Over the years, Princess Anne, who will turn 70 in August this year, has earned herself the status of ‘hardest working royal’ after putting in more days than any other family member (until Prince Charles won the title last year).
Given her age and the pandemic, however, it’s been reported that medical staff have advised her to slow down and reconsider any upcoming commitments.
“Obviously they can’t expect her to carry on doing 500 engagements a year – she can’t carry on at that rate forever,” Phil says.
Rather, experts believe it would make more sense for Sophie, 55, and her husband, Prince Edward, 56, to assume more senior roles.
“I’m expecting a much higher profile for Edward and Sophie,” Phil says.
“There’s definitely scope for Sophie to do a lot more. She’s a great favourite of the Queen and I think she feels these days she’s a very safe pair of hands. She’s starting to do more trips for the Commonwealth and I’m sure that will continue once things return to normal.”
Recently, the Duchess of Wessex posted a video to the family’s Instagram account with a message encouraging parents and carers to reach out and take advantage of the resources available to them.
“It can be a daunting time to help our children and young people through this period of uncertainty but please don’t feel alone,” she said.
Hello! royal editor Emily Nash recently told Town & Country Magazine: “The countess is one of the unsung members of the royal family and in fact she’s been working on quite gritty subject matters for a lot longer than many people realise.”
Jumping on board the #ClapForOurCarers project, alongside the Cambridges, Sophie and Edward, and their children, Louise, 16, and James, 12, posted a video of the family applauding to The Royal Family’s Twitter account.
The caption read, “The Earl and Countess of Wessex, and their children, show their support for all those working on the frontline.”
Recent months have seen Princess Beatrice of York, 31, and Princess Eugenie of York, 30, upping their royal duties, despite them both also working ‘normal’ jobs.
“Bea and Eugenie may now become much more involved as Harry and Meghan are not around,” Phil says.
“They’ve taken on more and more charities themselves, voluntarily. Everyone who has worked with them has always been full of praise. Eugenie is very intelligent, very good with people, putting them at ease.”
Eugenie has used this opportunity to utilise her influence, appealing for her 1.1 million Instagram followers to donate money to a cause close to her heart – the hospital where she underwent surgery for scoliosis as a 12-year-old.
Accompanying a picture of medical staff, she wrote, “I’m so proud of my hospital, The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, as they have become a trauma centre for the first time since 1982 due to the incredibly challenging time we face and the unprecedented pressure all hospitals and their staff face.”
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