Sophie’s thoughts on Kate:
    The fact that they are not “close” does not tell us what Sophie’s thoughts are on Kate. How misleading!

    • Wren33 says:

      Yes, that stood out to me as well. I didn’t realize people were, as a matter of course, supposed to be BFFs with an aunt by marriage.

      • bluhare says:

        I don’t know about BFF’s, but I’m FF with my nieces.

      • FLORC says:

        I took that part as meaning because they both had similar backround. And both married. And both of closer age than others they would at the very least bond over that. Not that they were guaranteed to get along as besties.
        You’re new to a system you don’t know the procedures like others. So you attach yourself to a person with experience, but closer in age and circumstances to learn from and get along with.
        That’s how it might have been meant imo.

      • bluhare says:

        I was responding to the part about being BFFS with an aunt my marriage. I’m an aunt by marriage to my nieces and we do quite well together.

      • FLORC says:

        I was responding to wren.
        I’m an aunt by marriage to some of the single digit ages. Little cuties. And my traditional 2nd cousins are my nieces/nephews. They might have 20 years on me, but i make them call me thea anyways :D We all get along very well.

    • FLORC says:

      True. It was said early on Sophie was to help Kate with her adjustment into royal life, but Kate blew her advice off. And later when 1 of Kate’s puff pieces (never disputed by her PR) claimed she was filling her time with lessons on riding from Sophie she quickly shot that down. She wanted it known she was not around Kate and if she was riding no one knew anything of it.

      If nothing else Sophie made sure there was little connection over just not commenting.

  15. TheOtherViv says:

    I have a soft spot for Sophie despite the ‘epic fail’ when she blabbed to the Arab ‘sheiks’ because apparently one of her children was born with some kind of disability. She has handled this matter without making a fuss and while some may say this may be out of shame, I truly think it was more to protect the child. Lately we have seen her with both her kids way more often than when they were small. Anyone else notice how they were so often not included on the balcony at celebrations?

    • Peanutbuttr says:

      I think one of the children has some problem with their eyes, which would make public events and photographers a harrowing experience. I recall reading that they asked photographers not to take pictures because of it. The Beckhams had made a similar request for one of their children who suffers from seizures.

      • bluhare says:

        Louise is Sophie’s child with the eye problem. She had surgery not that long ago which I think either corrected it or improved it quite a bit.

  16. Scal says:

    Why would she and Kate be close? They are 17 years or so apart in age-and their kids are different ages to. Other than royal family stuff-what would they talk about? They are from different generations.

    • bluhare says:

      Different generations doesn’t mean you can’t be close. Mr. bluhare and I are tight with our nieces and nephews.

      • Liberty says:

        Same here. I have cousins a good 25 years older than me and they have kids and we are all FF, My husband’s family has a big age range — we’re all tight. Two of my greatest friends are 15 years younger than me and two 15 to 17 years older — we share a love of fashion, art, travel, design and sports, humor, and that crosses the gaps without attempting to “be younger” or “act older.” ..It’s a new world! :-)

      • Sixer says:

        And me! My mother was one of eight and my father one of seven. Generations and ages are totally mixed in my family but we get on brilliantly as peers. (No pun intended!)

      • snapdragon says:

        There’s a 30 year span amongst my cousins and we are all very close, oldest to youngest. Once you’re over the age of 10 it’s not about age but personality and interests.

    • anne_000 says:

      I think they don’t even talk about royal family stuff either. Kate doesn’t seem to want to talk to any RF members. I don’t know if that’s because of what William has been saying to her or if it’s Svengali Carole telling her that she’s the only person to listen to or if Kate believes that talking to the RF means talking about how work is important and how W&K should do more for not only the benefit of other people but for the BRF too.

      Anyhoo, who does Kate to talk that isn’t a Middleton or a Middleton-wannabe (Bill)? Does she even have any friends, BRF or not? If she were a smart, strong, independent, grown-up woman with long-term perspective, she should know that making friends with the other BRF members, especially the younger ones like Sophie, would be a benefit for her and William and possibly her own kids too. W&K are going to need a lot of help as they go up the royal ladder.

