After attending the Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace with The Queen, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, attended a carol service for a canine charity at The Guards Chapel in Wellington Barracks.
To mark the 25th anniversary of Canine Partners, the Countess attended the carol service with her Lady in Waiting, Annabelle Galletley. The organisation trains assistance dogs, about 80 per year, who help in the day-to-day life of people with disabilities or mobility problems; the charity receives no government funding and relies solely on donations. The Duke of Gloucester is a patron.
The Guards Chapel, built originally in 1838, is the spiritual home to the seven regiments of the Household Division: the Welsh Guards, Irish Guards, Scots Guards, Coldstream Guards, and the Grenadier Guards form the foot regiments, while the Life Guard and Blues and Royals make up the cavalry.
It is the only military chapel located in London, and the current building was opened in 1963. The original building was destroyed in 1944 by a bomb; despite the bombing, candles on the altar remained burning.
The service began at 6.30pm. Other special guests included former Bond Girl Fiona Fullerton, and David Robb, known as Dr Clarkson from Downtown Abbey.
The Countess is a dog lover, and she and Prince Edward have a two dogs at home, in Bagshot Park. She was in her element mingling with the furry guests, who were trained by Canine Partners.
The event was hosted by Draycott Nursing and Care, who, for the past 17 years, have provided nursing and home health care.