Sophie Wessex says royals still a family no matter what and reveals Harry chat –

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Sophie revealed she had a ‘lengthy chat’ with Harry after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April
Sophie revealed she had a ‘lengthy chat’ with Harry after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April (Picture: Getty/Rex)

Sophie Wessex has said the royals are ‘still a family, no matter what happens’ following tensions earlier this year in the wake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s explosive Oprah interview.

She and husband Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest child, also said they were ‘flattered’ to be taking on a more prominent role in a slimmed-down monarchy after Harry and Meghan’s move to California.

In an interview with The Telegraph Magazine, the Countess of Wessex said she had a ‘lengthy chat’ with Harry after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April.

It was the first time Harry had been in the UK since stepping down as a senior working royal for a new life of personal and financial freedom in the US with Meghan and their son Archie.

His trip in honour of Philip also came just weeks after the Sussexes controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they accused the royal family of racism and the institution of failing to support the suicidal duchess.

When asked whether they watched the interview with the US chat show host, Prince Edward joked: ‘Oprah who?’ Sophie playfully added: ‘Yes, what interview?’

In the Wessexes first public comments since the funeral, Sophie told The Telegraph Magazine: ‘We are still a family no matter what happens, we always will be.’

Britain's Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, leave Windsor Castle in their car following the death of Britain's Prince Philip in Windsor, England, Saturday, April 10, 2021. Britain's Prince Philip, the irascible and tough-minded husband of Queen Elizabeth II who spent more than seven decades supporting his wife in a role that mostly defined his life, died on Friday. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Sophie Wessex insisted the royals are ‘still a family, no matter what happens’ (Picture: AP)

Mourners including, front row from left, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Prince Edward, Viscount Severn, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, during the funeral of Prince Philip, at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. Prince Philip died April 9 at the age of 99 after 73 years of marriage to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. (Dominic Lipinski/Pool via AP)
The Wessexes pictured during the funeral of Prince Philip (Picture: AP)

Recounting the ceremony, Edward said it was ‘extraordinarily odd walking into St George’s Chapel and finding the nave completely empty’.

He went on: ‘It’s always difficult with these kinds of things because you’re in the middle of it, so you’ve got no idea what it necessarily looks like from the outside. 

‘It became really poignant to be there because it was suddenly so very intimate.’

The couple singled out the moment when soldiers at Windsor Castle’s Quadrangle bowed their heads and inverted their weapons before the customised Land Rover hearse arrived.

Sophie said: ‘Everything went still…a real “oh my goodness” moment.’

The Countess also recalled the powerful image of the grieving Queen sitting isolated in the chapel due to coronavirus restrictions, adding: ‘To see Her Majesty on her own; it was very poignant.’

TOPSHOT - Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat for the funeral service of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh inside St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. - Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, died on April 9 aged 99 just weeks after a month-long stay in hospital for treatment to a heart condition and an infection. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN BRADY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Countess said it was ‘very poignant’ to see the Queen grieving alone (Picture: AFP via Getty)

Reflecting on their more prominent role in the monarchy, she said: ‘We’ve plodded along doing what we’re doing, hopefully doing it well. And then all of a sudden there’s a bit of a hiatus and things have changed a bit.

‘Naturally, the media are looking for people to fill the so-called void. But you know, we have been doing this for what feels like a pretty long time.’

Between them, the Wessexes have been carrying out royal engagements for the past two decades and combine for more than 500 each year.

Sophie added: ‘If people want to pay more attention to what we’re doing, then great.’

She said her children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, ‘still keep expecting to see grandpa arrive in his green Land Rover’ as the couple pledged to continue Philip’s work through the Duke of Edinburgh award.

The couple said the Queen had been ‘keeping busy’ since her husband’s death, with Edward telling the magazine: ‘The job is not something you can walk away from, it just carries on relentlessly.’

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