Queen Elizabeth is an icon around the world, but what is she like behind the scenes? Her Majesty's daughter-in-law Sophie Wessex, who married Prince Edward in 1999, has given some insight about the monarch in a new interview.
"Watching the Queen in certain situations – she’s a great listener," 50-year-old Sophie told The Sunday Express. “And you see her considering what people are saying and you can see the information going in, and she clearly has a great desire to learn all the time. I think that’s amazing at 89, with all she’s seen and done in her life."
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Sophie has a strong relationship with Queen Elizabeth and has even been described as "the Queen's favorite". The Wessex family are also regular visitors to Windsor Castle, where the Queen and Prince Philip are said to enjoy spending time bonding with their grandchildren Lady Louise, 11, and 7-year-old James, Viscount Severn.
A royal aide told the newspaper: "Now they are largely based at Windsor, which is just down the road from Louise and James, they see a great deal of them. Both the children love riding and regularly go on hacks with the Queen."
It is not the first time Sophie has spoken highly of her mother-in-law. In an interview with Harper's Bazaar UK in December, the Countess spoke candidly about the life lessons she has learned from her mother-in-law over the last 16 years.
"The Queen would never let anybody down, and that means that you feel the same way. Because there's that part of her which I'm sure is like the proverbial stick of rock… the word 'service' just runs through her," she said.
Her Majesty has also taught Sophie about the "art of talking meaningfully." Sophie said: "It's hard to make people feel that the conversation you've had with them was worthwhile, but the Queen is very good at that."
Meanwhile, the Countess has also recently spoken out about her own meaningful voice on the subject of sight impairment. Daughter Lady Louise used to suffer from strabismus, a condition where a person cannot align both eyes simultaneously, but Sophie confirmed that that the little girl has perfect sight now.