Happy birthday Sophie! Our favourite photographs of The Duchess of Edinburgh

Our selection includes some important moments in Sophie's life

The Duchess of Edinburgh is one of the hardest-working within working members of the Royal Family, often carrying out engagements under the radar, both overseas and in the UK

Sophie has had many amazing photographs taken over the years, so we’ve pulled together some of our favourites to mark her birthday.

Our first favourite photograph of Sophie was from her wedding to Prince Edward in 1999. The couple married at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Sophie chose a panelled, beaded dress-coat with fluted sleeves, created in ivory silk and embellished at the neckline with pearl and crystal beading. The Earl and Countess of Wessex, as they became, opted for a more informal wedding, compared to other royal weddings.

Edward and Sophie, the new Earl and Countess of Wessex on their wedding day in Windsor on 19th June 1999

The Duchess of Edinburgh looked every inch the regal duchess for The King’s Coronation. For the occasion, Sophie wore a Suzannah dress with a Jane Taylor headpiece and Royal Victorian Order Mantle.

Embed from Getty Images

It is no secret that the Waleses and the Edinburghs have friendly relationship, so it was lovely to see Sophie and Princess Charlotte engaged in conversation during the balcony appearance after the Coronation Service.

Embed from Getty Images

State Banquets are a time for glitz and glamour. For Charles’ first State Banquet as Monarch, Sophie opted for her aquamarine tiara.

Embed from Getty Images

In 2020, Sophie sat for a sculptural portrait, that was live-streamed, in aid of her patronage, The Vision Foundation. This photograph shows Sophie during the sculpting process. The sculpture aimed to provide an opportunity for the blind and visually impaired to get the know the HRH’s likeness.

Sophie, The Countess of Wessex had her sculpture made for the Vision Foundation; it will allow the blind and visually-impaired to explore her image through touch (@royalfamily)

The Duchess is a self-confessed fan of the science fiction show, Doctor Who, so we know she would have been thrilled to hold a reception to mark the shows’s 50th anniversary. Sophie even got to meet the Daleks!

Embed from Getty Images

In September 2016, the then-Countess took part in a cycling challenge from the Holyrood Palace to Buckingham Palace for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Diamond challenge. The challenge raised more than £180,000.

Embed from Getty Images

Dogs + royals = content we live for! Sophie is Patron of Guide Dogs (a role she has held since 2021) and it means that we’ve seen Sophie with a number of adorable puppies and dogs in recent years when she’s carried visits to the charity.

Sophie spending time with a guide dog puppy. (Royal Family)

Sophie shared a sweet moment with her father in 2023 when she took him to Royal Ascot.

Embed from Getty Images

Ascot is a time of year when royal watchers get to see members of the Royal Family interact with each other outside of carrying out official engagements. And what faces!

Day Two of Royal Ascot – The King and Queen are joined by The Duchess of Edinburgh to watch the race

2023 saw a The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Edinburgh carry out a very rare joint engagement by attending the premiere of ‘Rhino Man’, which was hosted by United for Wildlife, which William founded in 2014. William was heard introducing Sophie to guests by saying simply: ‘This is my aunt.’

Embed from Getty Images

Sophie reaction to a balloon hitting Elizabeth II’s head during the Closing Ceremony of the 2002 Commonwealth Games at the City of Manchester Stadium is just too funny not to include in our selection.

Embed from Getty Images

In March 2023, the King conferred the Duke of Edinburgh title to Prince Edward, thus making Sophie the new Duchess of Edinburgh, a title previously held by her late mother-in-law. Edward and Sophie’s first engagement as the new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh was to the Scottish city.

Sophie on the day she became the Duchess of Edinburgh. (Royal Family)

On day three of celebrations for Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, Sophie, alongside Edward visited Northern Ireland, with the pair went head-to-head in a cooking contest, chaired by chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.

Embed from Getty Images

The late Queen and her daughter-in-law shared a close relationship over the years, with Sophie becoming like a second daughter to Elizabeth II.

Embed from Getty Images

Time for a family photo! Sophie is pictured alongside her husband and children after taking part in the Great British Beach Clean in Southsea.

Prince Edward and Sophie, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, take part in the Great British Beach Clean with their children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, in Southsea

Since the COVID pandemic, Sophie has carried out a number of engagements as a volunteer for St John Ambulance, including at an NHS vaccination centre in 2021. Sophie is Grand President of St John Ambulance.

Sophie volunteering for St Johns Ambulance. (Royal Family).

In 2019, the then-Countess hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace where she formally declared her interest in supporting the Women, Peace and Security agenda and Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative.

Embed from Getty Images

Even if you’re a royal, you’ve still got to conduct engagements. On her 50th birthday, Sophie met staff and supporters from Tomorrow’s People, a national employment charity, at St Anselm’s Church.

Embed from Getty Images

In 2015,  Elizabeth II hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the patronages and affiliations of the then-Earl and The Countess of Wessex. 375 representatives of charities and organisations supported by TRH’s attended.

Embed from Getty Images

Carriage driving was a passionate hobby of Prince Philip’s and shared by both Sophie and Louise.

Embed from Getty Images

Share this

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.