The Countess of Wessex was happy to admit: "I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing," as she took to the trading floor at the annual ICAP charity day. But Sophie, 51, who was there to raise money for the children's hospice Shooting Star Chase, quickly got into the swing of things.
After completing her first trade on the Index Delta 1 Structured Equities Desk and making £28,000 for the charity, she cheered "Yes! That was so easy. What did it all mean?"
Sophie attended the ICAP charity day in London
At the Emerging Markets Desk she joined Spandau Ballet singer and fellow Shooting Star Chase patron Tony Hadley and traders dressed up as Top Gun fighter pilots to complete a deal on a Turkish Sovereign bond. And at the EBS Direct Desk, where staff had embraced the Big Eighties theme, she seemed particularly impressed by the fancy dress.
Taking instructions from a trader in full make-up and dressed as Kiss frontman Gene Simmons, she traded a sterling against the dollar swap of £750 million, telling the trader on the other end of the phone: "It's amazing here, all the costumes. They are actually quite scary! I hope they didn't come in on the Tube like that." Seeing them nod that they had, she laughed and added: "You did?"
The Countess wore an elegant dress by Suzannah
After trading a eurodollar swap for €300 million, she quipped: "That was really easy, thank you. Do you want to do another one?!" Her confidence boosted, she then traded a dollar yen swap of $250 million, joking down the phone: "It's really easy, all she has to do is push buttons."
The Countess, wearing an elegant dress by Suzannah, rounded off a successful visit by completing a German repo trade of €300 million on the BrokerTec - European Repo Desk, where employees were dressed in 1960s psychedelic outfits. She joked: "I haven't got a clue what I'm doing, I'm just assuming things are going well."
She beat Prince Harry's efforts on the life-size Operation game
Before leaving, Sophie beat Prince Harry's efforts on the life-size Operation game manned by the London Air Ambulance. Hearing the Prince had played for just 30 seconds before "killing" the plastic patient as he attempted to remove organs with giant tweezers without touching the metal cavities, Sophie looked determined to do better. On her second go, she completed the job within 60 seconds.
As she left, the Countess also delighted patient royal fans waiting outside as she stopped her car and got out to accept flowers they had brought for her.