  17. Canadian Becks says:

    It has been reported that Sophie was able to bond with the Queen over a mutual interest in the histories of Military Battles. If that is genuine, then good for her. It’s good to think the Queen actually respects Sophie for her intellectual qualities and her work ethic.

    All of us women who have Mothers-In-Laws, know the challenges of getting close to a woman whose son now considers YOU to be the primary female in his life, and doesn’t she know it, too!

    Sophie deserves credit for forming a close bond with such an imposing mother-in-law.

    • FLORC says:

      My mother in law is a WASP and it’s a struggle. I give huge credit to Sophie for having that bond. It couldn’t have been easy.
      Although, I have similar interests with the Queen regarding history and would adore to pour over that stuff with HM specifically. So, maybe it isn’t that hard.

      • Helen says:

        What is a WASP?

      • bluhare says:

        White Anglo Saxon Protestant.

      • Canadian Becks says:

        White Anglo Saxon Prostetant.
        The term WASP is also used disparagingly, to denote a group that is seen to have higher status, more money, more connections, more power, due largely to their early settlement in the country.

        The term has changed from a simple term of categorization to a somewhat unflattering term. I would say most people who use it do not mean it as a compliment. It is synonymous with being uptight and an unenlightened conservative.

      • FLORC says:

        Their hives are in CT and the heart in Greenwich area.
        1 side of the spectrum they are well educated and well off philanthropist.
        The other side they are snarky ladies who lunch on salads and wine while paying everyone passive aggressive compliments.
        Think any CW show with well off adults.

      • Sixer says:

        WASP is like the American version of Old Money, right?

      • FLORC says:

        Yes. And even a bit tacky. Early settlers, very wealthy, and a bit tasteless from an elitist attitude.

        Regarding true old money… My grandparents were. Furniture was passed down in family, homes were nice, but also modest not to flaunt, polite and finances were not discussed openly. Rules of conduct around them were out of respect. This is how I understand American old money to be. Then there’s new old money. Meaning old money that gets in the hands of those who feel it must be flaunted. Most WASPs i’ve encountered are new old money.

    • The Original Mia says:

      Someone pointed out that their closeness is also due to Sophie living with Edward at BP before they married. So, she probably has had a lot more interaction with the Queen than the other married-ins.

      • Canadian Becks says:

        More interaction would not automatically = the Queen liking and bonding with you. The opposite, in fact: Familiarity breeds contempt and all that.

        Seems like Sophie was able to endear herself to the most imposing, Mother of all mother-in-laws.

  18. maggie says:

    I call BS on the whole article.

    • FLORC says:

      It’s based largely in truth. Maybe not entirely so, but the foundations of the points are by all sources correct. Sophie has long been stated as beloved by HM. She has had that more normal backround and upbringing. And she does let things slip because she’s much like her mother of No nonsense and hard working. And HM does invite her Sophie’s father to spend the holiday with them.
      So, you can’t say it’s all BS when so much has been known and confirmed for over a decade.

      • notasugarhere says:

        The evidence is there. Sophie is the only one allowed to ride in the car with HM for masses at Sandringham. Her father is often there for Christmas but in the background. HM, Sophie, and the Wessex kids are photographed riding at Windsor together frequently.

      • Paddy371 says:

        Mass is what Catholics do, church service for the Anglicans

      • notasugarhere says:

        Thanks! Hard to keep them all straight.

