Sophie Wessex is with the Queen ‘more and more’ says insider
Sophie's efforts to make sure the Queen copes with the loss of her husband Prince Philip have been highlighted by royal author Duncan Larcombe. The Countess is believed to be in regular contact with the 95-year-old monarch.
This has been made easy not just by their personal affinity but also by their residences' close distance.
Mr Larcombe told Fabolous: "Like so many families during lockdown, Her Majesty was unable to see her favourite daughter-in-law, but as restrictions started to lift, Sophie was one of the few people inside her COVID bubble.
"When Philip died, Sophie was an obvious choice to step up and ensure the Queen was being looked after, given she lives minutes down the road."
Bagshot Park, where Sophie lives with Prince Edward and their two children James and Louise, is only a 20-minute drive away from Windsor Castle, where the Queen has been staying since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sophie is believed to be very close to the Queen
Sophie and the Queen at Buckingham Palace
Mr Larcombe continued: "Sophie Wessex has emerged as the Queen’s unlikely 'rock' as the monarch adjusts to life without Prince Philip.
"Prince Edward’s wife has – according to sources – made it her personal mission to ensure Her Majesty is fully supported by the family.
"Since the Duke’s death in April, Sophie has driven the 10 miles from her Bagshot Park home to Windsor Castle every few days and most weekends to spend socially distanced time with Her Majesty.
"And on days she can’t get there in person, the Duchess of Wessex has made a point of calling her mother-in-law at least once a day."
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Sophie and the Queen at Royal Ascot in 2019
Sophie is widely considered the Queen's favourite by royal insiders.
One source previously claimed the monarch finds Sophie's presence "soothing" and that is one of the reasons why, when the Wessexes are at Balmoral Castle or at Sandringham, she often asks her daughter-in-law to accompany her to church by car.
A source told the Sun in 2019: "The Queen likes to be completely calm before church and she finds Sophie’s presence soothing."
Another claimed Sophie was just like a second daughter to the Queen.
Prince Edward is the Queen's youngest son
Sophie and Prince Edward have two children, Louise and James
They said: "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."
More recently, another source told the Sun: "Edward happened to marry someone for whom his mother has great affection.
"Sophie is much more than a daughter-in-law, more of a daughter."
Sophie joined the Royal Family in 1999
The high esteem both Sophie and Prince Edward are held in by the Queen was made apparent following the death of Prince Philip in April 9.
Sophie was the first to brief on how the Queen was coping following her loss.
She was also authorised to release a private picture of the Queen and Prince Philip on the Balmoral estate.
Together with their daughter Lady Louise, they were also photographed at Windsor looking at tributes and messages left by mourning royal fans for the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Wessexes during Prince Philip's funeral
Last week, Sophie and Edward spoke openly about their relationship with the Earl's parents and the toll the pandemic and self-isolation had taken on the elderly royals.
Speaking about Prince Philip and the Queen, Prince Edward told the Daily Telegraph: "For them, life is so much about contact, it’s so much about people and then suddenly that all stops."
The Countess recalled how her family remained in touch with Her Majesty and the Duke at the height of the national lockdowns.
She said: "We used to see them stand on the balcony, which was about 20 feet up in the air.
"We’d see them waving. We’d shout at them and they’d shout back at us. It always seemed to be windy, so we could barely hear each other."