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Sophie Wessex: How Countess and Prince Edward forced Queen to issue new royal guidelines | Royal | News
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Sophie Wessex: How Countess and Prince Edward forced Queen to issue new royal guidelines | Royal | News 

Sophie, the Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward forced the Queen to establish new rules on royals seeking employment after the pair attempted to keep up with their outside jobs following their 1999 wedding. The stricter guidelines were the result of an inquiry on whether the Countess of Wessex had been exploiting her royal status to seek business opportunities, and of Prince Edward’s production company breaking a privacy agreement with Prince Charles. Royal expert Marlene Koenig told “After the marriage of Prince Edward to Sophie Rhys-Jones, they were allowed to keep their careers but it went quickly downhill.

“Especially Edward, who was doing way more royal programmes than had been hoped and his camera crew followed Prince William at St Andrews.

“And, of course, Sophie getting the fake interview with the fake sheikh. 

“They came out with new guidelines. There are guidelines for members of the Royal Family [who want to work], they were set up because of the Wessexes.”

Under the new guidelines, any senior member of the Royal Family planning to find a job or launch a new business must first consult with the Lord Chamberlain, the most senior staffer within the Royal Household.

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The rules require potential companies seeking to employ a royal to appoint a watchdog reviewing “danger areas” within the business as well as vetting any prospective clients or business partners to review their intentions.

Ms Koenig added: “In the end, they used the excuse they were needed during the Golden Jubilee and they both gave up their businesses.”

Indeed, the Countess of Wessex has since emerged as one of the most reliable representatives of the Queen and has taken on an increasing number of roles in her capacity as a royal bride.

Since giving up their public jobs, Sophie and Edward have welcomed two children – Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn – and have turned their attention on full-time royal roles.

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She became a patron to the Thames Valley Ambulance Trust in 2019 in recognition of their role in saving her life from a potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy in 2001.

The pair launched the Wessex Youth Trust shortly before they married in 1999 wanting to support and advance organisations focused on providing opportunities to children and young adults.

The trust was renamed last year The Earl and Countess of Wessex Trust after their earlier foundation aided over 180 charities with more than £2.5million during its 20-years existence.

Sophie and Prince Edward both have official offices at Buckingham Palace but normally live with their two children at Bagshot Park, 18km from Windsor.

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