    • Jib says:

      Why do some people reflexively call BS on anything that differs from their world view? I started out likening Kate M and William and hoping that after his difficult loss of his mother, he would have a good adult life. But my opinion changed last year, even after reading about them only on sycophantic websites. I formed a different opinion of them than the majority of worshippers on that site. Why? They don’t earn their keep!!! That’s my biggest gripe with them – they are given so much privilege in a day and age where so many can’t even meet basic needs, and he does the minimum and she does less. Having kids is no excuse – I had a job interview 2 days after my third child was born and went back to work when she was 3 months old because I had to, and I love to work. I had no nanny, I paid a sitter, my husband changed his hours, we did it. And I want to scream when people say she can’t bond with her babies if she’s away from them for 8 to 10 hours a week. I, and millions of people I know, have wonderful relationships with our children and we worked full time.

      She wants the perks but doesn’t want to do the work. Fine. But then step aside for someone who works for the Duchy money, and the clothes, and the security for her multiple homes and the renovations, etc. etc.

      • bluhare says:

        Ah, Jib, I think I just fell in love. :D

      • FLORC says:

        But she’s got kids. And she was pregnant twice. Twice!
        And… Um… annnd….?… aparently her children have this condition where they cannot bond well with Kate unless she should be working. Never mentioned when Kate is away from then for any other reason.

      • maggie says:

        Just because they don’t live up to YOUR expectations does not mean they are lazy. They’re independently wealthy, have very little privacy and have a life long obligation to serve. You cannot measure everything in terms of actual dollars. They are great ambassadors for England and create a wealth of tourism. Example, the birth of their children and let’s not forget their wedding.
        Florc, do you have children? Do you live with them to know how much she shops or is away from those kids? If they’re so repugnant why follow them relentlessly? I don’t get it.

      • Paddy371 says:

        I think you make excellent points Jib, the Royal Family here have always been thought of of having massive privilege but their saving grace has been their acknowledgement that with that privilege comes great responsibility. The older generation , live their life by this mantra. The younger ones , especially these two, don’t care a fig about their responsibilities , they only care for themselves.

        It’s the expectations of their privilege not of individual people. Independent wealth? left to them by Diana & if follow the money trail, you’ll find it all starts at the UK Treasury.

        To think tourists come to the UK for the royal family is preposterous, France has the highest number of tourists in Europe yet we all know what happened to their Royal family.

      • bluhare says:

        And just because they meet YOUR expectations does not mean they meet others.
        I’ll go point by point.

        1. Yep, they’re wealthy. Don’t know if I agree with “independently” if you define it as being able to live on their own money, but they’ve got a lot of money.
        2. They have a LOT of privacy. How often are they photographed? What do we actually know about them? The answers to those two questions are rarely and not much.
        3. They do have a lifelong obligation and they’re very lucky that the reality hasn’t kicked in yet. The Queen has been queen for over 60 years and had huge obligation and duty imposed on her in her early 20′s. Yet we all should feel sorry for Kate if we’d like to see her out supporting her husband’s family business a few hours a week?
        3. I think you got tourism confused with commerce.
        4. Non sequitur. Whether FLORC has children or not is not the issue.

      • notasugarhere says:

        maggie, repeating what has been stated so many times before. To many people they are lousy ambassadors for the UK. Their wedding cost the UK $6 billion in lost revenue by some counts. The official tourism agencies for both England and the UK have proven, with data, that the royal family does NOT have a positive impact on tourism.

        William has an inheritance of about $10 million, which they do not spend. He is a known skinflint. It has been published, in the official accounts, that The Duchy (the taxpayers) pays their living expenses including office and household staff and her clothing expenses. They have a free palace off the taxpayers. All of their security, including the enormous costs of her running home to mummy constantly, all falls on the taxpayers. Charles even takes her clothing off on his taxes, so they win twice. They live off the taxpayers.

        Plenty of mothers have chimed in about how hurtful it is that people on here are basically saying working mothers are bad mothers. BTW, it does not require having children to count the sightings of KM spending time away from the kids (shopping, hairdresser, vacation, personal trainer). She has no problem being away from them for those things, but the excuse of taking care of the kids is always put forward as an excuse for her low work numbers. If you read the Sophie numbers on the thread yesterday, you’d see that someone who has two young children can also put up solid royal engagement numbers.

