Sophie, Countess of Wessex was born Sophie Rhys-Jones on January 20, 1965 in Oxford. She is a descendant of Henry II of France and has both Scottish and Welsh ancestry. Her older brother is David. She was educated at the Dulwich College Preparatory School and then at Kent College for Girls before she trained as a secretary.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex began her career working in a variety of public relations firms in London before she launched her own Public Relations agency in 1996 called RJH Public Relations. Before she began her own firm, she had worked with Capital Radio, The Quentin Bell Organisation and MacLaurin Communications among others.
She ran RJH public relations successfully with her business partner for 5 years and then in 2002, the countess withdrew from the company’s day to day operations. In 2006, the company ceased operations altogether.
At a tennis event in 1993, Prince Edward and Sophie met and they announced their engagement in January 1999. They were consequently married on June 19, 1999 at the St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. On their wedding, the queen had conferred the titles of Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn on Edward; and Sophie became Her Royal Highness Countess of Wessex.
At the same time it was also announced that any children the couple may have would not use the title His/Her Royal Highness but would instead use the courtesy titles that are awarded to the daughter or son of an Earl. They have two children, Viscount Severn born on 17th of December 2007 and Lady Louise Windsor born on 8th November 2003, after Sophie, Countess of Wessex suffered the heartbreak of ectopic pregnancy in December 2001 and miscarriage. The condition was serious to the point of being life threatening so it was with great relief to her that although the subsequent birth of her daughter Lady Louise was premature and by an emergency caesarean, but that the baby was born healthy. However, the recent pregnancy and birth with her son, Viscount , in 2007, was without any complications.
The Countess of Wessex works in support of her husband, the Earl of Wessex. She also remains her own interests in the various organizations she is associated with, such as being the patron of Girl Guiding UK. She is also associated with a number of organizations that deal with local community projects, children’s charities and learning, communication and sensory disabilities.
In September 2008, the Countess of Wessex returned from her maternity leave and undertook 60 official engagements for the rest of the year. Her Royal Highness has four military appointments which includes a Royal colonelcy of the 5th Battalion, the Rifles. These military appointments include the Colonel-in-chief of the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps and colonel-in-chief of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment.
Sophie Countess of Wessex’s calendar of Royal engagements changes according to her location, depending on whether she is in the United Kingdom, overseas or accompanying the Earl of Wessex on official engagements. The countess is involved with approximately 60 charities and organizations and she takes a keen interest in the developments of all of them.