Sophie Wessex's hospital visit tinged with difficult memories that once saw her 'burst into tears'

Sophie Wessex's hospital visit is her first engagement of 2023 and sees her thrown in at the deep end at a location linked to traumatic time

 Sophie, Countess of Wessex visits the Multi-Skills Day and Celebration Event for Whizz-Kidz at Guildford Baptist Church on December 1, 2022 in Guildford, England.
(Image credit: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty Images)

Sophie Wessex's hospital visit to Heatherwood Hospital, which is in the same NHS Trust Lady Louise Windsor was born, is likely to open old wounds as a previous visit saw her 'burst into tears' for the most heart wrenching reason.

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Sophie Wessex's special occasion may be tinged with sadness this year, as the Royal Family remains silent despite being embroiled in the ongoing fallout from Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare. However, the hardworking royal appeared on top form during her first engagement of 2023 - despite it being at a location linked to one of her most challenging experiences.

Lady Louise's birth, despite being the most joyous experience for her parents, was also a tremendously traumatic experience for her parents - especially her mother. The popular young royal was born ahead of schedule after her mother was rushed to Frimley Park hospital in labor - a month early. Sadly, as her father Prince Edward was in Mauritius at the time, he wasn't home in time to be present at her birth.

The Earl & Countess Of Wessex Leave The Frimley Park Hospital In Surrey, With Their New Baby Daughter.

(Image credit: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty Images)

The young royal was born via an emergency cesarean section on Saturday, November 8, weighing 4lbs 9oz. As Lady Louise was premature, she received specialist care at St George's Hospital neonatal unit in Tooting, London. If this wasn't difficult enough for her mother to cope with, the trauma of the birth meant that Sophie lost nine pints of blood through internal bleeding. That meant she needed to stay in hospital for 16 days in Frimley Hospital - 35 miles from her newborn baby.

It was on a return trip that Sophie made to Frimley Hospital to open the hospital’s new neonatal unit back in 2014 that, per the Daily Mail, she was photographed overcome with emotion hugging the midwife who helped her during her labor. The Countess reportedly said, "the service you can provide can literally make the difference between life and death. I can attest to that."

Lady Louise was born with esotropia, a condition that made her eyes turn inward, which was later treated with surgery. As a result of her experience, Countess Sophie has taken a special interest in charities relating to premature birth. She has also supported a number of blindness prevention charities and is a global ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

The Countess Of Wessex Opens The New Neonatal Intensive Care Unit At St. Peter'S Hospital In Chertsey, Surrey.

(Image credit: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty Images)

HELLO! reports that during a visit to India back in 2019 the royal discussed the film A Life with Sight. "Each time I see it, it makes me cry," she said. "My daughter, Louise, was born prematurely and so every time I see anything to do with premature babies, it takes me back to those early days, the shock of her early arrival, and then the realization that she had a sight issue, which we would have to manage."

Over 19 years later, Lady Louise is Sophie Wessex's mini-me. As her mother officially opened Frimley Health’s new center of excellence for non-emergency care, including their ophthalmology unit, it's likely many memories have flooded back.

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.