        You can like something and still criticize it and view it logically. Some of the staunchest monarchists can see that W&K are a detriment to monarchy. Are they required to never speak, because you think only positive opinions are allowed?

      • FLORC says:

        There’s nothing more I can add to Nota and Bluhare’s comments.

        And maggie
        you’ve often claimed you pay UK taxes for some time and are fine with them, yet you still say things like dollars that highlight more of an american view. I remember LAK and Bluhare pointing this out ages ago.

        Outside of all of that a point of interest is in the comments defending her actions. That because she is a mother and her bills are covered nothing more is required. The unique podium she has collects dust because she has kids and that’s ok? Mothers here have spoken to this before. That it belittles them and they are capable of more. That while being a mother is amazing they would still use that podium to help others and display an image for their children to be inspired by. Kate has by far the easiest ability to do this.

        We will have o agree to disagree if you feel i’m wrong in my opinions here. I’m not sure how to more simplify my response.

        P.S. Repugnant and Relentless… I’m relentless in loads of historical threads and jewels, and various other threads. Repugnant is hyperbole.

      • hmmm says:


        “Why do some people reflexively call BS on anything that differs from their world view?”

        And an unsupported BS at that. But it got some lengthy replies.

      • hmmm says:

        @ Jib,

        “Why do some people reflexively call BS on anything that differs from their world view?”

        And an unsupported BS at that. But it got some lengthy replies.

      • Jib says:

        Bluehare :)

        FLORC, NOTA, hmmm, and Paddy, agree with all of your excellent points!

      • bluhare says:

        hmmmm . . . I supported my BS. What was your point again?

  19. notasugarhere says:

    @Kaiser, I think Anne is the only daughter which gains her a spot as favorite daughter. Edward is rumored to be Philip’s favorite child as Andrew is HM’s. If everyone follows the plan, Edward is to get his father’s Dukedom when Philip passes, a sign of their closeness. That is said to be why he’s taken over the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

    • Paddy371 says:

      What to do with the Admiral of Vice though? Hard enough to keep him out of the papers for all the wrong reasons? What will come of him- the least liked member of this family. And the two useless daughters seem to have vanished from the face of the earth . I wonder if Buck House has managed to put a gagging order on their many holidays under the pretext of ‘security’

      • notasugarhere says:

        Beatrice and Eugenie are private citizens. I don’t think Beatrice and Eugenie are useless. I think they were sold a bill of goods by their parents. Reality hit a few years ago and they’re figuring it out. Eugenie is doing better than Beatrice. They will end up with some responsibilities behind the scenes, like counselors of state, even though they won’t be working royals.

        Zara and Peter were told all along that they wouldn’t be working royals. Along with living free on their mother’s estate with their families, they have a head start on being successful private citizens because of it.

      • FLORC says:

        Hardly useless. While not perfect they do work for their charities and invest much time and sometimes personal expense for them. Cameras and press tip offs do not occurvery often. They just go because it’s right.
        They are however the offspring of the spare and will forever be painted terribly for that reason. Not from their own actions.
        Even those “vacations” got counted like Kate’s work schedule. If there was a location change or walking from 1 building to a boat and back to that same original building it was counted as 3 vacations in a day. By the logic used If I go to a friends house over the weekend and spend the night, but am still home by sunday evening it was a vacation.

      • bluhare says:

        They might not be useless, but they aren’t good for much. Beatrice with all her faffing about and — if you believe the Dreaded Daily Mail the Biggest Purveyor of Lying Lies (or so I’m told) on the planet — Eugenie got called out for vacations by her job and told she couldn’t take any more for the rest of the year last autumn if she wanted to keep her job.

        That being said, I would be very happy if they did start working seriously at something. You can’t hold down jobs and take as much vacation as they do — even if you go on long weekend trips as opposed to two week trips. The people who cover for you get angry and then the ish hits the fan.

