Sophie Wessex’s heartbreak as special occasion will be tinged with sadness this year

Sophie Wessex's special occasion could be bittersweet this year as she faces the possibility of multiple family absences amid Spare scrutiny

Sophie Wessex's special occasion tinged with sadness. Seen here she meets local new mothers and their babies as she opens the new Jigsaw Hub
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Sophie Wessex’s special occasion could be tinged with sadness this year amid ongoing scrutiny surrounding the Royal Family. 

The start of the year has seen the Royal Family facing intense scrutiny amid the release of Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, but January is also a time where several senior royals take center stage for an entirely different reason. The Princess of Wales marked her 41st birthday just a day before the Duke of Sussex’s bestselling book was published and on January 20, the Countess of Wessex will celebrate her 58th birthday. Each year fans turn to the Royal Family social media accounts where heartfelt messages and photos are often shared. 

Though just as Kate Middleton’s birthday was likely bittersweet as she anticipated Spare's release, Sophie Wessex could be facing a similar situation. Not only does her special occasion also fall amid the ongoing attention surrounding the book but there could be multiple family members absent. 

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor attend the Christmas Day service

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Just days before Sophie’s birthday, her daughter Lady Louise Windsor joined the King and Queen in Scotland. Whilst King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla were there for engagements, Lady Louise has now resumed her studies at the University of St Andrews after the Christmas break. 

She could, of course, come back for the weekend to celebrate with her mother. But given the distance between St Andrew’s and her family home at Bagshot Park and that she’s only just gone back, it’s perhaps likely that Sophie could mark her birthday without her. 

But Lady Louise isn’t the only close family member whose absence will likely be deeply felt by the Countess on her birthday this year. Sophie will also be marking her first birthday since the death of Queen Elizabeth. 

Queen Elizabeth and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend day one of Royal Ascot

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The Countess of Wessex, who is married to the youngest of the Queen’s children, is known to have had a wonderful relationship with her mother-in-law. The pair were understood to have been very close and reports have claimed that Sophie Wessex was a “soothing presence” to Her Majesty. 

She apparently made a kind gesture to support the Queen after Prince Philip passed away and has been described as “like a daughter” to her. Meanwhile, a source previously claimed to The Sun that the Queen appreciated Sophie’s “dedication” and her and Prince Edward’s path to raising Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn. 

“Not only has Sophie flourished as a dedicated member of the Royal Family, she has brought up two well-balanced teenagers,” the source said. 

Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, watches her horse

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

“The Queen was also mindful that Sophie’s marriage has survived where her other children’s relationships have failed – and she knew that was in no small part down to Sophie’s dedication,” they continued.

So whilst Sophie Wessex will likely enjoy marking her birthday in whatever way she chooses, possibly with Prince Edward and James, Viscount Severn, there are several reasons why the occasion could also be tinged with sadness.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.