This is how much the Queen paid Duchess Sophie to become a full-time working member of The Firm

Duchess Sophie and Prince Edward were reportedly paid a one-off sum

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh attends the grand opening of the new Charfleet Book Bindery on June 27, 2023 in Canvey Island, England.
(Image credit: Dave Benett/Getty Images for Charfleet Book Bindery)

The late Queen Elizabeth paid off Duchess Sophie and Prince Edward to give up their business ventures and becoming full-time working royals, a documentary has claimed.

The late Queen Elizabeth allegedly paid the-now Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh a whopping £250,000 ($318,000) in 2002 to entice them to give up their careers and become full-time working members of the royal family.

Sophie, who was born Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones, was educated at Dulwich College Preparatory School, Kent College School for Girls, Pembury, and West Kent College.

She then pursued a career in public relations, even opening her own PR agency which she co-ran for five years after working at a number of firms.

Now, the new Channel 5 documentary, Prince Edward: Will He Change the Royals? has made the revelation that the Queen went to extreme lengths to get Sophie to quit her career in PR and pursue royal life instead.

Duchess Sophie

(Image credit: Getty)

Royal journalist Emily Andrews explained, “The Queen effectively asked Edward and Sophie to give up their careers and become full-time working royals. As an effective sweetener, she gave them £250,000 in compensation.”

She added that there were similarities between Sophie and Edward and Meghan and Harry. "There are parallels between Sophie and Edward and Harry and Meghan," she said. "I mean Sophie and Edward were the forerunners of trying to balance their royal career with actual money-making careers.”

And royal correspondent Jennie Bond has also waded in, explaining why she believes the late Queen’s plan paid off and was absolutely necessary.

She told OK!, “Whether it was compensation, a sweetener, or an incentive – the fact of the matter is that the Queen always provided financial support to the younger working Royals."

Duchess Sophie

(Image credit: Getty)

“They were not on what was then called the civil list, now the sovereign grant, so, if Edward and Sophie had to give up their careers, clearly they needed some way of financing the work they were going to do for the Royal family."

She added, “So to me, it makes perfect sense. At the time, Sophie and Edward were seen as very junior members of the Royal Family, and it’s quite understandable that they wanted to pursue their careers.”

Sophie and Edward were long-regarded as the Queen's favorites before her death in September 2022 - because Edward is her only child not to have been divorced. Edward's lasting marriage to Sophie was said to be a great comfort to the Queen, who always held dedication and longevity in high esteem. 

Royal journalist and author Robert Jobson previously told the Telegraph, "[Sophie] is probably the best example of an outsider coming into the family and learning on the job. She’s very much the Queen’s favorite, and you’ll notice that whenever there is a family holiday or gathering, Sophie and Edward often stay a while longer than the rest.”

Robyn is a celebrity and entertainment journalist and editor with over eight years experience in the industry. As well as contributing regular to woman&home, she also often writes for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly and The Sun.