        Sign me,
        Covering for Someone RIGHT NOW

      • FLORC says:

        Yikes. I hate covering for people. I think they’re half truths all around it. And they are better served being private citizens that still hold up some charity work as they are higher profile.

  20. Minxx says:

    I like Sophie. Maybe because we had a very similar, traumatic birth experiences and I remember reading about it when Lady Louise was a baby. She seems down to earth and hard working, no wonder HM loves her so much. I also have no doubt the Queen does not particularly like Kate, HM has a very strong work ethic. I love the first photo of Kate with Sophie on the balcony – Kate’s expression is priceless, like she’s trying to fake interest but she’s just too vacuous to pull it off.

  21. Sarah01 says:

    Love the pale blue coat and hat ensemble!

  22. Cee says:

    Seeing how Sophie has the Family Order, is a Dame of the Royal Victorian Order (2004), and is repeatedly chosen, along with her husband, to be TQ’s representative abroad, this should come as no surprise.

    The Royal Victorian Order seems to be enough proof – very few family members have been awarded it (Harry being the latest) although Camilla received it in 2012.

    Sophie has proven her worth; Kate hasn’t (yet)

    • Betti says:

      Sophie and Edward are the ones that always go to the Royal Weddings, repping Her Maj. They seem to be the only ones who make an effort to mingle with the other European Royal Houses, of whom the Windsors are distantly related to (thank ole QV for that one – she married her children off to them).

      • notasugarhere says:

        It makes sense to send them. Neither Charles nor Andrew had wives to take to many of those weddings, and I cannot see Anne and Tim wanting to go to them. Sophie and Edward are similar ages to many of the up-and-coming monarchs, and have kids roughly the same age too.

        A notable difference was Charles going to Haakon and MM’s wedding in Norway. My guess is Charles supported Haakon in marrying someone “questionable.” They returned the favor by showing up at Charles and Camilla’s wedding blessing, which very few royals attended.

  23. mayamae says:

    Talk of Charles Dance upthread made me realize how similar (in appearance) he is to Prince Philip – at least when Dance is portraying Tywin Lannister. Both powerful men who were hot when they were younger, but still maintain sex appeal. An inherent arrogance of thinking you’re smarter than everyone else in the room. The “I’m better than you” smirk, and the glint of cruelty in those pale blue eyes. Is it obvious that Philip frightens me a little?

    • Betti says:

      By all accounts Philip is very much the alpha male – the true head of the family. That dominant personality combined with charm and good looks is a dangerous combination – just ask his many mistresses.

      He was also a tough father, who is very controlled with his emotions but some military men tend to run their families the same way they run their ships. There were a few like that in my family.

  24. Betti says:

    Did any UK posters watch the Princes Trust at 40? I teared up a little at it, say what you will about Chuck but the Princes Trust is just an amazing organisation that does so much for so many people. I have hope that he will be good but short lived King.

    Chuck and the trust gave us the screen god that is Idris Elba. For that alone we should be thankful.

    • Citresse says:

      No, I wish.
      I’m guessing (since I haven’t heard) it’ll air on CBC’s The Passionate Eye someday. It would be nice to know date/time.

      • anne_000 says:

        It’s on YouTube right now on the channel called Kate Middletons.

        The title of the video is When Ant and Dec Met the Prince – 40 Years of the Prince’s Trust.

    • FLORC says:

      lol Betti
      I hope smeone takes it over. With some lucky Harry maybe? Shame William declined.

      • Betti says:

        I think Harry will step up and take it over at some point but I suspect that Chuck won’t give it up completely when he becomes King, he’s far to involved with it. If anything i can see it being his biggest legacy.

    • Citresse says:

      Thanks for that info but I think copyrights are preventing from viewing outside UK. I did find, however, a youtube video of Prince Charles titled: Prince Charles cracks poo joke.
      While watching such video I couldn’t help but think he and Diana may have stayed together if he had been that fun and easygoing 35 years ago.

      • notasugarhere says:

        See the photo of Diana goofing around in the fake boobs and Charles laughing hysterically. The videos of him as a comedian at school. The stories about the royal family gag gifts. Charles and Diana both had senses of humor and could be fun and funny, they were not well-matched as husband and wife. No outside people or influences changes the fact that those two were never going to last.

  25. Addison says:

    Up until today I always thought of Sophie as classy.

    A very unclassy move on her part to highlight herself while putting someone else down. Boo Sophie!

    • anne_000 says:

      She gave that comment as part of her speech as the Global Ambassador of 100 Women in Hedge Funds’ Next Generation Initiative at its annual NYC Gala on November 11, 2015.

      So it was made in the context of having had business experience and being supportive of other women in business.

      Here is the context:

      Like many of you here tonight, I am a rare breed! You are rare because of the imbalance of gender across your industry, which is of course why 100WHF was created. I am rare because I am one of the few ladies in the British royal family who has had a professional business career and their own company.
      So perhaps I am able, through my own experience, to have a deeper appreciation of the corporate world and what it is like to have to climb the career ladder. So from one rare breed to another, in the immortal words of UK singer Bryan Ferry, Let’s Stick Together!

      If the charity had to do with music and Sophie was a classical pianist and said the same thing about being one of the few in the BRF that can play the piano well, would that be a put down of the others?

      • Liberty says:

        Precisely. Nothing wrong with her establishing credentials as an opening remark to bring the listeners in and indicate her role and comments were more than puffery or a “show up/slink off” thing. I’ve been to many a seminar when the speaker waxed on far more about his or her credentials, and the establishment of said credentials set the tone for remarks to follow. She may have even been guided to provide her standing as a professional by the organizers, as often happens.

    • Addison says:

      It was not wrong for her to acknowledge what she had in common with the gathered group. But it was in poor taste to set herself apart from the other royal women. Boo Sophie!

      • Tina says:

        It would have been in poor taste had she implied that there was something uniquely meritorious about a professional business career and one’s own company, or that her pursuits were superior to those of the other royal ladies. But she didn’t. It was a simple factual statement.

  26. vava says:

    I dunno, I’d rather have Sophie as a spokesperson than Kate. And I think it’s great that she and The Queen have a warm relationship. Maybe someday Kate will warm up. I’m not going to hold my breath though.

    • rachel says:

      vava – Kate needs to do a bit more than warm up. Because she’s lacking in charisma (not her fault) and has a reputation for being work-shy and not genuinely committed or passionate about her role and what it entails, she is at a disadvantage and imo needs to do more than just the are minimum to be credible.

  27. HoustonGrl says:

    I’ve always liked Sophie and enjoy her natural ease and demeanor at official events. She is always composed, poised and appropriately dressed. She seems sincere in her engagement with people. I don’t know the history, but she’s never struck me as “copying” Diana or trying to be Diana.

    • Citresse says:

      I thought Sophie attempted the Diana look on her wedding day. The haircut, colour, hairstyle and her veil along with the way she sat and waved to the crowd was Diana try hard and I thought it was a bit much.
      I really never thought she truly resembled Diana. Diana had a much different face and her hair was much thicker than Sophie’s. I thought Sophie liked the comparisons to Diana at first and then later she wanted her own identity.

    • notasugarhere says:

      I didn’t see blatant copying either. It was the fashion of the 90s and royal protocol. Two dishwater blonds with pale complexions, blue eyes, and short hair. To me their wedding looks are very different. Sophie’s wedding gown was sophisticated, simple, and nothing like Diana’s. Mathilde of Belgium wore a Sophie-like coat-over-gown a few months after the Wessex wedding.

  28. Lillylizard says:

    I’ve always liked Sophie, and I’m old enough to remember her from the very beginning. The Queen liked her and saw her potential from the get go and actively encouraged Edward to marry her. My favourite recent photos of her were from this article, so genuine.